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Old 02-12-2020, 12:50 PM
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Survivor Season 40: Winners at War


The new season of Survivor premieres tonight. 20 previous winners returning for a new season for $2 millon prize.

Honestly, I'm a little ambivalent about watching. I'm still disgusted from what happened last season, and to be honest I didn't miss the show once I stopped watching it after Kellee was voted out. I'll probably watch the premiere and then decide from there.

Last edited by muldoonthief; 02-12-2020 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 02-12-2020, 12:53 PM
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That's my take as well. I really don't like returning players at all, and the show has gotten so cliched and predictable that it really needs to be put out of its misery. Nothing the producers do makes it any better.

You want Survivor, make it real. Drop 18 people on an island with remote cameras. Come back when there is one left alive.
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:08 PM
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So a question I had back when they announced the cast - how are they going to prevent Amber & Rob from conspiring together? One of the bedrock rules of Survivor is "You can't agree to share the prizes", and IIRC, they've even somehow prevented winners from giving gifts to the losers after the season was over. Make sense - 2 people in an unbreakable alliance, planning to split the winnings if either wins, will be much stronger than any other 2 players. But you can't stop Rob & Amber from sharing the prize, so what's to stop them from working together for either to win?
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Old 02-12-2020, 01:34 PM
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But you can't stop Rob & Amber from sharing the prize, so what's to stop them from working together for either to win?
All the other players who know they already have a built in alliance and would be idiots to not vote at least one of them out right away.
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Old 02-12-2020, 02:04 PM
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Also, I'm assuming they updated their rules regarding coordination during the Blood Vs. Water season.
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Old 02-12-2020, 06:22 PM
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Man oh man, I wish they would simply drop a crew of total unknowns into the barrel.


mmm
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Old 02-12-2020, 07:07 PM
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You want Survivor, make it real. Drop 18 people on an island with remote cameras. Come back when there is one left alive.
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Man oh man, I wish they would simply drop a crew of total unknowns into the barrel.


mmm
It's been 20 years guys. We know what the show is now.
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Old 02-13-2020, 01:19 AM
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I've been super excited for an all-winners season for awhile now. Then I grew a bit disappointed when I heard they were bringing back gimmicks like Edge of Extinction and adding fire tokens and the like. But... I think it might actually work for an all-winners season. The fire tokens makes Edge more interesting (they'll have more to do, and more influence in the game) and there's now an interesting dynamic where voting someone out because of their super tight bond with someone else isn't a deathblow, as that person still has influence and can help their ally out (as already demonstrated by Natalie and Amber immediately giving their coins to Jeremy and Rob).

I still think there's a few too many newer winners, especially ones who were relatively weaker like Michelle, Adam, Nick, Ben, but overall this is a pretty good cast. And I am stoked to see folks like Yul and Kim back. Really worried for Kim though, I was thinking she was gone, especially after not getting any screentime until very late in the second hour. I do feel a bit bad for Amber coming back and getting voted out because of Rob, though.

There's a lot of interesting dynamics at work. Old-school vs new-school. Veterans vs one-timers. Pre-existing alliances, whether real or perceived. For all the talk about how the older guys need to catch up on the speed of the game, it almost seems like the older ones might have an advantage because they're icons in the eyes of the newer players. You could see how completely star-struck folks like Ben, Adam and Sophie were.

I'm still a bit worried that all the real star players are going home early and we're gonna get a winner from the more recent, less interesting group (kinda like Sarah winning Game Changers), but so far I'm pretty stoked.

Last edited by magnusblitz; 02-13-2020 at 01:21 AM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:06 AM
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With this particular cast, I think it would be fun to have Jeff say "drop your buffs" every other challenge and remix the players. I also think it was pretty bitchy for Sandra to manipulate the Amber vote just because Rob didn't tell her he was going to play this season.
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Old 02-13-2020, 08:01 AM
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So they brought back a terrible gimmick, and added another terrible gimmick. Seriously, the "fire tokens" are like when a video game series runs out of ideas so they add crafting to a game where it has absolutely no place. I assume they brought back Extinction because they want to make sure everyone stays in the game (and on camera) as long as possible so their fans don't tune out. I'm not holding out high hopes for this season.
  #11  
Old 02-13-2020, 08:15 AM
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I read an interview with Probst in which he admitted that a lot of the champions weren't interested in returning if they couldn't be guaranteed a least a few days of screen time. No one wanted to do one episode, be voted out and then have to cool their heels in a hotel while production wrapped up. So exile island ensures that people stick around at least for a couple of episodes.

