Another Survivor Premiere.
There have been like…over 20, and I still get a kick out of watching people try to build fires, run after local game, construct a lean-to shelter and use their new buffs as fashion accessories.
I love it. When does watching adult human beings chasing chickens get old? I say never. I could watch that all night… I should suggest it as the premise for a new FOX game show to fill the summer months. Who’s with me?
I digress… let’s start at the beginning.
Jeff announces a few twists to this new season. The first, NO Redemption Island. Once you’re voted out, you’re going home. Traditional Survivor rules. The second, it’s Girls against Guys – making it a classic battle of the sexes (who doesnt love that?!) and easier to define the teams from the get-go. It always takes me at least a month to deferentiate between teams, the obvious distiction helps in this case. Finally, both teams will be sharing a camp. Two tribes, one camp. They will all have varying resources, be responsible for their own shelter/fire/activities/jobs etc. The difference is, they are face to face with the other team, which will make the social game much more important moving forward.
I could analyze the group dynamics of male vs female or deep dive into the psychology of two teams sharing one space… but I’ll spare you my prognosis of the entire situation. However, this is my blog and I want to talk briefly about a few things.
In past Survivors, one of the moot points that has perpetually plagued the show is the lack of strength in the female game. Sure, we’ve had a few dominating ladies… but they rearely win and they rarely have friends. What we DO see are a lot of women who latch onto a strong male and enjoy the ride until the end. Then they plead their case to the jury and boast about their ‘social’ prowess. Some have won based on this tactic. Similarly, in most Survivor seasons, there comes a point where the girls have one shot, one chance to pool their votes and take out a strong male figure… 9 times out of 10, the plan falls through, and the ladies retreat to their male leaders. It’s unspoken, but I think there have been a few conversations behind the scenes about how to reinvent the strategy of the female player. Forcing the women to be on ONE team, might just do the trick. The Women will make decisions for their team, the women will be responsible for the daily activities and role allocations, the women will be forced to work together in order to beat their male counterparts. Personally, I’m very intrigued to see this play out. Will this format give more power and responsibility to the women of the game… or will they squander this opportunity.
After last night, I’m not sure the group has embraced this chance to be formidable foes or proven competitors. We’ve got a few Type A’s who lack leadership quality, we’ve got a few ‘latchers’ looking for male attention, and we’ve got a few who were very quick to negotiate for the guys help. Sad. Watching the women scrounge for food, listlessly try to ignite a flame, unsuccessfully build shelter, instead…spend time weaving a roof for the men in exchange for fire.
Oy, it’s weak and embarassing. I sure hope they can shape up after a few days…
At the challenge, they showed once again that the competition is mismatched and lopsided… it reminded me of when it was girls vs boys in dodgeball or king of the hill… boys are MUCH more competitive. It’s not anti-feminist, there are alot of HIGHLY competitive girls out there (I’m one of them) but in general, a group of boys competing against a group of girls have the edge in pure combative exertion. No doubt, the girls will find their stride and take a few challenges, but they need to use teamwork and a levelhead to counteract the male physical dominance.
During the challenge, one of the girls landed hard on her wrist, was taken away for X rays. Therefore, the game was over… the men chose to take the victory instead of completing the task. The girls were surprised, I was not.
So at Tribal Counsel, the girls wasted no time in stabbing eachother in the back, and spitting insults at each other. Already. Jeff was absolutely right in saying the ‘men have you exactly where they want you’. The instant discord within the group will only weaken the team, making them ripe for destruction from within.
No one was voted out tonight, because the girl with the broken wrist would not be returning. Probably wouldve been prudent and well advised to save the overt clash for a later tribal… now it’s just going to be, awkward. Think ladies, think!
As I say, I’m very interested in this format and I’m hoping (as producers are, I’m sure) that this genderline split will actually improve the ladies’ game.