September 15, 2011

Did you see that Harvard law student — John Cochran — on "Survivor"?

The new season started last night.



For some reason, he blurted out, at the first opportunity, that he's watched every episode of the show (that's some 20+ seasons) and that he's a Harvard law student, which — you'd think he'd know if he's such a sharp student of the show — makes him look unreliable and threatening. Plus, he made a spectacle of his lack of "Survivor"-level physical beauty and athleticism. Well, maybe he has some genius strategy and making elementary blunders is some sort of sleight-of-hand misdirection.

Over at the Television Without Pity forum on last night's episode:
I didn't mind "Cochran" so much until his little self-pity rant where he bemoaned the unfairness of being voted out "before the three girls." I mean, ooh, "girls" might be better than you are? The shame, the shame!...

[Different commenter:] I was kind of rooting for Cochran until he threw in that "girl" bit. Was he at a different challenge than the rest of us? Did he not notice that the GIRL, Mikayla, was seriously kicking ass?

[Yet another commenter:] Trust me, they are giving Cochran MAJOR grief at Harvard Law School for that "girls" comment. Not cool.
Cochran assumes he is charmingly witty — because that's what he needs in place of looks. But that doesn't mean people see the humor. He probably intended the "girls" remark to be cute and self-deprecating, but those show fans didn't hear it that way.

So... are we rooting for the law student or not?

Speaking of rooting, Meade and I were going back and forth between "Survivor" and the Brewers game. Let's just say that it helped a bit to have the South Pacific as leavening in the Milwaukee experience.

53 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

No. I did not. Is Survivor still on the air. Wow.

So where in the South Pacific are they?

traditionalguy said...

But was your keg showing?

Kit said...

We didn't watch, but what you're describing sounds like the same impression I got from the opening scene of 'The Social Network'.

As for the Brewers game, yeah, (yawn) we just went to bed early.

ndspinelli said...

The Minnesota smoke is causing the Brewers to choke..and as predited by Trooper York, KRod is being disruptive. However, it is not time to panic...yet.

The Althouse residence is a Nielsen first..Brewers/Survivor flipping. Do you alternate between beer/popcorn and Ripple/pork rinds?

EDH said...

Great, a white lawyer named Johnny Cochran, with all the flamboyance of Woody Allen.

Does "Survivor" provide sun screen to the melanin-challeged?

MarkG said...

I haven't watched Survivor in ten years, but am wondering if the contestants have finally figured out that they need to learn how to build a fire before they show up.

Scott M said...

Can someone please explain to me how someone can get through watching more than a minute of reality TV without losing the will to live?

Chip S. said...

Cochran assumes he is charmingly witty — because that's what he needs in place of looks.

Hey now....

Robert Burnham said...

If you ever meet anyone who went to Harvard, they'll make sure you know about it within 5 minutes of meeting the person.

Ann Althouse said...

"Does "Survivor" provide sun screen to the melanin-challeged?"

I've wondered about that. You never see them putting on sunscreen, but they are in a lot of sun. There is sometimes talk of them having "comfort items" of their own selection. Presumably, sun screen is one of them.

There are some physical issues that are never talked about. Like where's the bathroom and what do the females do when they get their period. I don't think there's ever been a Survivor who excused a bad performance in a challenge by talking about some sort of excretory or menstrual problem.

Ann Althouse said...

"Hey now...."

He's the one putting down his looks. He made a big deal about how awful his body was, when they were stripping down to their underpants for a swim. But he was clowning, and his body wasn't that bad.

Ann Althouse said...

"If you ever meet anyone who went to Harvard, they'll make sure you know about it within 5 minutes of meeting the person."

And you know that because... they always do, except the ones who don't, who don't exist.

Scott M said...

"Does "Survivor" provide sun screen to the melanin-challeged?"

Oh, here we go....

BJK said...

In partial defense of the Cochran, one of the girls overpromised and under-delivered, and the oldest woman on the team had a bit of a breakdown after one night on the island. (We can argue about whether the older lady is 'one of the girls' - since she doesn't have the bikini body to match the rest of her compatriots - but I'm willing to group her in to make him look a bit better.)

Regardless, I'm far more comfortable with Cochran's condescention than I am watching Young Hantz ogling the lingerie football player.

Ann Althouse said...

Actually, I've known a Harvard Law grads who've made a point of withholding the name of the law school when they meet someone. They'd say I went to law school in the northeast or some such thing. Maybe that's an old fashioned thing that was done decades ago. I'm old. I don't know what's happening with people who've graduated more recently.