If I was playing I would want to vote off Sandra, Rob, Parvati and Tyson first. Those players are all huge threats. I was impressed that Rob was already bossing around and intimidating his tribe? I liked the clip of Parvati and Rob talking where they admitted that the other players should be coming after them.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:26 AM
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Okay, now that it's established Rob genuinely DOES have "mind control" as his super power...

So he was annoyed they voted off his wife? That'll last .... until he starts getting fire tokens or Immunity Idols or some other gimmick advantage from Amber.

Really, there's no way that putting a single unbreakable twosome in this game can be fair to the rest. As someone up above pointed out, there's no way the prize won't be shared between them so basically they get twice the odds of winning as everyone else.
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Old 02-13-2020, 09:45 AM
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That scene where Rob interrogated Ben on the beach was classic!
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:12 AM
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That scene where Rob interrogated Ben on the beach was classic!
And then he goes back and confronted Danni for putting his name out and she caved immediately. A stronger player would have turned that to her advantage to put the target on Rob.
  #15  
Old 02-13-2020, 10:45 AM
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Dalton Ross's recap here: https://ew.com/recap/survivor-season-40-premiere/

Interesting that the first challenge wasn't first to 3 but actually first to 5, and they cut out a few rounds. Some good stuff about what was cut out of Tribal as well:

"Edge of Extinction became a major topic of discussion at Tribal. It started when Yul called out Chris Underwood’s win as very controversial and polarizing. Sandra then weighed in on EOE, going on about how someone should be out when they were out, and now because of the twist, she had to be nice to people instead of mean. Jeff then polled the tribe, asking who among them liked Edge as another chance to get back in the game. Sarah, Amber, and Nick raised their hands. The other 7 did not. Jeff then asked Sarah and Amber what they liked about it."

I'm still holding out hope that the EoE ends at the merge, rather than going all the way until only a handful of people are left like last time. Probably too much to hope for.
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Old 02-13-2020, 11:05 AM
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So from the recap, in the very first challenge the winning team had a huge advantage due to the direction of the incoming swell. So why not switch which pole you're trying to reach each round?
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Old 02-13-2020, 07:18 PM
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I thought that was a massively entertaining season premiere, and if it's any indication of the rest of the season, it's going to be a wild ride.

As for the cast, I went through the list of past winners and the only one I'm really disappointed about not being on this season is Cochrane. I suppose I'd rather see J.T. than Nick, or Natalie or Jenna over Michelle. But I don't feel all that strongly about it. Even the weakest winners are winners and deserve to be there.

What I like is that they're all good enough to notice pretty much everything, which is both a blessing and a curse. When Parvati said, "None of us should feel comfortable, but there are people who do," it set off a wave of paranoid chatter and whispering, with everybody wondering what she could possibly have meant by that, and she must have something up her sleeve, when in reality I think that was a simple observation meant to be taken at face value. But these players aren't going to let even the most benign of comments go by without analyzing and dissecting, and that could make for some fun situations.

Spoiler-boxed comment on next week's preview:
SPOILER:
It appears that Rob is not taking Amber's ouster well. Part of what has made him such a great player is that he always keeps his head and never lets emotion dictate his actions. It will be quite interesting to see if this changes and how it will affect his game.
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Old 02-17-2020, 11:59 AM
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I thought that was a massively entertaining season premiere, and if it's any indication of the rest of the season, it's going to be a wild ride.

As for the cast, I went through the list of past winners and the only one I'm really disappointed about not being on this season is Cochrane. I suppose I'd rather see J.T. than Nick, or Natalie or Jenna over Michelle. But I don't feel all that strongly about it. Even the weakest winners are winners and deserve to be there.
I'm curious how the producers ranked the 38 prior winners in desirability, and how far down they had to reach. I'm sure they would've loved to have gotten Cochrane instead of some of those in the current cast who are remembered only by the truly obsessive.
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Old 02-17-2020, 01:03 PM
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Everyone's trying so hard to keep a low profile, there hasn't been a lot of fireworks yet. I'm especially hopeful that Tyson cranks up the snark to his previous levels.
  #20  
Old 02-17-2020, 01:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Wheelz View Post

