Posts Tagged ‘survivor’

TV on the Radio: The Survivor Finale

As if Tim hasn’t written enough on the subject, today he’s teaming up with John S to break down the finale (and reunion!) of Survivor: Redemption Island. Was this season exciting? Was Rob a villain? Was Philip actually crazy? Who was better looking: Andrea or Ashley? And will Parvati be back next season? Click here and all these questions and more will be discussed and speculated on.

NPI Comes Alive!: Introducing….TV on the Radio!

With the end of the college basketball season, NPI Comes Alive! is back in a new form. Today, Tim and John S are breaking down Survivor in their first TV-oriented podcast. They’re discussing Boston Rob, Redemption Island, Russell, Former Federal Agent Phillip, and the presence or absence of Survivor Gods. Click here to listen to the first edition of a new podcast series, TV on the Radio!

Got a Secret? About PLL’s “Careful What U Wish 4″ and “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Lie, Lie Again”

Since I was too “busy” last week to go over “Careful What U Wish 4,” we’re rolling the last TWO episodes of Pretty Little Liars into one mega-review.

This combination is made more difficult, of course, by the divergence in the episodes’ respective quality. “Careful What U Wish 4” was, for the most part, bland, especially when compared to the summer’s “There’s No Place Like Homecoming”—the other episode focused on a Rosewood High School dance. But most of the missteps from “Careful What U Wish 4” were more than made up for in Monday night’s “If at First You Don’t Succeed, Lie, Lie Again.”*

*These episode titles are getting unwieldy.

Let’s dive in:

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Survivor Survival Guide: “You Started, You’re Finishing”

“I’ve been sucking it up for 28 days. There’s nothing left for me to suck.”

—Purple Kelly

“Realistically, you think you had a shot at this game?”

“Yes.”

“Based on what?”

“Based on my drive, once upon a time…”

“This is amazing. Regale me with a story, woman.”

—Probst and NaOnka

How am I supposed to feel about Wednesday night’s Survivor? On the one hand, we finally saw NaOnka have her torch “snuffed” out, and in about as selfish a way possible. On the other, we saw TWO castaways quit within the final nine in an unprecedented show of wimpiness that drew about as much of the show’s editorial ire as possible. This is to say, it was complicated, like watching Boise State lose to Nevada or LeBron James return to Cleveland.*

*What? That WASN’T complicated for Cavaliers’ fans?

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Top Ten Things To Be Excited About In The Fall TV Season

As I noted one year ago today, I get more excited than most people by the start of a new television season. While Louie, Mad Men, and Pretty Little Liars have done a decent job of satisfying my TV-fix over the summer, I’m ready for a full slate of new shows. Of course, some of these will disappoint: My list from 2009 included such letdowns as FlashForward, Bored to Death, and the most recent seasons of How I Met Your Mother and The Hills. At the same time, though, shows I hadn’t expected to like, like Modern Family and Parks and Recreation, made up for it with great seasons. So even though this list will probably look equally stupid a year from now, here are the 10 things I’m most excited about this fall on TV:

10. The Event Premieres Monday September 20 on NBC

Now, I know this show is probably not going to be good. It seems like a show constructed around a marketing premise (“What is the event?”) and cribbing from the likes of 24 and Lost. Basically, it’s this year’s FlashForward. As with all of these shows, there is a very low probability of success—but if it does turn out to be good, it could possibly fill the void left by the end of Lost last May.*  Continue reading

Survivor Survival Guide: I’m Not a Good Villain

“He wants to be the good guy to everyone. And he can’t. He can’t be the good guy and win this game.”

–Jerri on Coach

“You’re a little man.”

