Friday, February 08, 2008

Survivor Micronesia: No, they're not as stupid as they look

Dammit, they sucked me back in, at least for a little while. Spoilers for last night's "Survivor: Micronesia" premiere coming up just as soon as I find ancillary uses for my glasses...

Thank God! I don't know how much was editing and how much was seemingly intelligent players like Jonathan and Yau-Man and Ami briefly having a brain fart, but when it looked like Fairplay might actually survive the first Tribal Coucil, I wanted to throttle the lot of them. Simply put, when you have two groups of four and two wild cards, you do not go and invest the power in the biggest sleazebag -- not to mention one of the two or three best manipulators -- in the history of the game. You don't even entertain the possibility. You grab Cirie (who can be sneaky herself, but not on the level of a Fairplay), you target Jonnny and, at worst, deal with the Purple Rock of Death. But you get that little %&^*^(! off the island as fast as you possibly can and deal with the young lovers later. Johnny might have stirred up some drama had he stuck around longer -- and provoked more bitchy exchanges between him and Probst -- but it would have made everyone else look like morons.

As a Cirie fan, I was disappointed she barely spoke in this one, but now she's the swing vote, and I imagine she'll be swinging over to the older group. And since I'm a fan of Jonathan and Yau-Man as well, that works just fine for me.

While we all know that "Survivor: All-Stars" was a disaster and the Stephenie/Bobby Jon experiment from Guatemala wasn't much better (and prevented the producers from using Stephenie here as the Palau representative, while we have two people from Vanuatu), I can see this one working. By making half the players newbies, it takes away the country club aspect of the original all-star season, where half the players weren't trying and the rest took things way too personally when they got outplayed.

The episode spent more time with the losing team, as always, and while I'm more invested in the fates of the returning players, I'd like to get to know the fan team beyond the fact that Kathy seems like one of the more socially inept players in a long time. I don't know that Yau-Men intended to give the immunity idol to the other team's weakest link (he was pretty tired from bashing Fairplay's skull in -- which was an awesome moment -- and may have given it to whoever got close to him first), but it's definitely an advantage for the favorites team, because the fans won't be able to have an easy vote-off whenever they first go to tribal.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

Someone needs to make a music video of Yau-Man body-slamming F*ckface into that boat because that was the most awesome Survivor moment yet.

I couldn't believe both sides wanted to make deals with Fairplay over Cirie. I can see the Lovers Alliance being too distracted by hormones to think clearly, the others? DUH! So glad they all took Dalton at his word and booted his ass off. Now I can enjoy the rest of the season!

Kathy on the Fans teams is clueless. I felt bad for poor Chet having to listen to her for even a few seconds. She's a fan, yet somehow managed to forget that Survivor is a social game? WTH? Haven't figured out the others yet, except that there is a lot of eye candy this season, which pleases me.

Interesting that the only African Americans this time are on the favorites. That fan side is too white. So much for the diversity of the past two seasons :(

I hope Poverty goes next. She annoys me to no end, and she is ruining James for me (Amanda is also ruining Ozzy, bleah). I'll take bitchy Ami over either of them any day, and I hated Ami on her season!

Anonymous said...
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Alan Sepinwall said...

No links to spoiler sites, guys. If you want to go looking for spoilers, I can't stop anybody, but I'm not going to make it any easier.

SMM said...

I'm guessing they didn't show us anything having to do with Cirie in order to create some suspense that Eliza might be in danger -- if she had linked up with the young favorites, we would have seen that.

I have high hopes for this season. It's such a pleasure that all the players are immediately on the same page as the jaded viewer -- make shelter, make fire, make alliances. We don't need to watch them figure out what we already know. And it was nice to see people really happy to be there.

Taleena said...

I am happy to have Jonathan and YauMan back on my screen rationally evaluating the game and motives of other players. I am forced to concede that Fairplay made the most salient remark of the evening when he said: "Why are they listening to me, didn't they see my season?"

I am so Done done done with the lover alliance already. Two socially smart women manipulating the two strongest men. Ozzy and James are not even strsategy smart the way that Rob M. was - yech.

Of the Newbies only Mark the firefighter stood out and the big haired talky chick. Mark's quick assessment of the Survivor Type Profiles had me cracking up.

Nicole said...

I was wondering why there was no Cirie, but figured it could only be good news for her in that she would play a bigger role in later episodes. It really doesn't make sense not to use her as your ally because she is much more trustworthy than JF.

I have read speculation on other boards that there was some sort of prearrangement to have Fairplay quit early on so that they could have a "name" player and not annoy Probst too much. I don't know if the Favourites initial loss was planned, but after that, there was no real reason for Fairplay to quit at this point since Pavarti was the target.It's been awhile since they have had a woman over 40 who wasn't really mental.. I don't know how old Cirie is, but I am rooting for her and Jonathan at this point.

Eliza was a little too obvious in her scheming, and while I think her alliance is a good one for now, she reminds too much of the annoying law students that I went to school with, who think they are more impressive than they actually are.

I presume they will focus on more than Krazy Kathy next week so we can get a sense of the "fans".

Mac said...

I know they invited Tom and he said no, but why not Ian from Palau?

