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Old 08-31-2013, 09:54 AM   #1
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Survivor: Older Seasons vs Later Seasons

I'm currently watching season 2 (still into it, so no spoilers, please!) and while I'm enjoying it very much, I think I prefer the later seasons. This season is a lot about the hunger, too much so, imo. There is very little on-air strategy discussion compared to the later seasons I've seen. (Who feels like scheming when you're starving?) The challenges don't seem as intricate or clever or as interesting and of course there's no HII. I like the HII, I think it adds a "wild-card" kind of element to the game.

These earlier seasons were certainly a stripped down, bare-bones version of game play, which has its appeal, but overall I think I prefer the later seasons, where there are more bells and whistles making the game play a bit more complicated.
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:45 AM   #2
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I'm slightly biased, as I quit watching after 20 seasons because I didn't like the show Survivor had turned into. The cast is drawn from models and acting wanna-bees, the drama is greatly contrived, and as you note, there isn't as much surviving left on Survivor. The producers want drama, they got it.

I liked it before everyone knew how to play. When you had to scheme for food or water, when there was a chance real people (the players) would react in ways real people do. I'm not against change, or HII, or 2nd chances, or Hall of Fame shows. But I got tired of being overtly manipulated by the producers. With fake drama and over-the-top acting.

YMMV.
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:44 AM   #3
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I prefer the earlier seasons for the most part. They didn't have all the gimmicks such as returning players (some who return over and over and over), redemption island, hidden immunity idols, etc...
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Old 09-04-2013, 06:56 AM   #4
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I'm slightly biased, as I quit watching after 20 seasons because I didn't like the show Survivor had turned into. The cast is drawn from models and acting wanna-bees, the drama is greatly contrived, and as you note, there isn't as much surviving left on Survivor. The producers want drama, they got it.

I liked it before everyone knew how to play. When you had to scheme for food or water, when there was a chance real people (the players) would react in ways real people do. I'm not against change, or HII, or 2nd chances, or Hall of Fame shows. But I got tired of being overtly manipulated by the producers. With fake drama and over-the-top acting.

YMMV.
This. I agree (although to some extent, you still had models and actors early on as well). Nobody knew how to play. Season 2 was Austrailian Outback, and because it was in desert surroundings you got food being such an important issue. S3 was in Africa, same thing. It was more about Survival and less about game play and I liked it better. It's what made it interesting. But since S3, almost all locations were in some sort of tropical climate. So the surroundings were less important to the game play. You notice most of the newer seasons they don't even make a big deal about the location anymore. Many of the more recent locations have been used already at least once.

Of course I'm an advocate of changing up the location, and maybe even going to a less tropical area to make the game different and more interesting (I've been advocating Alaska for a few years now...in the summer...when the weather is reasonable. But I get that there will be less bikini time.
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Old 09-04-2013, 10:16 AM   #5
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We watched season 1 a while back, i was suprised how much different it was than the more recent seasons. It had more of a documentary feel to it, with Probst narrating almost everything.
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Old 09-04-2013, 03:47 PM   #6
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This. I agree (although to some extent, you still had models and actors early on as well). Nobody knew how to play. Season 2 was Austrailian Outback, and because it was in desert surroundings you got food being such an important issue. S3 was in Africa, same thing. It was more about Survival and less about game play and I liked it better. It's what made it interesting. But since S3, almost all locations were in some sort of tropical climate. So the surroundings were less important to the game play. You notice most of the newer seasons they don't even make a big deal about the location anymore. Many of the more recent locations have been used already at least once.
Agreed that S2 and S3 were far more about having enough food to survive. I think the producers realized that this made for pretty dull TV because the players were way too lethargic to actually do anything. So they obviously made a decision after S3 to give the players more food and to make the show more about the challenges and the interpersonal dynamics than it is about the physical survival skills. And I'm totally OK with that, because I don't see any value in watching people starve or lay in the shelter all day long because they have no energy to move.

