Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Survivor Nicaragua Episode 4 -- Bullying, not just for High School anymore

This was possibly one of the worst hours of TV ever.  On one tribe we have a girl who obsesses about a competitor's prosthetic leg and cannot stop from making disparaging comments about it.  On another tribe we have grown men who tear down another man, bring him to tears, force him to give in, and then kick him out.  Rather than letting him leave with his dignity, they took it first, then showed him the exit.

I don't know what went wrong with casting this year, but there are now two types of contestants on the show.  Boring and hateful.  Doesn't give you a lot to cheer for.

On the old tribe, Jimmy T was happy to have sent Jimmy Johnson out the door and was looking for a little respect.  But Marty was not having any of that.  It doesn't matter to him if Jimmy catches fish or helps around the camp or has his heart in the right place or wants the tribe to do well.  No.  He didn't like Jimmy and Jimmy isn't part of his masterplan, so he had to go.  Let's ignore the 180 pound elephant in the room -- Hi, Dan!  How're the knees?  Can't run in mud?  Guess what, all they have in Nicaragua apparently is mud.

Okay, fine, if they wanted to get rid of the healthier, stronger, more helpful, more agile guy in favor of someone who is funny and gets along with everyone, more power to them.  But DO NOT ask for concessions from the guy you're about to vote out, get them, then still vote him out.  DO NOT make him cry as he promises to be a good little soldier, and take a back seat, and otherwise humble himself in front of you., and then still vote him out.  Not cool.

This is how tribal council played out.  The BMOC, Marty, and his fellow challenger for homecoming king, Tyrone, ganged up on the outcast.  The uncool guy who said the wrong things, and acted the wrong way and who they didn't want in their clique.  They mocked him and humiliated him and forced him to abase himself on national television.  And we wonder where kids learn about bullying??

Also not cool, the Bully of the young tribe.  NaOnka.  She hates Kelly because she has an artificial leg.  In what twisted world view would that make any sense?  Oh, yeah, the Third Reich!  Well, congratulations NaOnka, you're in great company.  You have nothing against this girl other than the fact that she has overcome a birth defect with the help of technology.  You make Paris Hilton seem deep.

It's one thing to cast someone as a villain.  I get that, you need the tension,  you need to get the audience involved.  But allowing the program to become a showcase for the worst human traits is not entertainment.  It's a psychological study that is upsetting to watch.  I think I'll rewatch Glee.

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