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Old 09-08-2014, 12:51 AM   #1
DevdogAZ
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Utopia - Season Premiere 9/7/2014 *spoilers*

Interesting concept for a show. Could become very interesting. But so far the show seems to have relied too much on typical reality TV-type casting in order to create drama rather than actually trying to cast people who will build an interesting new society.

Josh made a really boneheaded move to get plastered on the first night, and he's a really bad drunk. But that seems to have humbled him and he was pretty level-headed the rest of the episode. Which is a good thing, because he was a cocky a**hole before that.

That NYC lawyer was on a major power trip when he was officiating the "trial" and handing down the sentence. Did he really pack a gavel in his personal effects? I would have been with the guys who said they wanted Josh to stay and then bailed outside. That whole thing was a complete farce.

The blonde survivalist lady is a complete kook. One minute she is trying to get Josh kicked off the show and a couple hours later she's flirting with him like crazy.

That whole fight between Red and Aaron was nonsensical. Aaron didn't feel comfortable cooking the dead chicken for the whole group. Red was willing to prep it and cook it for himself and take the risk. I don't understand what caused the problem.

I can understand if the Pastor doesn't want to go near the lake when the ladies are skinny dipping, but was he saying that he couldn't go there at all when the ladies are there? If they were wearing swimsuits, would he still not be able to go near the lake?

Overall, I'm interested, but I sure hope that after these initial couple of days getting to know each other, the guys put their tempers away and start to figure out how to solve problems without yelling and being aggressive.
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Old 09-08-2014, 06:06 AM   #2
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I watched out of curiosity and kinda got hooked and now I think I have to see if I can get UN interested. If this is going to be on a couple of times a week for a year - that's too much TV.

They definitely did cast some crazies.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:58 AM   #3
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I guess I am just impressed with how CBS can keep getting good contestants for things like Survivor and The Amazing Race when everyone else seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. This was just awful.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:25 AM   #4
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Yeah, my kids and I watched the first half of Utopia live to let Big Brother pad and couldn't believe how horrible it was. My daughter said, "can we get those 30 minutes of our life back?" LOL!
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:43 AM   #5
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I watched, and will watch it again - but I'm kinda leary of the time commitment.

And I'm a little worried about the pregnant lady - what was she thinking? No prenatal care for the last trimester? What if she develops gestational diabetes? And doesn't appear they have much food. I would not put my unborn baby at risk for a reality show.

I liked Josh for about 10 seconds, and then he became a jerk. But after the "trial" he seemed to tone it way down.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:48 AM   #6
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This was terrible. Survivor or Big Brother might cast one crazy person to make things interesting. In Utopia, it seems like everyone is crazy. Two adults throwing actual temper tantrums? Several people doing things so bad within the first couple of days that they need to apologize. And hey, they found the real life version of Laura Dern's annoying character from Enlightenment! The only thing entertaining about the show was the arguing, but the fights were so idiotic that it just left me feeling like I was wasting my life watching stupid people do stupid things. I imagine that is the same feeling I would get if I watched Honey Boo Boo. The production values seem really low for a network show. It was just bad, bad, bad.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:01 AM   #7
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Jersey Shore with Snoopy, that's what to compare it to. Do they have free alcohol? Maybe that caused all the trouble like it did in the other show.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:07 AM   #8
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I didn't enjoy this episode but I like the concept so I will stick with it for a while at least. They should run out of alcohol soon unless that hillbilly guy starts making moonshine. Things should settle down once this initial euphoria wears off.
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Old 09-08-2014, 10:24 AM   #9
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Jersey Shore with Snoopy, that's what to compare it to. Do they have free alcohol? Maybe that caused all the trouble like it did in the other show.
Two (at least) jugs of wine, and somebody brought in a bottle of whiskey, which almost certainly caused the problems on the first night.
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Old 09-08-2014, 03:28 PM   #10
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I remember looking through a list of who they had casted for the show beforehand and just kinda laughed when I was reading the descriptions, because I knew right then it was set up to be a disaster. It was pretty obvious that people were picked because they knew it would cause conflicts.