As for the locations, they made a change a couple of years ago and instead of filming the fall season in the summer in one location, then taking a break, then filming the spring season in the fall in a different location, they now film both seasons back to back in the same location, with only about 7-10 days between seasons. They've done this for the last 8 seasons, and presumably will continue to do so.

S19: Samoa
S20: Samoa
S21: Nicaragua
S22: Nicaragua
S23: Samoa
S24: Samoa
S25: Philippines
S26: Philippines
S27 (this upcoming fall): Philippines (not sure if this location is close enough to the previous two locations that they could keep the same base camp as before.
S28 (this upcoming spring): We can be pretty certain it will be in the same location as S27.
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Old 09-05-2013, 09:20 AM   #7
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I don't really care where they film or if they use the same place over and over as long as there are water challenges.
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Old 09-05-2013, 10:11 PM   #8
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I agree that the show was made better by giving the contestants more food and making the show less about survival and more about interpersonal dynamics. But since it's no longer a ratings juggernaut (and hasn't been for a while), they have gotten too gimmicky with the casting and the rules. Season 5-18 where the glory-days for me.

I don't like Russell Hantz and I don't think he is a great player (certainly not as good as he thinks he is!); but he has had an undeniable influence on the show. Not for the better, IMO. I think the producers fell in love with having a villain for villains-sake after Russell. As a result we've had multiple appearances for Russell, Brandon Hantz, Phillip and now Tyson and Colton. Ugh.
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Old 09-06-2013, 12:34 AM   #9
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I think overall seasons 1-12 or so are *consistently* better than the ones that follow. However, season 20 (Heroes vs Villains) is my all-time favorite season, full of dramatic twists and really strong game play by Russell and Parvati, and having rewatched it, I'd say Sandra as well.
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Old 09-06-2013, 06:47 AM   #10
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I think overall seasons 1-12 or so are *consistently* better than the ones that follow. However, season 20 (Heroes vs Villains) is my all-time favorite season, full of dramatic twists and really strong game play by Russell and Parvati, and having rewatched it, I'd say Sandra as well.
That has been on marathon in tvgn. they left off where Boston Rob And Russel had it out. Great season.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:30 AM   #11
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Agreed that S2 and S3 were far more about having enough food to survive. I think the producers realized that this made for pretty dull TV because the players were way too lethargic to actually do anything. So they obviously made a decision after S3 to give the players more food and to make the show more about the challenges and the interpersonal dynamics than it is about the physical survival skills. And I'm totally OK with that, because I don't see any value in watching people starve or lay in the shelter all day long because they have no energy to move.

As for the locations, they made a change a couple of years ago and instead of filming the fall season in the summer in one location, then taking a break, then filming the spring season in the fall in a different location, they now film both seasons back to back in the same location, with only about 7-10 days between seasons. They've done this for the last 8 seasons, and presumably will continue to do so.

S19: Samoa
S20: Samoa
S21: Nicaragua
S22: Nicaragua
S23: Samoa
S24: Samoa
S25: Philippines
S26: Philippines
S27 (this upcoming fall): Philippines (not sure if this location is close enough to the previous two locations that they could keep the same base camp as before.
S28 (this upcoming spring): We can be pretty certain it will be in the same location as S27.
To me at least, part of my interest in Survivor has always been how they interact with their surroundings and in many cases the culture and the natives. That part of the game has gone away and I miss it. I remember S3 when their was a rewards challenge where they went to help kids in one of the local villages. I really think it changed perspective of some of the Survivors. I liked the season they did the pirate theme and integrated the locale into game, or the Mayan and Chinese one. Now, it's meh. It has lost some of it's charm and it forces the producers to find some stupid gimmicks for the game. Oh well, still going to watch, but the game has lost something for me, and I think that's part of it. They might as well save productions costs and play the game in the states. There's tropical rain forests in Florida or Hawaii for example.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:40 AM   #12
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They might as well save productions costs and play the game in the states. There's tropical rain forests in Florida or Hawaii for example.
No way is it more expensive for them to film in third-world countries than it would be to film in the States. And then there are all the legal issues they don't have to worry about by filming outside the US as well.
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Old 09-06-2013, 08:51 AM   #13
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There's tropical rain forests in Florida or Hawaii for example.
Where can I find this Florida rain forest? Sounds like it would be a nice change from all the swamp inland and Mangrove thickets along the coast.
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Old 09-06-2013, 03:44 PM   #14
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I like elements of both the earlier and more recent seasons.

