Ever since its debut in 2000, Survivor has been like television crack: a satisfying dose of weekly reality smackdowns. It forced its contestants to do things they never dared to imagine, and begged them to question their morals and friendships, while living in the middle of an island (no matter what Daniel Tosh says, HA!)
And then came Seasons 21 and 22, Nicaragua and Redemption Island. And I thought, with much despair, that my love affair was over. Not only was the new twist of Redemption Island terrible (it kills the tension and finality of Tribal Council, which is supposed to be the show’s ultimate climax), but the cast members were dim-witted models, pushovers and non-strategists.
Cut to this season’s South Pacific and the series seems to be back on track. Although Redemption Island is back, the twists and turns (and better casting!) have brought the series back from the dead. Survivor has in a way redeemed itself. Although following the same format as last season, with returning favorites Coach and Ozzy returning to lead a tribe-full of newbies each, we have some players on our hands this time around! There’s obviously Ozzy, a challenge-dominating extraordinaire; Jim, a loudmouth, jerk but superb strategist; Cochrane, uber-nerd and diehard fan of the game; Coach, who’s playing the best game we’ve seen out of him yet; and a plethora of new characters that are keeping viewers on their toes.
Survivor South Pacific really lays down the line: A season of Survivor is only as good as the cast members chosen to take part. If not for Sophie, Albert, Dawn, Jim, Cochrane, and many other worthy and interesting new players, the game will always fall flat on its face. Just see Nicaragua, for example. Or that horrid Redemption Island season that more or less handed Boston Rob the million on a silver platter.
Although Ozzy is kind of radical in almost every day, it would be a shame for another returning vet to take the money at the end. I want to see some tribal betrayals! Gimme some blindsides, injuries, and tied votes. Throw in some more Brandon breakdowns while we’re at it! A little more than halfway through the season, South Pacific is definitely entertaining, and remains a worthy installment of the series.
Here’s to hoping the ending is one to remember.Benjamin Wade, Coach, Jeff Probst, Ozzy, South Pacific, Survivor