I ended up watching it because it came on the tv, and my wife got interested. I'm just hoping she loses interest quickly, because I can't see myself watching this much longer. Personally, I figure they're going to have to hit absolute rock bottom before there's any real chance of them pulling together to work together. There's already way too much conflict, and there's also an obvious group of younger people that seem to only want to laze around all day letting other people do the work (which, in fairness, seems to be pretty representative of a large section of their generation these days).

The problem fox has is that if it ever gets to the point where they settle down and things start working, who on earth is going to want to watch that?
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Old 09-08-2014, 04:06 PM   #11
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The problem fox has is that if it ever gets to the point where they settle down and things start working, who on earth is going to want to watch that?
Isn't that one of the reasons why they vote someone off each month and (supposedly) the viewers vote someone new to take that person's place?

As for why there were only 14, apparently the planned 15th contestant was sent home before they were sent to the location; before they were sent to the location, they were put up in hotels in isolation so they couldn't find out anything about the other 14 (for example, from the FoxFlash website, which named the 15 contestants), and she brought a cellphone in order to try and find out information about the other 14.


Here are the details on the disqualified participant:
Andrea Cox
38, single
Habitat of Origin: San Diego
Occupation: Raw vegan chef; detox expert
Skillset: Juicing everything
"I'm a Christian who drops the f-bomb," announces this detox diva, who would resort to cannibalism before killing or eating an animal. Utopians beware: "When I snap, I can be a little b*tchy and manipulating to get my way," the self-proclaimed born-again virgin warns.
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:23 PM   #12
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There's so much about this show that annoys me, but the host really bugs me. There's not much of him, at least.

I'll watch for a bit to see if it gets any better because the new stuff seems at least a week or so away, but I'll pull the plug quicker on this that what I usually do.
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:19 PM   #13
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There's so much about this show that annoys me, but the host really bugs me. There's not much of him, at least.
I thought the name was just a coincidence, but it's not; the host is the same Dan Piraro that draws the "Bizarro" comic strip. (Sorry that it only goes back 30 days, but it's a King Features Syndicate strip, and KFS wants you to pay something like $15/year for access to its strips that are older that that.)
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Old 09-08-2014, 08:37 PM   #14
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My wife and I were hoping for something intellectual and thoughtful, reasonable people that really tried to figure out how to make things work. We barely made it halfway through this train wreck of an episode before deleting both the episode and the season pass.
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Old 09-08-2014, 09:43 PM   #15
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1) Wow, these people are worse than the WORST "Real World" contestants, by FAR. (Even Puck was at least amusing.)
2) Annoying drunk people or annoying religious people.. Wow, that's really a hard choice...

How far have they already recorded, if you can get free 24 hour streaming now???

Bizarro writer.. Wow, I dislike him way less! That comic is hilarious.
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Old 09-09-2014, 12:22 AM   #16
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I don't know what kind of utopia they're trying to create, but I can tell you, it's not gonna happen.

It can't happen - if they manage to actually work towards a functioning society, the show's ratings will drop because it becomes incredibly boring. So they picked 15 of the worst people designed to clash on every level because the only thing that gets ratings (and ad dollars) is conflict and drama.

Reminds me of a Simpsons episode when the Simpsons have to use equipment and live like the 19th century. Works until they figure out how to live and then the TV execs try to raise the falling ratings.

I think what we should be talking about is how long do we think it'll last. I say 2 months tops before something critical happens - run out of food, run out of water, run out of other critical resource, or they end up as 15 separate little fiefdoms.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:45 AM   #17
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There's so much about this show that annoys me, but the host really bugs me.
Every time he came on the screen I just had to laugh. He looks like a cartoon version of a hipster. Like a real person couldn't possibly be that much of a hipster cliche, so they made a cartoon version to incorporate even more hipsterness.
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Old 09-09-2014, 08:15 AM   #18
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I think what we should be talking about is how long do we think it'll last. I say 2 months tops before something critical happens - run out of food, run out of water, run out of other critical resource, or they end up as 15 separate little fiefdoms.
If you're talking about how long the show will last, I think it makes it the entire year, for two reasons; one, as pointed out on Entertainment Weekly Radio, Fox has too much money invested up front in this, and two, Fox has nothing better to show on Friday nights. However, I do see the show eventually going to one night a week, and that night being Friday.

