Tag Archives: survivor

Marital justice

As some know, I’ve had some bumps in the road lately, some very saddening.  And yet, even at such times, something funny can happen, and if one can’t still laugh, one simply rejects whatever the cosmos is doing to try to cheer one up. Not wise.

Tonight Deb and I were watching the Survivor reunion episode, where Colton had every chance to prove that he was something other than a twit, but wasn’t strong enough to do so.  Too bad.  At one commercial, rather than mute the TV and try to avoid seeing silent car advertising, I got up to hit the restroom.  Now, Deb at times thinks it’s great fun to block me from whatever I want to get done at a commercial.  I guess it’s just her way of being playful, but it isn’t always my favorite joke.  So, tonight, she hurried into her slippers hoping to get in my way, but even with bad knees I was too swift and agile for her.  Around the corner I darted.

She does not habitually admit defeat at that point.  As we all know, to urinate, men typically stand before a toilet and lift the lid (which we had put down previously, as we are admonished without cease, by guess whom).  I did in the typical fashion.  Deb sandwiched herself between me and the commode, confident I would not, well, just go anyway.  (I’ve been tempted a time or two.) I gave her the “really?” look.  No effect.

With an air of exaggerated defiance and satisfaction, she prepared to assume the traditional female posture of urination on a commode–in such a hurry that she didn’t stop to consider that the seat was up.  I saw this immediately but said not a word, of course.  Down she sat–on the icy porcelain, the thing no female wants to sit on, for several easily grasped reasons.  Her eyes went wide and she bounded up as I started laughing.  No normal laugh, but a belly laugh, the kind that doubles one over.

She used a profane term for me that means the rectal opening, and also called me a ‘meany’ as she fled.  There I stood, bent over laughing, trying to figure out how it was that I was the ‘meany’ and other choice terms, when it had been her giving me trouble in the first place.

“On the blog!” I called out after her.

“No way!” she exclaimed.

“You gotta own it, dear,” I rejoined.

Sure enough, after the show when I headed downstairs with my hasty notes, she tried to block that also.  However, I threatened to just go to her computer and post it, and she yielded with dire threats.

They didn’t work.  And I had a very difficult time typing this, because every time I think about it, I start laughing my head off.

Survivor: Redemption Island, episode 2

Still not sold on this Redemption Island concept.  The strings of Survivor are really showing.

I have a high school friend (pretty small number that can claim that) who works in Hollywood.  It was his dream, and I give him major credit:  he made it happen.  He’s mostly film crew and lighting.  Anyway, I asked him about this reality stuff, and he explained that it was mainly about money.  It’s cheaper to film pre-law students from Mississippi than to hire Jennifer Aniston.  Okay, understandable.

What too much of the audience does not realize:  these days, a good percentage of Survivor players are recruited.  Now, why would they do that? It’s like this.  Average typical Joes and Janes are a pain in the butt from Hollywood’s standpoint.  They don’t always realize that their job is to create good TV, and they may not be tractable.  But if you recruit a couple of semi-notorious past contestants, and a bunch of people with at least some hope of making a mark in show business (rather than winning a mill and then finishing law school in Mississippi), they’ll play ball with the producers.

The benefit here is less work necessary in editing and production. Sure, producers can create a Frankenbyte to make people say anything, but it’s nice when the cast is tractable.  “Could you do that one again?”  “Sure, no problem.”  As opposed to:  “Are you kidding? You filmed me taking a leak.  Go to hell.”

At any rate, that’s where we are at.  Oh, we have the obligatory old white redneck, plus all the other stereotypes.  Lots of young women in bikinis, can’t even tell them apart, don’t even care.  It’s wandered far afield from the original concept, and as ever, the producers don’t realize that the original concept was what made it interesting, and that all that is needed to keep it fresh is new crops of players with new behaviors.  Nope, just have to mess with it.  Hollywood, once again running true to form:  the longer Hollywood holds anything, the more it cheapens it.

I see this as the eternal impulse to “change it up.” We deal with it often in editing as well, including the writer who self-edits eternally and never pulls the publication trigger. At some point, the thing’s got to be done.

Not saying that Hollywood should never evolve its reality shows, of course. Tastes can change in twenty years. What I’m saying is that a predictable editing of the concept begins far too early, and mainly because producers cannot resist tinkering–“making it their own.” That, I think, is more about them than about the viewer.