Thiiiiiiis season looks terrible. And by that I mean it's literally hard to look at.
I've never seen a season with so many straight-up hideous people. Or maybe it's just that Shirtless/Too Small Briefs Dan and Looks Like An Infected Open Sore On The Side Of Her Head Girl (with assists from Hideously Tattooed Man, Crazy Feathers, and Snake Oil Salesman) are skewing the perception hard...but those first two look like they escaped from the last season of American Horror Story, and literally made me scream and/or recoil as if slapped every time the camera suddenly jumped to one of them. That is torture to look at. The girl, especially. I don't know how you would even deal with her in real life, because I physically cannot control myself from making revolted expressions every time I see her head. You chose. To do that. Voluntarily. What??
As a measure of self preservation, there do appear to be some people I don't hate. The blue tribe is basically a lost cause at this point (my only possible exceptions are Sierra the Barrel Racer, if she doesn't buddy up too much with Tattoo Head, and maybe that nice quiet older state trooper. She seems inoffensive). BUT, Jenn The Sailing Instructor of the red tribe is my current favorite, and the only one to show potential as someone I might flat-out love/remember when the season is over. She cracked me up with her side-eye comments on Crazy Feathers, and she just seems very...real. I still cringe when I catch a glimpse of her tattoo, but when it's out of sight, I feel like we could be good friends, or at least get along as work buddies. The law student might be tolerable as well, even though I'm pretty sure I can safely call her Miss Tumblr and be done with it.
In second place, I'm very much drawn to Carolyn and Shirrin, who both seem like good people I would definitely get along with at work. Carolyn finding the immunity idol was glorious. And while I don't want to like the quiet "Ex Talent Agent" guy (what is doing now, is the real question), the more I look at him, the more he reminds me in both appearance and personality of a really nice guy I knew in high school, so until he proves me wrong, I might transpose him with that guy. An unfair likability boost, if you will -- something like the opposite of a handicap.
Everyone else, I pretty much want to stay far, far away from me, so I'm rooting for them in hopes I can quit this season early. By the way, am I the only one who thinks that Max guy looks like...whoever the creepy actor is that plays Lily's dad on How I met Your Mother? He looks exactly like Mickey if you slapped on a long beard and glasses.
Content wise: I loved looking at So's gorgeous hair, so it's hard to lose eye candy, but I suspect her personality would have driven me nuts within 3 episodes. I still wish they'd kicked out Joaquin first instead of her, but it's not a tragedy like Carolyn would have been.
Also, I don't know where they are, but the background wildlife so far includes things like raccoons and woodpeckers, so now I'm not convinced they're not actually in southern California.
And now, I am going to try get over my persistently tickly-sore throat and/or work on erasing the possibly permanent groove etched into my forehead from frowning for so much of the past 90 minutes.
[edit: my mood is already 70% better after reading Josh's live tweets, and especially his "No, no, no, not the bikini underwear Dan. Who let that pass?" May he continue to pull me through the season until I find the willpower to get on board of my own accord.]