–Boston Rob to Coach

The two main storylines of last night’s episode of Survivor were evident from the moment Jeff Probst said, “Previously on Survivor…”. That opening summary clearly established a Colby Redemption Episode after he was saved by James’s injury last week* and that this would be the week the struggle in the Villains’ camp between Boston Rob and Russell would finally come to a head. Colby’s redemption occurred quickly and unimpressively, as he helped lead the Heroes past the Villains in a Reward Challenge hybrid of basketball and water polo. He was also tangentially a part of their victory over the Villains in the Immunity Challenge—a relay race to collect puzzle pieces before solving the puzzle. Courtney wasted an early Villains’ lead, and this time the Heroes didn’t cede the advantage during the puzzle portion of the challenge. Seeing Boston Rob not come through on the puzzle was like watching Mariano Rivera blow a save; it was weird.

*Seriously, the tone of the “Previously on” was basically, “Colby has sucked so far. Like, really, REALLY sucked. But he’s still here!” Continue reading

Survivor Survival Guide: “Tonight We Make Our Move”

Tomorrow we make our apologies. Tonight we make our move.”

—Tom

When Survivor first introduced Exile Island and the Hidden Immunity Idol several years ago, I wasn’t really sold on either concept. Exile Island scenes tended to take time away from more important stuff going on in camp or in challenges, while the Hidden Immunity Idol was an oft-discussed but rarely used piece of strategy. As time wore on, although my feelings about Exile Island haven’t changed, I’ve grown to enjoy the extra strategizing that the hidden idol requires.

Last night was the perfect case in point. After the Villains won the first independent Reward Challenge since the first episode (the last two weeks, reward was folded into the immunity challenge), both tribes found a clue to a Hidden Immunity Idol placed on their beach. The problem, however, is that the discoveries in each tribe were made publicly, and therefore nobody could surreptitiously look for the idol. It was interesting that the Villains decided not to waste time searching for it, instead opting to work on their somehow-still-not-built-despite-winning-reward-specifically-designed-for-it shelter.* The Heroes, on the other hand, all went after it at the same time individually. Not surprisingly, Tom was able to find it before anyone else, but he wasn’t able to slip it into his sock before Amanda spotted him. Tom and Colby were already on the outs once Steph was voted off, and the idol placed a larger target on the fireman’s back while giving him a potential way out.

*Russell did get caught “going for a walk” to look for the idol; after I heard how shrewd this guy was in getting to the finals last season, I expected him to be a little quicker than that. Wait till nightfall at least dude! If you’re THAT good at finding hidden idols, darkness ain’t a problem.**

**Best line of the night comes courtesy of Boston Rob on Russell: “He’s like the hobbit on crack.” I was going to criticize him for referring to Smeagol as a hobbit, but he’s right. Continue reading

Survivor Survival Guide: “That Girl Is Like a Virus”

“There’s nobody out here that’s honorable. There’s nobody out here that’s honorable anymore—except for me. I hate to pontificate on this. Martin Luther King says that the greatest measure of a man is not in the way he handles times of comfort, but in the way he rises to controversy and challenge. There’s always hope; the last thing we have in life and in this game is hope that the impossible will happen, that we dare to dream that Randy’s gonna wake up in this camp tomorrow. So yes, there’s still hope. I still have breath and a brain cell in this brain. I will fight for him.”

—Coach, who then voted Randy out of the tribe

Last week, NPI’s go-to television critic, Alan Sepinwall of the Star-Ledger, wrote about how the way Survivor episodes were edited often revealed a lot of what was going to happen. To wit: Even before the Immunity Challenge in Week 2, there was already discussion in the Heroes’ camp about who should be voted off, and a lot more of the camp dissension centered on Stephenie than on Amanda. Consequently, it wasn’t surprising when the Heroes lost and when Steph was voted off.

When I read that last week, I kind of conceded the point, thinking I too should have seen it all coming (not like it was a huge surprise, but still…). But then I remembered that Survivor is also good at throwing red herrings at you, spending entire episodes focused on the machinations of one character who seems on the verge of being voted out, only to end with the elimination of another, minor character. And that’s what happened last night. Continue reading

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