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Survivor: Edge of Extinction


All right! This is the most I have been familiar with a bunch of newbies going into the premiere in ages -- maybe ever -- and I felt so ENGAGED. This is literally how it felt to rewatch the David vs. Goliath premiere -- like I already knew all the players, so I could concentrate on "oh, this is how these people played the game and how they aligned with each other on day 1" instead of just trying to form first impressions and remember names. Amazing. Should I do this every year??

Quick impression adjustments of people:
-I am incapable of being chill or making allowances for the fact that everyone is in this to win, so as soon as already-low-in-my-favor Eric complained that they need to get Aubry out first? You're dead to me, sir.

-Not feeling Keith right now. The gushing about liking Reem because he's a mama's boy + embarrassing swim displays = a no from me, dawg. I feel like there's a tendency for young adults to think that telling someone they remind them of their mom is a compliment more than women tend to take it that way, unless they've totally thrown themselves into motherhood as their identity in general, and this made me cringe so hard.

-Wendy is gonna drive me up the hall, so that's fun to look forward to.

-So is Wardog.

-I'm a little leery of Lauren, who might be too far over on the "overconfident athlete / alpha female" side of student personalities.

-David is far more entertaining than I would have expected?? He is very bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and I couldn't stop smiling every time he did.

-I did not react well to Kelley's reactions to Reem. I'm flashing back to the Witches Coven -- which isn't even fair, because one of the things I did this January was get over my poor opinions and decide I love Ciera and always have. And I liked Kelley even then! But I spent 5 minutes on her Twitter today, and maybe it's just that she gets more of her fair share of asshole / creeper men, but she was just SO sharp and impatient that even though I have never @-ed a Survivor contestant in my life without being acknowledged first, I did the virtual equivalent of a dog scooting out of the way with its tail tucked so far between its legs its whole back end starts tucking under. And that's the heart-hurty feeling I got watching her in this episode. No-nonsense, no patience.

-Reem is DEFINITELY more brash and confrontational and short-tempered than I expected or than she needs to be -- but like, at the same time, I get where she's coming from? I have a new chip on my shoulder about women over 40 being voted out early -- this is the baby-level feminism I can get into -- and it's TRUE that there is no reason they couldn't have just said they appreciate what she's trying but they'd rather hang up their own stuff so they don't lose track of it. (also I don't understand why so many people online are, like, ENRAGED by the idea of someone touching their stuff. Is that really a big deal?? Are y'all regularly smuggling porn or carrying large wads of cash or something, that the idea of someone touching your clothes makes you flip out?)

But hey, listen, I have been Fishbached up:
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And that's why the closing scene made me sad -- neat and spookily shot as it was -- and made me dislike the "haha we will LITERALLY leave you in the dark about what happens next" aspect of this show's premise. Fun as it was to see her defiant "HELL YEAH" snatch of the torch as she marched forward toward the "chance to get back in the game" path.

Other Things That Happened
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* The challenge was super fun to watch. Not the "giant heavy wooden block slide puzzle" part, but the rest of that was a real kids-zone obstacle course o' fun and I would love to play around on it. I love the three-tiered balance beam in particular. That looks terrifying and hard to stay on -- but if you fall, you get to bounce in a net! The kind that breaks your wrist and possibly ankles if you land wrong.

* I did feel bad for Kelley bashing her noggin on it.

* Ron Clark and the ADVANTAGE MENU was awesome (especially since it has to be used up quickly)

(paraphrased --)
Reem: I am ANGRY and demand an explanation for this bullshit.
David: Cool, sure, no problem, can you maybe put the machete down first though?

* I LOVE THE CLAWFOOT TORCH SNUFFER

* Even more than I love the sea dragon immunity idol,

* Guess who's back under Joe's spell, that's right, it's me. Didn't even have time to notice the mustache because he was being so dreamy and embracing his new mentor role.

* Speaking of mentor roles -- I think that's part of why I liked David so much. Because he doesn't have the same "legend" status as the other three, he's like a first year camp counselor. Happy that people are coming to him for guidance and marveling in the fact that he actually has some to give, even though his inherent response is probably "I don't know what I'm doing either." Because wait -- he kinda does.

* And now...I go back to work. But AFTER THAT, I get to drown my brain in the first of many new filmed Know-It-All post-ep podcasts, a.k.a. "I get to watch Stephen Fishbach be excited about Survivor for an hour," and let me tell you, 2009 Me is in a full-on swoon.

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In semi-related news, today I found an AMA that Ian Rosenberger did just six months ago (!) -- you might remember Ian, who along with Katie, was pretty much the reason I got back into watching Survivor [the Palau season] and have cared more about the emotional bonds between contestants than strategy ever since -- and


there are a few intriguing new tidbits, but nothing as good as his response that people rarely recognize him from the show because his hair is shorter and he is no longer a walking skeleton. It has been over 13 actual years since I've seen a photo of him, but here he is in this first video -- prepare to have your mind BLOWN. His voice is instantly familiar and I can see it in his eyes now that I know, but I truly would not have recognized him on the street.

I just think it's funny. I'm so used to having constant access to everyone on social media that I forgot what it was like when the reunion shows truly were a "what do they look like now??" reveal. And what a great, humanitarian direction his life has gone in.

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