Spoiler-boxed comment on next week's preview:
SPOILER:
It appears that Rob is not taking Amber's ouster well. Part of what has made him such a great player is that he always keeps his head and never lets emotion dictate his actions. It will be quite interesting to see if this changes and how it will affect his game.
SPOILER:
I'm guessing he's saying it, but he doesn't really mean it. Either he's saying it in a confessional, and Rob is the master of "saying stuff that the producers love, so he gets a lot of screen time and gets invited back a lot". Or he's saying it to other players, as part of a misdirection. But Rob & Amber had to know they'd be targeted for being an unbreakable alliance, so I can't imagine he's actually taking it personally.
  #21  
Old 02-17-2020, 07:21 PM
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Has the show or anyone involved in it commented on the Rob and Amber unfairness? I do NOT get how they could both be allowed to play. Imagine if they make it to the final 3 or 4. What an advantage!
  #22  
Old 02-18-2020, 09:15 AM
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Has the show or anyone involved in it commented on the Rob and Amber unfairness? I do NOT get how they could both be allowed to play. Imagine if they make it to the final 3 or 4. What an advantage!
Yes, one of the reasons Amber was targeted was because they knew they couldn't let Amber & Rob get to the merge together. It wasn't emphasized, but the players definitely brought it up as a reason. Of course, with this stupid Edge of Extinction mechanism, you have no idea if she's really out or not.
  #23  
Old 02-18-2020, 10:28 AM
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A relatively entertaining start, but I worry that the existing alliances (including, of course, the married couple) along with EoE will really muck up the game play. You already have both fire tokens bequeathed to players due to relationships that existed before the game started. Now you'll have Amber attempting to funnel as many advantages as possible to Rob. A bit of a bummer, IMO, but I'm relieved that so far the "outsiders" seem to have a pretty good grasp of what they have to do. Yul is, as always, the man.

It was pretty hilarious watching everyone stand around refusing to name a target. It was very clear they all expected that as soon as somebody said a name they would become a target. Very cagey, and could make for a pretty surprising set of votes. I do wonder if the lack of actual discussion will make it hard for the editors to explain things to the viewers. It was, I think, a first for them to show "not on the show" footage (the poker game) to try to explain what was happening at camp.

I was shocked that Rob, Parvati, and Sandra made it through the whole episode without anybody really going after them. And Natalie even sold an idol to Sandra - WTF?
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:14 AM
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Did I just miss it, or did they not show us the votes for either tribal council? It’s much harder to follow along at home when you’re not sure who voted for whom. I had to go to Wikipedia to get the breakdown.

Hopefully they’ll change that in future episodes.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:33 AM
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Did I just miss it, or did they not show us the votes for either tribal council? It’s much harder to follow along at home when you’re not sure who voted for whom. I had to go to Wikipedia to get the breakdown.

Hopefully they’ll change that in future episodes.
Do you mean after the votes are read and the votee has left, when they show who each person voted for while the eliminated player talks about their experience? Yeah, they don't do that when it's an Edge of Extinction season, because the voted off player going to extinction is the final scene. Add that to the list of why EoE sucks.
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Old 02-18-2020, 11:38 AM
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And Natalie even sold an idol to Sandra - WTF?
That makes perfect sense to me. If you're trying to sell an idol, you want to send it to someone who has the biggest target on her back. That would probably be Amber or Sandra, and she was already pissed at Rob.

One thing about EoE not mentioned, I hope they don't do the whole "everyone still on EoE is on the jury" this time. That would be a mess.
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Old 02-18-2020, 12:44 PM
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Do you mean after the votes are read and the votee has left, when they show who each person voted for while the eliminated player talks about their experience? Yeah, they don't do that when it's an Edge of Extinction season, because the voted off player going to extinction is the final scene. Add that to the list of why EoE sucks.

Yeah, I hate EoE.
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:34 PM
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That makes perfect sense to me. If you're trying to sell an idol, you want to send it to someone who has the biggest target on her back. That would probably be Amber or Sandra, and she was already pissed at Rob.