There is so much predictability now that leads to the early strategies that wasn't there early on.

The surprise of combining of the tribes into 1 has given way to the contestants pretty much knowing when it's coming and planning accordingly.

On the other hand, the competitions have evolved and have become more creative.

The worst thing for me has been the constant player retreads. I would really like a season of ALL new players. Period. I don't even care about redemption island, hidden idols, or any other gimmicks - seeing an entirely new cast would be the biggest twist of all!
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Old 09-06-2013, 04:15 PM   #15
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As others have already said, I really used to enjoy the whole "man vs. nature" aspect of the show. I don't remember which season it was, but I thought it was so cool when that flood washed away their entire camp. It's been so long since something crazy like that happened.
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Old 09-06-2013, 07:54 PM   #16
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If they could figure out an effective way to combat the day 1 alliances, it would be much better. I liked the early seasons, but they wouldn't sustain the show for a dozen+ years.
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Old 09-06-2013, 10:12 PM   #17
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As others have already said, I really used to enjoy the whole "man vs. nature" aspect of the show. I don't remember which season it was, but I thought it was so cool when that flood washed away their entire camp. It's been so long since something crazy like that happened.
That was season 2, which I've just finished watching. I thought it got pretty boring last few eps. As I wrote earlier, the hunger thing just took over the whole game. Toward the end, those people just didn't have the energy to be interesting.
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Old 09-09-2013, 12:44 PM   #18
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If they could figure out an effective way to combat the day 1 alliances, it would be much better. I liked the early seasons, but they wouldn't sustain the show for a dozen+ years.
I agree. One suggestion I've read here and elsewhere is to shuffle the tribes more often to shake up the alliances. But to me that makes it too random. Alliances need to be a part of the game. The "backstab" is fun. As is when one person brags about being the swing vote that everyone caters to and then gets the boot.
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Old 09-09-2013, 02:42 PM   #19
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One thing that might be fun to try is having NO merge. Play out two tribes until the end. The winner of tribe A faces the winner of tribe B. Since the Jury will have members of both tribes, you'll have to figure out a way to convince both sides that you are worthy of winning if you make it to the end.
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Old 09-09-2013, 03:59 PM   #20
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One thing that might be fun to try is having NO merge. Play out two tribes until the end. The winner of tribe A faces the winner of tribe B. Since the Jury will have members of both tribes, you'll have to figure out a way to convince both sides that you are worthy of winning if you make it to the end.
Another suggestion that I've made before is to have one big tribe at the beginning and only divide the folks temporarily for the IC. Losing tribe goes to TC either right away or after a day (can see merits to either one). Would mean a group of 5-7 could not control things right away. Would force people to have to interact with almost everyone.
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Old 09-09-2013, 04:07 PM   #21
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Another suggestion that I've made before is to have one big tribe at the beginning and only divide the folks temporarily for the IC. Losing tribe goes to TC either right away or after a day (can see merits to either one). Would mean a group of 5-7 could not control things right away. Would force people to have to interact with almost everyone.
I think that would be great from a game play standpoint, but would be a disaster from a TV show standpoint. The way it works now is that it takes several episodes to get to know the individual players, but the viewer can at least identify which tribe he/she is rooting for and that stays consistent for several episodes. But if all the players were all jumbled and there was no consistency in who was competing with/against whom, it would make it extremely difficult for viewers.

Think about when they divide the tribe up for a challenge after the Merge. At that point, we generally know all the players pretty well, yet it's still sometimes confusing to figure out who is on what team, since the teams were only chosen moments before the challenge started. Now think about how much more confusing it would be with 8-10 players per team, and not knowing who any of them are.
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Old 09-10-2013, 07:23 AM   #22
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I think that would be great from a game play standpoint, but would be a disaster from a TV show standpoint. The way it works now is that it takes several episodes to get to know the individual players, but the viewer can at least identify which tribe he/she is rooting for and that stays consistent for several episodes. But if all the players were all jumbled and there was no consistency in who was competing with/against whom, it would make it extremely difficult for viewers.

