Thursday, March 11, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, "Knights of the Round Table": The incredible Mr. limp-it

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Lots of Thursday TV to power through, so some quick thoughts on tonight's "Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains" coming up just as soon as I react to your offer of chocolate with disgust...

After the high of last week's "Survivor"-at-its-finest episode, tonight's show was inevitably disappointing, and not because my man-crush Tom got voted out, while bullying, hobbled jerks Rupert and James remain in the game.

No, I've been bracing for Tom's ouster ever since episode 2, when it was obvious he was in the minority on his team, and at least I got to watch him team up with JT and Colby for that great blindside on Cerie last week.

The problem is that the Heroes are just so inept in challenges - and, at least, had the black humor to list all of the many, many different kinds of challenges they suck at - that we're getting precious little time with the Villains. And when we do spend time with them, we're hearing almost exclusively from Russell, Rob, Coach, and to a lesser extent Parvati. I'm not sure I've heard Danielle say one word all season. Courtney's said maybe a sentence. Jerri talked more in this one than she has in a few weeks. I understand that some players are better interview subjects than others - that Russell's megalomania makes him an entertaining talking head, as do Coach's delusions of grandeur, and that Rob has been doing the reality thing for so long that he knows exactly what to give the camera crew. But unless these four are going to be the final four (and they're not, since Russell and Rob are looking to oust each other), I have a feeling we're going to see several players who've been virtually-invisible to this point go very, very far in the game, and I hate that.

Tom's initial season was even more lopsided at this stage, in that his team never lost an immunity challenge, but the editors did a much better job at balancing things out, so when we got to the merge with all of his group intact, I had a pretty good sense of who everybody was, what the dynamics were, who'd vote which way, etc.

And, yes, it was annoying to see James' smug face staying in the game, and to see Russell find the hidden idol (which will at the very least protect him through the next Tribal Council the Villains go to, whenever that might be, and which only fuels his own inflated sense of self-worth). But there are highs and lows to a "Survivor" season, and not every episode is going to be great, nor will every episode feature good things happening to the people you root for, and so I'm hopeful next week will be better - and that Rob's uncanny gift for puzzles might temporarily fail him so we can see the Villains go to Tribal again for something more interesting than watching James yell at people.

What did everybody else think?

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