Goodbye, Jonny Giveshimselfaname. Please drop off the face of the earth again.

dark tyler said...

What was that? I think it was pretty obvious that they got Fairplay only to have him quit early for some reason. If his girlfriend actually is pregnant, then I just can't see him wanting to go back to the show for a whole month, so he probably agreed to go knowing that he'd leave immediately.

Which is a pity, really, because he's very entertaining, for me. Oh well, at least my other two favorites, Yau-Man and Jonathan seem very well positioned. Haven't seen that Eliza dudette's season, so I don't know how she's like in the game, but I think I know the type. Remember Deena from season 6? The one who is so sure that controls everything only in reality she's out by episode 7? I think that's going to happen here.

I also liked Amanda so much more before she decided to model her strategy after Parvatti, apparently. Ugh.

Nicole said...

It's funny you mention Deena, because she happens to be a lawyer too. Lawyers / law students have not faired very well in Survivor because of their tendencies to be blowhards that believe they are awesome at "strategising". I think Yul is probably the exception to that and he did well partly because he was humble and didn't make himself a target until it was obvious he was good at the physical challenges.

I too am already tired of the showmances because Rob and Amber did it, and it reinforces stereotypes that don't need any more reinforcing on television. I don't think it's going to help any of the 4 very much because the 5 others already have picked up on it (leading me to believe that neither of the couples are sincerely interested in each other since they both happened so quickly) and they will pick the couples apart as soon as possible so that there is no Rob and Amber repeat.

Anonymous said...

"I know they invited Tom and he said no, but why not Ian from Palau?"

This is speculation, but I think they didn't ask Ian because he quit in Palau in order to keep Tom and Katie from hating him forever. That made him a good soul and a terrible player; Probst wasn't going to ensure a spot for someone who would have folded up like an accordion the second a top-nothc manipulative player (like Ami, Jonathan, JFP if he hadn't quit himself, or anyone from the Fans who has those abilities) upbraided him for daring to play the game to win.
It was rumored that Coby and Janu from Palau were in the running for spots when everyone thought it would be 20 returning Favorites and not the 10/10 split they ended up with. I also heard that Shane from Exile Island was one of the 10 folks who got cut before the final group headed to Micronesia.
Re the episode: It wasn't that great. They can pretty much replace JFP's swing vote role with Cirie's the next time the Favorites head to TC. I did think it was interesting that while we didn't see much of Cirie, it doesn't seem like she was on the chopping block in any case. And as for Fan Kathy...I've never seen anyone make such a bad first impression in this game, except for maybe Wanda on Palau and we know what happened to her!

Anonymous said...

It was rumored that Coby and Janu from Palau were in the running for spots when everyone thought it would be 20 returning Favorites and not the 10/10 split they ended up with. I also heard that Shane from Exile Island was one of the 10 folks who got cut before the final group headed to Micronesia.

I would have loved to have seen Coby again! Shane, OTOH, needs to go back under the rock with JFP.

Nicole said...

If Shane had returned, we would have been able to confirm whether or not his craziness was actually because of tobacco withdrawal and not natural insanity.

I do have to say that the immunity challenge seemed more complex than usual and it was somewhat fun to watch.. well except for Eliza getting smacked in the head. It could have been serious.

Mac said...

Wait, they didn't want Ian because he was a quitter, and they were considering Janu?!?! Coby, on the other hand, would have been fun.

Jonny Loser is now the third all-star to quit. I think that's about the same as the number of first-time players to quit, am I right?

Anonymous said...

Not sure how much I buy that "World's Greatest Dad" routine. Fairplay left for the island not long after his surgeries from the Danny Bonaduce incident and the producers would not let him bring his Vicodin. That face slam into the boat must have killed him and I am sure it was pain that drove him to quit.

Anonymous said...

Alan, don't you agree with Jonathan's rationale in "why wouldn't you want to keep Fairplay around?" He even said he'd take him to the end and I tend to agree with that.

Unless he pulled a 180 and became a real sweetheart to everybody, there is enough bad blood in people's mouths that they'd probably vote for whoever was grafted to him purely on principal.


Alan Sepinwall said...

Alan, don't you agree with Jonathan's rationale in "why wouldn't you want to keep Fairplay around?" He even said he'd take him to the end and I tend to agree with that.

I just think Jonathan underestimates how much of Fairplay's play would be motivated by ego and selfishness. He's too unpredictable to rely on, even for a few weeks, much less to keep around as a goat for the finale. When Yul wanted to keep Jonathan around even though everyone else hated him, he said (rightly) that Jonathan was such a rational player that Yul could anticipate his moves ahead of time. Fairplay was just too much of a wild card.

Anonymous said...


it wasn't a rumor about tom turning down a spot, this info came from dalton ross's preview in EW.

also, based on the probst/fairplay hatred in the EW article, it seems like probst only allowed fairplay to come on the show if they guaranteed he'd be out at the first opportunity. i wouldn't put it past the producers to engineer something like that.

Anonymous said...

Is that EW article online? Thanks!

Anonymous said...

sorry dez, doesn't appear to be, and i already recycled it! :)

Anonymous said...

Drat! Do you remember what it said about Probst's hatred for Dalton? Other than he hates him? :-)