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Feb 16, 2011

Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 1 Thoughts

* I may be going back on what I said at the end of last season, but I think the Redemption Island concept will turn out to be a winner. The biggest strength it brings is adding an important new layer to the game. Exile Island was gimmicky and really didn't change the way that the game was played at all - the biggest thing it brought to the game was an added hidden immunity idol that was never very well hidden. Redemption, on the other hand, will dramatically alter not only the way that the members of a council consider who to vote off and when, but add the all-important second chance to all players involved. Had Kristina not known about its existence, I think she'd have played her idol tonight. Additionally, there's all of the added drama and show time that will be devoted to the player(s) on R.I., though you could argue that time spent on them will only take away from the valuable time we get to spend with the actual remaining tribes. I'm optimistic, though.

* On the other hand, all of my thoughts and fears about the inclusion of Russell and Rob were confirmed and then some. Not only are they already "all stars" amongst the field of contestants, but they got the rock star treatment from the producers. Flown in on their own chopper, de facto tribe leaders (what were the odds that they ended up on opposite teams?), and much of the gameplay centered squarely on their backs. To top it all off, Rob, who I normally like quite a bit, acted like a douchebag bully at council, flaunting his considerable clout on the first damn day. Try and convince me that another random player would have tried the "give me your idol or I can't trust you" bullshit on their first day of the game. Hate hate hated it.

* CRAFTSMAN sponsorship! Must be nice getting tools on your first day...

* Ugh, really? We spend considerable time getting to know two non-celebrity players this week, and wouldn't you know it, they're the ones either already voted out or soon to be. Now that kind of telegraphing I expect from the show, but as it happens, they were the two players on Rob's team that I liked the best thus far (I don't think we even heard Dreadlock Guy utter a word).

* Phillip seems like a scripted character. How he wasn't the first one off I'll never understand. What a flake of epic proportions. And, as Mrs. Fletch pointed out, after his council outburst, who's gonna trust that guy with any information going forward.

* I see that the producers were unhappy with the NYT (Nubile Young Thing) quotient last season and promptly remedied that this season. Good luck getting rid of all the eye candy so quickly this time, players! (Especially with many of them serving as Rob's acolytes.)

* Great challenge. Unique, grand in scale, and it was a decent fight to the finish.

5 people have chosen wisely: on "Survivor: Redemption Island Episode 1 Thoughts"

Robb said...

Fletch - Good to see you still fighting the good fight. Or, at least, still talking about the best TV out there. But for once I have to disagree with you. I loved this episode, especially after the huge disappointment of last season, it was good to see some good characters. Even if some of the characters weren't as smart as I wish they were.

Philip is a terrible player and won't last, but even I have to admit he was terribly entertaining. Francesca nailed him when she mocked him for thinking his announcement that he was a federal agent was some kind of bombshell. Totally delusional, and also kinda awesome.

I was sad to see Francesca go, she was dumb to make that opening statement, but I like her wit. Already forgot the name of the one who found the idol. I love players who play hard like that, but it helps to play smart as well. Her plan was flawed from inception, blinded by a desire to be the one to to outplay Rob. Bet we see a similar mess against Russell, though since he is more hated there might be more of a group consensus.

I love Rob and Russell coming back. What felt awkward when Stephanie and Bobby Jon came back now (after multiple variations of All-Stars) seems much more organic. Be honest, the first four episodes of Survivor are generally throw-aways as we get to know people and watch the obvious targets go down. With Rob and Russell in the mix we already have emotional investment, and it made the first episode as interesting as any other.

And I like that Rob asked Kristina for the idol. Bold. That is where his experience shows, asking questions others are afraid to ask. Kristina had to make some very fast decisions right there, and it doesn't seem like she did herself many favors (though I would have kept the idol myself as well). She wanted to be bold and vote Rob off, I think it is only fair she has to face those consequences.

Sometimes half the fun of Tribal Council is watching Jeff's expressions when he knows things are getting good. His enthusiasm for the drama is kinda adorable.

I think Redemption Island has a lot of potential, though we'll have to see how well it plays out.

And I hope those silly Sprint "what if" commercials don't come back every week. Don't. Care.

Anonymous said...

nice thoughts there Fletch and Robb.

I think Russell has proven that u dont need a strong tribe to stay on in the game if u've got strong alliances and the right moves.

I believe that Francesca and Kristina wud have made a dynamic duo if not for the fact that Phillip was such a moron. Kristina's pre-mature bold move might have worked well in the later part of the game.

Boston Rob's just exuding the arrogance verging on annoying this. As much as I like him, his arrogance puts me off this tribal council.

What I'd really like to see is if Francesca and Kristina will make a comeback and grant him the "great memories" he'd mentioned when he casted his vote on Francesca.

And before I forget...What the hell is wrong with the ex-federal agent who just couldn't get a name right? Thumbs down for Phillip albeit entertaining.


Fletch said...

Robb - "for once you have to disagree with me?" Haha - we've disagreed often on styles on gameplay. But that's ok.

Yes, Philip was entertaining, but good god, how does he get through the audition process?

I don't know Kristina's flawed her plan was. It's easy to say that in hindsight, but if I were there, and they dropped Rob on my team, I wouldn't expect 3/4 of them to drool over him like those folks are apparently doing. I'd get rid of his ass, too, or at least try. Who could predict the way Philip would act?

I'll agree that having the Rs on the show helps the first 4 eps, but it still leaves a very nasty taste in my mouth.

You say bold, I say arrogant. Obviously, you're more right in this case - Rob acted like he had the power because he does have the power. It's the WHY of him having the power that bugs me, or at least how much power he has. Either way, I think it was a dick move and a no-win for Kristina. Her giving him an idol would prove nothing to him except that she was an idiot to boot.

So right on Jeff. He has more fun than anyone, even without playing.

Watched it on DVR! I didn't see a single Sprint commercial :D

Kareen - Welcome and thanks for the comments!

Agreed all the way on Kristina and Francesca - they both had their heads on straight, and were harmed more by being "the old players" on their team than anything else.

I don't hold too much hope for Francesca returning. She seems smart enough, but not all that physical, and you know at least some of the R.I. challenges will be physical.

"Franchesqua. Francisco. Francecha." That was too much...

Nick said...

I have to agree with Robb on pretty much everything he said in his comments there.

My only big disagreement with everybody is on Francesca and Kristina. I could stand either one of them and thought they were both idiots. And Francesca's talking while Phillip was talking thing annoyed the shit out of me, but that's because it's become a major pet peeve of mine teaching.

Robb said...

How does Philip make it through the audition process? Probably quicker than anyone else. Probst has a major man-crush on him, because he is great TV. To me he is like Coach only more unpredictable and therefore more entertaining. I'm sure he is annoying in person, and I reserve the right to get tired of him quickly, but for now I think he is far more interesting than, say, Jimmy T ever hoped to be. (And being compared to Coach and Jimmy T isn't exactly a compliment.)

Rob and Russell do start the game with more power than the rest, but also with a bigger target on their backs. I'd be more upset if they were bringing back a lower quality of previous contestant (like Bobby Jon was), but these two deserve their status. In my humble opinion. :)

I'd say the flaw in Kristina's plan wasn't in targeting Rob, it was in targeting anyone this early without any numbers to back her up. Even if she had succeeded, she still would had the rest of the young kids against her. Depending on how the challenges go, this "mistake" might end up working out better for her since she at least still has the idol. But she has cemented her outsider status now and I doubt she will last much longer.