Maybe that's a female thing though. Women holding back from overpowering men they'd like to attract. I've known women law professors who, asked what they do, will say "I'm a teacher." Again, I'm thinking of the way people talked years ago, maybe around 1990.

Bender said...

I pretty much stopped watching when they essentially moved from mere alliances to cliques of punk MTV-types.

Ann Althouse said...

Lingerie football player... who knew there was such a thing? And yet it is the perfect occupation for the ideal "Survivor" player.

How many viewers, after hearing "lingerie football player" did a Google image search?

Chip S. said...

@Althouse--Reread my comment and think more deeply.

Scott M said...

I'm thinking of the way people talked years ago, maybe around 1990

Holy shit. I'm old. Thanks, Ann.

Ann Althouse said...

"I pretty much stopped watching when they essentially moved from mere alliances to cliques of punk MTV-types."

Too many interchangeable bikini wearers and slabs of male torso? The editing takes care of a lot of the boringness of these folks as they wait their turn at rejection.

Ann Althouse said...

"Holy shit. I'm old. Thanks, Ann."

Well, I was 39 in 1990. I also remember how people talked in 1970.

Chip S. said...

Lingerie football is just filler until the new season of women's beach volleyball.

Ann Althouse said...

"@Althouse--Reread my comment and think more deeply."

Thanks for imitating The Althouse.

Scott M said...

Well, I was 39 in 1990. I also remember how people talked in 1970.

Holy shit. You're old. Thanks, Ann.

Chip S. said...

Thanks for imitating The Althouse.

Been waiting to use that one for a while.

I thought standard usage was "La Althouse," though.

MarkG said...

There are some physical issues that are never talked about.

In the second season, in Australia, one of the teams won a feast in a challenge. They promptly got diarrhea after being hungry for so long. One of guys says, "I smell like ass."

As far as hygiene goes, their hair always looked pretty good for people in that situation. But who wants to look at people on TV with greasy, dirty hair.

MadisonMan said...

It surprised me how long Survivor has been on.

Patrick said...

The Brewers need to pick it up here. I don't want them limping into the post season. I know they won't be plaing like they did in August, but they need to play better than .500 from here. Good season, though.

Bender said...

It was around Panama that I got too disgusted to watch anymore, where we had a punk whining crybaby vs. the Navy pilot who dominated the challenges.

Ever since, tribal councils routinely voted out strong powerful people who could win challenges and with real survival skills in favor of moronic pretty-people.

I would like to see them stop with the Real World and Jersey Shore idiocy and have instead a show having to deal with real survival situations.

edutcher said...

Should have stayed with the Brewskis, although, with that headline, "Brewers flat and lackluster in loss", they should have borrowed a keg from one of the frat parties and saved those kids from the Downtown Alcohol Policy Coordinator.

Ann Althouse said...

Lingerie football player... who knew there was such a thing?

You need to get out more. Or watch more TV.

(I'm sure Meade had no idea they existed, either)

Chip S. said...

Thanks for imitating The Althouse.

Been waiting to use that one for a while.

I thought standard usage was "La Althouse," though.


It is.

The Althouse is the form used in legal documents.

Pastafarian said...

I remember how disappointed I was with this show when it first aired.

I still watched the first season, but I had expected it to be actual, you know, Survivor: Where people had to fend for themselves, hunt and gather their own food, build their own shelter. There are minor elements of this, but it's clear that they receive quite a bit of assistance.

It would be interesting to see who they'd vote off of that particular show. I don't think votes would depend so much upon alliances and likes and dislikes, as the ability to fish and make fire.

Pastafarian said...

Bender -- jinx, you owe me a coke.

There are a couple of shows like this already, but they don't have enough lingerie football players. I think we need to take the best elements from these other survival shows, and Survivor.

We should produce this, Bender. Surely one of you Althouse Rethuglikkkan fatcats owns your own tropical island, that you'd loan out to us for a month or so.

We can even pull a few contestants from the ranks of the Althouse hillbillies. Freeman Hunt, lyssa, and a few others would help aesthetically; AllenS could be the grumpy old guy; Trooper York for comic relief.

Chip S. said...

Opening scene of Survivor, as written and directed by Pastafarian:

John Cochran: Do you expect me to compete with girls?

Jeff Probst: No, Mr. Cochran, I expect you to die.


Ratings!

MadisonMan said...

