Monday, May 18, 2009

More Hours of My Life Wasted

Dear Survivor Contestants,

Why are you always so dumb? I've been watching you for years, and your pattern of stupidity continues unabated. When you arrive in your exotic location, the other players are strangers, but then you live together in close quarters for more than a month. You have plenty of time to look around you and see who is liked, who is disliked. You have plenty of time to figure out who among you is motivated by what. You have plenty of time to see who will beat you in the final vote, and who will not beat you.

And yet, every season, or what feels like every season, some person who will clearly be rewarded by his or her peers ends up in the finals against someone who clearly can do no right. Usually this eventual winner could have been voted off earlier, but wasn't. Usually this eventual winner has won several immunities, but has been spared when he or she was not immune and could have been eliminated. And yet you don't do it. And then it's too late, and the entire finale becomes a snoozefest with a predictable end.

And why do you always carp about "intergrity"? You're playing a game, people, the point of which is to get rid of others before they get rid of you. Integrity has nothing to do with it. Honesty has nothing to do with it. You will have to lie. Just do it, and then own it. Don't scheme, plot, and lie and then pretend you have done so with "integrity." And jurors, just stop with the bitterness and recriminations. Someone is eliminated every few days. You are mad because it was you and not the finalists. But if it hadn't been you, and you were sitting in the finals, you would have done the same to someone else, and would be bragging about your "integrity." So shut up.

And everyone, all of you, please stop talking about how the million dollar prize is so, so much money. After taxes it's more like $600K, which is a nice amount of dough but not enough to last a 24 year-old bartender/actor/model the rest of his or her life. Lottery winners make more, and blow through it just the same. It might be the biggest check any of you will receive in your lifetime, but it's not generational wealth. Each and every one of you will disappear from our TV screens, from our collective memories, and will go back to the lives you lived before you were cast in this aging reality television franchise. It's a game, with rules and set rewards. Stop pretending there's anything momentous about it.

The show is over, and I won't miss any of you because I won't even think of you, not for a minute. In September a new bunch of people will appear on my screen, all of them making the same mistakes you made, all of their heads filled with notions of "intergity" and the "life-changing" nature of a game show. So farewell, Survivor contestants. It's time to sit down and shut up.

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