TV Show Recaps

From the first season of Survivor (Summer, 2000):

Well, well, well. I guess Rich correctly interpreted the Survivor motto: “Outwit, Outplay, Outlast.” He sure did — I gotta hand it to him. He outplayed his fellow campers by providing them with daily protein, he outwitted them by forming a deviously conceived and executed Alliance™ and, finally, he outlasted them all by winning the million bucks. As much as I’m loathe to admit it, Rich did deserve to win. This was the kind of “competition” wherein the “nicest” person wasn’t going to win. Not when you have to keep voting the people you live with off the island. This was a contest motivated by greed — and greed doesn’t always bring out the best in people. I’m not implying that Rich is, at his core, an evil and greedy person. But he sure knew how the game had to play out. He’d already mapped his strategy as soon as the Tagi raft hit the beach. And didn’t I say early on that Rich would win?

So am I glad that Rich won? No, not really. I’d rather have seen Gervase or Colleen win — but that’s because I truly liked them. Not that Rich didn’t have his good points. He’s smart and witty, for one thing. I mean, this was a competition — I’m sure he wouldn’t treat his actual friends in that way. I hope. But we were all bound to dislike Rich — after all, as soon as we learned that he was a “corporate trainer,” we certainly didn’t get a warm&fuzzy from him instantly. But I’m glad that he’s going to do something noble with his hard-won lucre: a camp for kids. And knowing that last, I’m starting to feel glad that he won — after the fact. Corporate dude that he is, I’m sure that beneath the loose flab beats the heart of a nice guy. I hope.

And, hey, Kelly gets a hundred grand — not a bad return for winning three Immunity Challenges™ in a row. And wasn’t Susan’s vitriolic “statement” just a tad embarrassing to watch? Talk about a greed/angst spillover-bleedout. Ugh. And of course any number of time-worn clichés would apply: like…ummm…the “kettle calling the pot black” for starters. Wellllll, Sue, it takes one to know one, I reckon. I think you did your fair share of backstabbing as well. Like my man Gervase said: “That’s what in my town we call a sore loser. Because when Sue was doing the backstabbing, the lying, the throwing the knives everywhere, she was happy. If she was sitting in Kelly’s spot right now, she wouldn’t be thinking about nothing but this million dollars and that just shows you how trite she is. So, Kelly, I hope you win it and after you win it you can stuff it in Sue’s face.”

Susan’s final words were the meanest, nastiest I’ve ever heard: “You lied to me, which showed me the true person you are. You’re very two-faced and manipulative to get where you are… that’s why you fail all the time. If I ever pass you along in life again and you are laying there dying of thirst, I would not give you a drink of water. I would let the vultures take you and do whatever they want with you, with no ill regret. You will not get my vote — my vote will go to Richard. And I hope that is the one vote that makes you lose the money.” Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. And not so very long ago, Susan was blubbering tearfully how “close” she felt to Kelly, how they were “sisters.” Except for that million dollars standing between them…

And so we must wait until after the Superbowl for Survivor II (in the Australian outback). Now that the parameters of the game have been set (unofficially) by Rich, its a safe bet that as soon as the new Survivors are chosen and dropped off in the middle of nowhere, they’ll be eyeballing their fellow campers, sizing each other up. The Alliance™ will now be de riguer. There won’t be as many surprises this time — but it’ll be no less intriguing.

Outwit, Outplay, Outlast = The Alliance™. Richard Hatch’s legacy.

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