That is the best line in all of the Bond films, especially Auric's rejoinder.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Well, maybe he has some genius strategy and making elementary blunders is some sort of sleight-of-hand misdirection.

It appears that elementary blunders are all they teach at Harvard Law.

Sixty Grit said...

Twenty seasons does not mean twenty years. They film and broadcast two seasons per calendar year. Russell is the best player ever.

Fred4Pres said...

I have known some Harvard alumni who made it a point not to raise the issue. If you brought it up fine, but they never did first. So there are exceptions to the rule.

Amy said...

Re the personal issues (toilet, menstruation, etc.) - i have always wondered about how they are handled as well. Jeff Probst has a blog - at www.jeffprobst.com - where he answers questions and blogs about each episode, I find it very interesting.

Someone asked him that question (about bodily functions) once and he answered that question by saying very clearly that no provisions are made about any of these issues and it is up to the contestants to figure them out.

I have wondered if women could bring tampons as a comfort item or what they do otherwise. It is never mentioned, but at 39 days, it has to be a factor for some of the women.

Re Cochran - that was painful. His neuroses were so evident, right up there throbbing at the surface for all to see. Ouch.

Does he remind you of your students? He seemed like SUCH A KID!!!!

Chip S. said...

So there are exceptions to the rule.

In my experience these aren't exceptions; they're following the rule. It seems that when asked where they go to school, HU types usually look all coy and say, "near Boston."

Which is much worse, IMO.

galdosiana said...

I actually thought Cochran was pretty funny. But even funnier was the look on Jeff's face when he was told to call one of the contestants "Papa Bear."

I love Jeff.

ws4whgfb said...

"So... are we rooting for the law student or not?"

No, we're not. We are not rooting for anyone. We don't watch TV. We don't understand how anyone can watch TV. We don't like it.

DADvocate said...

I think I've watched one episode of "Survivor" a long time ago. Anyone who watches every epsisode of a long running show the first time it aired is suspect or worse.

I've probably watched every episode of The Andy Griffith Show, but that's after catching random reruns on cable for years.

Bill said...

'I didn't mind "Cochran" so much until his little self-pity rant where he bemoaned the unfairness of being voted out "before the three girls."'

The first thing we do, let's vote off all the lawyers.

ic said...

Another Harvard Law student sashays into a situation he knows nothing about and behaves like he is a "big f*cking deal".

luagha said...

Actually, after the first season, the contestants have all been given a course in making fire in the wild before they go on the show. The results?

At least one of the women from the show said, "I was a champ at at doing it in the class. But in the wild, all the wood was wet! It would not catch for anything." And the show showed them trying to make fire and failing for hours.

Peano said...

So... are we rooting for the law student or not?

What kind of morons waste time watching that stuff?

Scott M said...

What kind of morons waste time watching that stuff?

Most of them, I assume, have hot pokers shoved in their eyes and using machines to breath.

William said...

I think he spent a lot of time watching Jesse Eisenberg movies to master the mannerisms and inflections. No one in real life is that flamingly nerdy....Well, if he does win the game and goes on to graduate from Harvard Law School, he will have amassed a more substantial resume than our current President. Survivor contestant, lingerie football player, community organizer: they're all pretty much the same thing.

Indigo Red said...

I'm not rooting for Cochran. Folks who give themselves nicknames, even if it's part of their real name, seem disingenuous and a bit desperate ('Indigo Red' is not a nickname, but an internet i.d. No one calls me Indigo Red in real life.) Not rooting for Semhar, either. She shouldn't even be in this game, except to keep John from being first out.

Following the pattern of Survivor, the most annoying people are again voted out first.

Steve Austin said...

Late to this thread as I watched it tonight.

The contestants do have access to sunscreen, contact lens solution and a couple other small hygiene items although no soap or shampoo.

Agree with the comments above. I don't like the fact these Jersey Shore cliques develop to take over the game.

I like Coach though. His tribe has some good people it appears. I hope they win.

Paul Zrimsek said...

I'd google "lingerie football player" if I dared, but it would probably give me a bunch of pictures of Joe Namath.

Charla said...

Wow, it is amazing that he had the time to be involved in a TV show. The exposure can definitely help his career when he turns pro, but he does have to pass the bar exams first before getting there.

Charla Mcguyer

Guy said...

That guy is a true intellectual. His essay about "Survivor" won in Harvard Law School. Maybe he's a fan of the show, which paved a way for him being a contender. He's a real treat to the other castaways, I believe.

Guy Chambliss