Did you watch? I haven't watched "Survivor" since the first season, when I hit the wall of boredom at a competition over who could stand on a stump longest. But I was intrigued by the daring decision to divide the contestants into race-based teams. How would that work? In some ways, race is neutralized, because teammates voting against each other have only those of their own race to turn against. On the other hand, the team members had the burden of knowing that millions of people would be watching them and thinking about their entire race.
It was interesting the way the Hispanic team seemed to pull together right away and simply feel advantaged. The black team felt team spirit and actually stopped to do a cheer about how they were all black, but they didn't really pull together. Nathan interviewed that black people don't like to be told what to do, and two of the women got very close quickly, leaving the third woman feeling like an outsider. The Asian team took account of how they really weren't a uniform group. They were from different parts of Asia, and that mattered. The Vietnamese immigrant, Cao Boi, called attention to his outsider status: He really belongs with hippies. In the funniest scene, he cures another guy of a headache by pulling the "bad wind" out of his face and leaving a red mark. Meanwhile, on the white team, they catch two chickens and a woman called Flicka bumbles into letting them escape. And they're all scantily clad and really cold, so they form a "cuddle puddle" to sleep (and get sexual).
The challenge was complicated and way more interesting than standing on a stump, and it was pretty exciting. I liked the strategizing leading up to the council, and I liked the exile island and the way the exilee was chosen. So far, then, I'm hooked.
What do you think?
UPDATE: CBS has made the episode available on line here. So now you can't say you missed it but you have some opinions in general about what they've done, dividing people up by race. Well, you can still say you don't want to watch it, but you still have an opinion. And I'm not going to say you can't say that. CBS would like that too much. And I myself am known for having opinions on movies I haven't seen and books I haven't read. I've been criticized for it, and I've defended myself. Figuring out what not to put your time into is a very important skill, and explaining how you do it is worthwhile. I can totally understand shunning this show on general principle. In fact, I can totally understand shunning all reality shows and (even more) shunning all television. Personally, I watch less and less TV -- as I become more and more absorbed into the internet -- and a primary reason for watching what I do watch is that I enjoy blogging about it. By that standard, I loved watching the entirety of the political conventions in 2004, when they were really nearly unwatchable except in short doses, because it was fabulous raw material for blogging. Of course, that means that the mere fact that I'm blogging about a show can't be read as a recommendation that you ought to watch.
UPDATE: There are two law school grads on the show, both on the Asian team: Yul Kwon and Becky Lee.