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Wed Jun 28, 2017, 02:11 PM

The Desensitization of "Survivor" Fans

(Does this help explain how a reality TV celebrity won a presidential election?)

Source: Medium, by "Survivor" fan extraordinaire Ianic Roy Richard

Picture sitting down to watch the newest season of "Survivor" and getting angry when somebody forms an alliance. They might be the most basic form of "Survivor" strategy in 2017, something that is necessary to win the game, but it wasn’t always like that. Back in the simpler days of "Survivor: Borneo," alliances were seen as almost immoral and unfair. For forming the first "Survivor" alliance to hold any water, Richard Hatch and his partners were almost universally hated and the inept Pagong tribe members were seen as the season’s heroes.

*****

Then, this:



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The funny thing is that this moment also desensitized the fans to pretty much anything that could happen down the road. It was the watershed moment that would eventually be seen as the idealization of “anything to win”. If the dead grandma lie was unpopular back then, it has become almost as popular in retrospect when people look back and see it as a brilliant strategic maneuver from a brilliant strategic mind. Two seasons later, Chris Daugherty would pull off a crazy come from behind win in "Survivor: Vanuatu" by lying through his teeth for the last couple of episodes and at final tribal council. Like Fairplay, he was hated for his gameplay at the time and since then, fans look back on him with reverence. Over time, the audience has adjusted their understanding of the game to what they see currently and it colors the show’s past differently as well.

*****

Much like the contestants themselves, the fans have evolved with the strategy of the game. The more we become versed in how to best play "Survivor," the less we react to big moments with anger or disgust. As of now, we may have reached a point where the audience is smaller but much more knowledgeable in terms of strategy and a moment like the dead grandma lie could never become the sensation that it once was. At least we’ll always have the original moment to look back on… “She died dude”.

Read it all at: https://medium.com/a-tribe-of-one/the-desensitization-of-survivor-fans-e5e7eb78c3ef

26 replies, 2795 views

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Arrow 26 replies Author Time Post
Reply The Desensitization of "Survivor" Fans (Original post)
yallerdawg Jun 2017 OP
MineralMan Jun 2017 #1
brooklynite Jun 2017 #3
Phentex Jun 2017 #8
WoonTars Jun 2017 #19
Blindingly apparent Jun 2017 #10
smirkymonkey Jun 2017 #5
yallerdawg Jun 2017 #7
MineralMan Jun 2017 #22
WoonTars Jun 2017 #18
MineralMan Jun 2017 #23
customerserviceguy Jun 2017 #21
gratuitous Jun 2017 #2
Phentex Jun 2017 #9
gratuitous Jun 2017 #12
WoonTars Jun 2017 #20
cbdo2007 Jun 2017 #4
yallerdawg Jun 2017 #26
sarah FAILIN Jun 2017 #6
hunter Jun 2017 #11
GusBob Jun 2017 #13
geek tragedy Jun 2017 #14
JI7 Jun 2017 #15
yallerdawg Jun 2017 #16
miyazaki Jun 2017 #17
Foamfollower Jun 2017 #24
Orrex Jun 2017 #25

Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:00 PM

1. Do people actually watch that show?

I don't know a single person who does. The word, "reality" has always been misapplied to television programming of that type, I think.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:10 PM

3. "How did Nixon get elected? Nobody --I-- know voted for him!"

About 8 M people watch "Survivor", after 17 years on the air.

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:38 PM

8. Yep. Nobody eats at McDonalds either...

ever

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Response to Phentex (Reply #8)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 08:38 PM

19. I don't know anyone that (admits to) eating there...

...'billions served'....sure, as if....

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Response to brooklynite (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:42 PM

10. If we survive the next 40 years has the country

There will be no one claiming that they voted for Trump either

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:14 PM

5. Never seen it. Never want to.

In fact, I hate reality shows in general. They just bore me for some reason.

The only reality show I could get into is one with a bunch of puppy dogs running around getting into mischief.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:36 PM

7. This show has been on since 2000!

I can't imagine how many millions of people have seen "Survivor."

2000 - Ranked No. 2 TOTAL VIEWERS 28.30 million

2001 - Ranked No. 1 TOTAL VIEWERS 28.8 million

2017 - Ranked No. 16 18-49 DEMO

2017 - Ranked No. 24 TOTAL VIEWERS 10.322 million

http://deadline.com/2017/05/2016-2017-tv-season-ratings-series-rankings-list-1202102340/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Survivor U.S. TV series

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Response to yallerdawg (Reply #7)

Thu Jun 29, 2017, 08:27 AM

22. OK. I've never seen it.

So, you've answered my question.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 08:37 PM

18. Yes. Millions of them.

That's why it's still on the air.

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Response to WoonTars (Reply #18)

Thu Jun 29, 2017, 08:29 AM

23. OK, then. Question answered.

The question wasn't really the point, though.

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Response to MineralMan (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 11:07 PM

21. It's pretty much

the same thing year after year. Reality TV is the equivalent of human cockfighting.

Even American Idol finally foundered after enough years, but I guess it's clones are still surviving. Little children like to watch the same cartoon over and over again.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:10 PM

2. The game has evolved and become more sophisticated

About the only discernible rule is that you can't outright kill the other players. There have been hundreds of contestants over the years, trying different tactics to win. Sometimes getting right out front and playing from strength is successful (Boston Rob on his second time around, exercising tribal authority with an iron hand); other times, it marks a player as "too strong," and the other players get rid of him. Laying low and playing one group against the other can let a player "float" right to the finale; other times, those players are seen as too shady by half, and are voted off the island because nobody trusts them.

