Changing the Face of American Pop Culture

The show that changed the face of American Pop culture forever!
That is how the show survivor was described in the CBS Network promo for the show Survivor: The Phenomenon!

I must admit, I did not watch a single episode of the Original Survivor, and I have not yet, nor do I plan to tune in for a single episode of the new Survivor. (I did, however, watch the VH1 Survivor Video shows weekly while the first Survivor was going on. I haven’t paid much attention this time around.)

So, what do you think? Those of you who watched the first and are watching the second Survivor, and those of you who, like me, ignored the phenomenon, feel free to share your views.
Did it change the face of American Pop Culture forever?
Was it really that significant? I thought it was a little on the corny side, myself.

I did not watch a single entire episode of the First Survivor series. I did watch a couple bits and pieces there and here.

I don’t watch Survivor. I’m not going to watch Survivor 2. I don’t watch Temptation Island. I don’t watch Jackass.

To me, all these shows, and all the forthcoming spin-offs, just appeal to the lowest common denominator of the American public. All they do is just show real people in real bad and torturous situations and we, the viewer, just sit back and watch the “train wreck.” I equate it to driving down the freeway and slowing down just to see the dead bodies from an automobile accident. I lump these shows in with wrestling and monster truck rallies. Why not just bring back gladiator fights or public be-headings? Watching these shows desensitizes us and makes us all less compassionate towards each other - and this is the time when we need to be the most compassionate. I simply refuse to stoop to that level.

But people seem to really get into these shows. I hear everyone talk about it and they get so wrapped up in them - almost like the events they see on TV are actually happening to them. But to me, like most things in America, these forms of entertainment are nothing but distractions. I’d even add sports into the mix as well - and I am a huge sports fan! We watch these shows just so we can “pacify” ourselves. It’s all just so we can avoid thinking about the things in our lives that we’re afraid to deal with. When you get right down to it, that’s why I watch sports.

I have also not watched the above shows. I must also admit (confess???) that when I heard about the concept of the show, it seemed like a cool idea. But I am very susceptible to being ‘too cool for school’(or TCFS) and dismissing things that might popular to the masses. Being TCFS can save a person from embarrassing events like line dancing. It can also leave you out of having conversations with people you might have nothing else in common with.

So, while I may never watch Survior (I, II, II, ect.) and enjoy any group discussions involving the series, I will get to look down on those that will! So that’s a plus! :slight_smile:

Part of me says “It’s just TV - ignore it and it will go away”, and the other part of me sees the seeds of a “Running Man”-like society developing as a result of the hugely popular reality-based television shows (or are the shows so popular because we’re there already?). I don’t watch much of this kinda stuff (I’ve gotten hooked on The Mole and that’s it), but it makes me quite uneasy to think that they are not just a passing fad - that they may indeed be the future of home entertainment. Can I be overly dramatic here and say it looks to me like this type of show is another nail in the coffin of a decent, progressive, intelligent society?

B_P said:

I suppose this could be said for the entire television and film industry; it’s all a form of escapism.

featherlou said

I really thought this was coming right up a few years ago, when American Gladiators was all the rage.
Maybe we are there now.

If Survivor gets everyone (pro or con, watcher or boycotter) talking about Survivor, can that be considered changing the face of American Pop Culture?

I don’t pay much attention to pop culture (not owning a TV helps :)), but I’ve seen the escalation of this kind of “reality” crap for years. Think of all the true crime docu-shows, “Cops” (bad boys bad boys) type shows. As featherlou says, another nail in the coffin…

[sub]I admit to watching Cops, when I get the chance.[/sub]