Sunday, March 16, 2014
I'm a really big fan of 'Survivor'.
But what is it that makes the show still fascinating after twenty plus seasons? How can the show have that much longevity? Most shows get boring already after few seasons.
I think one of the biggest reasons for the show still being entertaining is that Survivor manages to be about the basics. It's about fairly normal people trying to 'survive', outwit, outplay and outlast others.
The show manages to keep it simple. It's about figuring out how to not get voted out. It's about getting along with people that you hadn't met before - which of course is a lot more difficult than one might think.
All this means that you need a lot of social skills - an ability to see how others think - in order to advance in the game. Being a dumb isn't a plus in Survivor, although playing dumb usually or at least sometimes is.
In this game you not only need social skills, but you need to posses athletic skills and puzzle solving skills too, since in every episode the survivors try to win contests as a team or as an individual.
Every season has its heroes and its villains. Some people you like, some people you hate. Some people you root for (the underdogs), some people you can't wait to see go home and get voted out.
Nevertheless, the most important moment in the game is when the contestants get to the tribal council. Our likable host Jeff Probst gets to shine and we get to relate to the players even more.
After the question & answer section, players cast their ballots and vote who's going home next. This is where we sometimes see epic moments when people get blindsided.
Even though the sole survivor wins the million dollar prize, I don't think the show is really that much about winning that money. We don't care about the money. We care about the people. At least I do.
In many ways, as a writer I think that best moments on Survivor are at least as good, if not better than the best moments that drama writers can provide us. Survivor makes you care.
All in all, for me Survivor is still must see tv - and seeing beautiful places like the beach from Thailand on my big screen tv makes me think that I'm part of this all too.