Truly new tactics are kind of rare, and cause the show's fans to go into overdrive about whether a tactic was fair or foul. But once it's been done, every serious player who follows will know to look out for the "dead grandmother" gambit. I didn't read the whole article, but it may be useful to point out that Johnny Fairplay's dead grandmother ploy advanced him in the game, but he didn't win it all.

Still enjoy participating in the office pool, and still like watching people make brilliant and bonehead moves.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #2)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:39 PM

9. and I'd argue they have kept it fresh here and there

with rule changes and teams swaps and such. Some seasons have been more interesting than others.

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Response to Phentex (Reply #9)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 04:02 PM

12. Some of the new wrinkles have worked

The producers seem to want to keep players off balance, because the show gets really boring when one solid alliance marches in lockstep to victory. This past season, "Game Changers," actually had a few people follow through on their diary promises to "make a big move." It was really interesting.

Most of the time, when a player tells the camera that he or she is ready shake things up, they lose their nerve and bolt back to the security of their alliance. This season, there was a LOT more discussion by players about feeling or being on the bottom of the totem pole, knowing that once their alliance began to cannibalize itself, they were going to be the first to go. That led to some actual big moves, instead of watching the doomed omega player walk inevitably off the cliff. Tribal councils were also confounding, as more than once the whole group broke into smaller groups to discuss developments. There was no secret at all what the alliances were or who was with whom.

I'm still a bit baffled by the round of six council where Cirie got booted because five (!) immunity idols got played (four hidden idols and the one from the immunity competition), one for each of the other survivors at council. After all the idols came out, Jeff Probst mentioned that none of the votes in the urn were for Cirie, but because everyone else had immunity, she was the player to go, evicted without getting any votes. Going forward, I think the producers might limit the number of hidden immunity idols in play at any one time, because Cirie really got cheated on that.

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Response to gratuitous (Reply #12)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 08:41 PM

20. Yeah, that didn't seem right to me either...

But it was a pretty good season, although I'm getting mighty tired of seeing the same old faces over and over...

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:11 PM

4. There was never a desensitization, only a better understanding of the rules of the game.

Many people go into Survivor with their own interpretation of the "rules" of Suvivor and for some reason there are people who think lying and forming alliances are against the rules, therefore they were shocked when people played that way.

We embrace the "villains" of the game in many cases because they own up to what they are and have shown that they will go above and beyond to win, on the other hand you have people who say they played a moral game and never lied and you go back through the tape and they are lying all over the place, they just think they are better than everyone else.

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Response to cbdo2007 (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 29, 2017, 09:03 AM

26. My point is...

somehow lying has no consequences anymore. It's considered just part of "the game." A strategy to "win."

And "we" as a society, living with this Presidential Apprentice, now consider lying and immorality as part of the "anything goes" philosophy to "win" at any cost.

Of course, our "tribe/alliance" is still deeply offended - but for how long, when this is how we can win?

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:21 PM

6. I had no idea this was still on.

Last I saw it that horrible Elizabeth Hasselbeck was on.

I hate her now, had no idea how horrible she was then.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 03:58 PM

11. I never understood why people follow the "rules" of the game.

Take the producer prisoner, hold him for ransom, go home rich.

If he get's a bit bruised up and bloodied in the process, so what?

That'll be the last time he sells a bullshit show like Survivor again.






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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 04:35 PM

13. That show, reality TV and networks hawking WMDS in Iraq non stop

Is the reason I stopped watching TV

Survivor specially for it's conniving backstabbing

ETA and now we have a reality TV star for president. Us kill your TV types tend to be self righteous but I knew I was on to something.

But I read today, since Trump TV ratings are up like 37%

The media sold us Trump and is cashing in

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 07:24 PM

14. People didn't hate the alliance-making.

 

The outright lying on the other hand ...

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 07:28 PM

15. don't other countries have reality shows also ?

 

I think it still comes down to bigotry and backlash against social changes.

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Response to JI7 (Reply #15)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 07:35 PM

16. It originated in the UK, 1992.

Israel, Bulgaria, South Africa, Philippines, Serbia.

Sounds like a pandemic, doesn't it?

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Wed Jun 28, 2017, 08:25 PM

17. Outwite, outplay, outlast is just a nicer way of saying lie, cheat and steal.

Hmmm, typical of the American way.

Is there any semblance of "surviving" in this show anymore?
The first two or three seasons were at least more gritty than anything i've
seen recently. And recently for me is years.

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Thu Jun 29, 2017, 08:34 AM

24. There is a straight line direct correlation between all "reality television" and O.J. Simpson

 

All "reality television" evolved directly out of the slow motion O.J. Simpson white Bronco chase on television. The ratings gained by endlessly playing the trial and interviews with the lawyers proved that "reality television" was worth billions with little outlay in terms of up front costs.

And yes, this is where the Kardashians gained their claims to fame as it was in very young (as in child) Kim Karashian's bedroom that O.J. Simpson hid out from the cops!

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Response to yallerdawg (Original post)

Thu Jun 29, 2017, 08:47 AM

25. Here's a still from the upcoming season

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