Think about when they divide the tribe up for a challenge after the Merge. At that point, we generally know all the players pretty well, yet it's still sometimes confusing to figure out who is on what team, since the teams were only chosen moments before the challenge started. Now think about how much more confusing it would be with 8-10 players per team, and not knowing who any of them are.
You have a point. But, I think if you want to make something like that work, you will need to cast the show with a lot of interesting and distinct characters. Survivor over the years has really started to "feature" a few players anyway. They will just have to continue this route even more. Unfortunately, it might give away some game play if they do that (ooops, too late, they do this anyway).
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Old 09-10-2013, 03:57 PM   #23
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MTV has successfully had contestants living together and changing teams for each challenge pretty successfully in the Road Rules/Real World challenges before. I think that's exactly what "Survivor: One World" should have been. In reality, they just made their camps nearby and mostly kept to themselves.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:31 PM   #24
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The show has been on a long, long time and obviously has lost viewers over the years. At this point they aren't going to attract new viewers so I understand (to a point) why they have increased the number of returning players and tried different stunts like RI.

But I think most of us that are still watching because we enjoy the game and the dynamics of the players. I don't know anyone who will be watching in September because they just have to see Rupert play again. I enjoy going in fresh with new players and developing favorites and non favorites as each week unfolds. To me that's why I watch.
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Old 09-11-2013, 02:35 PM   #25
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The show has been on a long, long time and obviously has lost viewers over the years. At this point they aren't going to attract new viewers so I understand (to a point) why they have increased the number of returning players and tried different stunts like RI.

But I think most of us that are still watching because we enjoy the game and the dynamics of the players. I don't know anyone who will be watching in September because they just have to see Rupert play again. I enjoy going in fresh with new players and developing favorites and non favorites as each week unfolds. To me that's why I watch.
I agree.

Are Survivor's ratings higher with returning players than they are with new?
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:01 PM   #26
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Article about the new season of Survivor. The writer asks,"Is it time to put Survivor to rest?"

http://cliqueclack.com/p/survivor-blood-vs-water/

Quote:
Dear Survivor. We’ve been together now for 26 seasons but I think you’ve finally tested my limits with season 27, Blood vs Water. First of all, the title is just ridiculous. Blood versus water? What in the heck does that even mean? I know, I know, it’s supposed to be a reference to “blood is thicker than water,” but blood versus water doesn’t make a lick of sense. Besides the title, I’m just not happy at all with, yet again, bringing back a slew of former contestants … one in particular for the fourth time, and another whom Jeff Probst proclaimed would never be asked to return because of his vile behavior. I guess the only thing to be thankful for is that there are no Hantzes in sight.
Entire article at the link.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:12 PM   #27
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Article about the new season of Survivor. The writer asks,"Is it time to put Survivor to rest?"

http://cliqueclack.com/p/survivor-blood-vs-water/



Entire article at the link.
I read about half the article before the writer's whining became too much. But I do agree. Enough of the same people over and over, and yuck, RI. You'd think there are thousands of people who would want to play Survivor, and out of those, they can't find 20 odd people to play? My theory is, it's cheaper to bring back old timers because they can save money on auditioning people. they call 50 or so former Survivors and then get 20 to come back (or in this case they bring their "loved ones" for half the cast).

One thing that struck me regarding Colton coming back. In light of the overt bigotry, etc. on Big Brother this season, I wonder if Colton would have been invited back.
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:52 PM   #28
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RI is one of the worst things they've ever done. And they're doing it again
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Old 09-18-2013, 12:57 PM   #29
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The return of RI is indeed surprising, considering it was overwhelmingly despised by fans the first time.
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Old 09-18-2013, 01:01 PM   #30
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While I am not a big fan of RI in general, the changes that they have made for it this year sound very interesting.
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