One thing about EoE not mentioned, I hope they don't do the whole "everyone still on EoE is on the jury" this time. That would be a mess.
(that was not my quote you credited to me)
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Old 02-18-2020, 03:49 PM
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(that was not my quote you credited to me)
Well that was weird.
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Old 02-20-2020, 10:15 AM
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I remember watching the season of Survivor that Rob won and thinking, "well of course he beat these idiots." but now he is totally dominating a group of previous winners. Rob says dump out your bags at tribal and they do it, Rob tells Ben to give him the name and he does. The only player who seems to be immune is Parv, she's just coasting behind him, letting him wear the target.
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:03 PM
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It seems Rob's comments shown in last weeks previews were taken a bit out of context. While he's certainly not happy about Amber getting voted out, it wasn't a big surprise and he's definitely keeping his head.
What's crazy, as madmonk23 pointed out, is how much power he has over people for no apparent reason. The "New School Alliance," or whatever you want to call it, could easily have taken out Rob or Parvati, but everybody (according to wiki, Danni's was the only Parvati vote) went along with Rob's plan. Why? People are already calling him the "Godfather." But guess what, he's only the Godfather if everybody agrees he is, and it baffles me as to why everybody just agrees he is.
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Old 02-20-2020, 12:59 PM
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Yeah, it's bizarre to watch. Adam is the only one who seems to be pushing back on Rob, the rest seem to be joining his cult.
  #33  
Old 02-20-2020, 09:36 PM
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The edit certainly made Danni look like she let her paranoia get the better of her, and blew up her own alliance.

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It seems Rob's comments shown in last weeks previews were taken a bit out of context.
Whaaa, preview comments out of context, say it ain't so!

I also don't know if I'd say Rob kept his cool. He certainly fell apart in that puzzle. Whether that was because he was upset over Amber or not, can't say (they got the first section done quick, he might've just made a strategic blunder).

I agree though that it's pretty impressive watching Boston Rob be able to 'Godfather' a bunch of veterans. It was one thing to do it to star-struck newbies on Redemption Island. I think the thing is, we only get shown the 'strategic' side of things and rarely the 'social' side, and by all accounts Rob is a really good social player too. He gets to know everyone and is a fun guy to be around. So, I think when he pulls a stunt like the one he did this week, people go along with it because they all think they're on his good side. Might also be some players who are fine with keeping him around for now as a meat shield... the trick is correctly deducing that you'll still be around in a few weeks to do so.

I actually think that Rob wasn't really thinking he'd find the HII with his stunt, but he'd at least suss out some suspicion. Denise did a great job of laying low; Adam did not, and by pushing back I think inculpated himself somewhat.

I wonder if the HII halves are compatible with each other... i.e., Kim could combine one half with Adam later once the tribes mix/merge.
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Old 02-21-2020, 10:52 AM
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I think one big advantage Rob has is that the strategy of Survivor has shifted. The old strategy was "vote out the biggest threats." Now it's "keep the biggest threats around, because otherwise they're coming after you."

Interesting that challenge performance hasn't even been a topic of discussion when it comes to who gets voted out.
  #35  
Old 02-21-2020, 11:01 AM
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The edit certainly made Danni look like she let her paranoia get the better of her, and blew up her own alliance.
I think paranoia was part of it, but some of it was just bad game play. Failing to realize that Parvati and Rob were working together (or even that it was very likely that they would be) and telling each one, at different points, that they should vote out the other one, was pretty poor I think. Add in spilling the beans about the old-school agreements in front of Ben and I think she just didn't bring her A game. She also won in a season that was pretty passive, if I recall correctly, so I'm not too shocked that the new style of game didn't work for her.

I do think this puts Parvati and Rob in a bind. They kind of needed Danni as another "old school" vote and now they are pretty clear targets. They need to get the new school group to crack up, which I'm not really seeing.

ETA: re: challenge performances, I think it did come up. There was a comment between the "new school" group along the lines of "We need Rob. We need Parvati. So let's target Danni". I guess that could be read as needing them as targets, but I read it as at least having a bit of a challenge flavor to it.
  #36  
Old 02-21-2020, 12:40 PM
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Interesting that challenge performance hasn't even been a topic of discussion when it comes to who gets voted out.
I always thought there was too much emphasis on immunity challenge performance in the past, and the game is moving past such simplistic thinking.

I mean, if you have one player who's terrible at every challenge and it's hurting your tribe, that's one thing. But to say "Rob messed up the puzzle today so he has to go" is shortsighted and foolish. And these players aren't that.
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