There's always the possibility, especially if Mulaney crashes and burns, that Fox moves Brooklyn Nine-Nine back to Tuesdays, and has Utopia's second hour be on Sunday from 9 to 10, but that would mean moving Family Guy from 9:00 to 8:30, and if Fox wanted to do that, they would have done it this fall (with B99 being on at 9). Then again, I would not be a bit surprised if the Friday schedule ends up being:
8:00 - Utopia
9:00 - The Mindy Project (this is its third season, so almost certainly it will get renewed according to "the 'Til Death rule" - the producers will offer it to Fox at bargain basement rates to reach the 88 episodes they feel will be enough for syndication ("88 is the new 100"))
9:30 - Mulaney
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:16 AM   #19
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Is there a chance that this show is loosely scripted with a bunch of actors nobody's ever heard of - kind of like that show Siberia that came on last year?

Some of the people's reactions to stuff was so ridiculous I just didn't find it believable.

The guy who went nuts over the dead chicken - personally, I would not eat a chicken that I found dead without knowing what killed it (just as the chef said), but would I stop some stranger from eating it when they insisted they wanted to? Absolutely not!

There's too many "characters" and not enough real people for me to believe any of this is for real.
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Old 09-09-2014, 01:09 PM   #20
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Is there a chance that this show is loosely scripted with a bunch of actors nobody's ever heard of - kind of like that show Siberia that came on last year?

Some of the people's reactions to stuff was so ridiculous I just didn't find it believable.

The guy who went nuts over the dead chicken - personally, I would not eat a chicken that I found dead without knowing what killed it (just as the chef said), but would I stop some stranger from eating it when they insisted they wanted to? Absolutely not!

There's too many "characters" and not enough real people for me to believe any of this is for real.
I wondered the same thing.
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:08 PM   #21
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I wondered the same thing.
Of course it is.

http://starcasm.net/archives/287039
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Old 09-09-2014, 02:34 PM   #22
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Oh well....I was going to give it one more week, but I guess I'm done. Wonder what they do when/if it gets cancelled?
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Old 09-09-2014, 04:31 PM   #23
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I guess I am just impressed with how CBS can keep getting good contestants for things like Survivor and The Amazing Race when everyone else seems to be scraping the bottom of the barrel. This was just awful.
Probably because:
(a) Survivor and TAR give away decent cash prizes;
(b) Survivor, and, to a lesser extent, TAR are also already proven launchpads to entertainment careers;
(c) I heard somebody say that a Survivor winner actually originally applied to be on TAR, but the producers said that the person would be a better fit on Survivor, so there's quite a bit of selectiveness going on with those two shows.
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:00 PM   #24
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I am only up to the drunk idiot scene so far. As a concept, I like the idea of the show. I'd be aligning myself with the hillbilly handyman, the huntress, the ex-military chef, the yoga lady, and the prepper lady so far. They are going to have the skills to make living possible. A few others might be okay. The drunk guy would get a beat-down in the dark!
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Old 09-09-2014, 05:52 PM   #25
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Probably because:
(c) I heard somebody say that a Survivor winner actually originally applied to be on TAR, but the producers said that the person would be a better fit on Survivor, so there's quite a bit of selectiveness going on with those two shows.
I believe that was
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Old 09-09-2014, 10:17 PM   #26
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I've decided this is Joe Schmo III, and the audience is the Schmo. These 14 people are too far over the top. Think of who you got. The multi accented drunk working on redemption. The criminal. The hot headed chef. The slut. The hillbilly. The religious guy. Various naked girls. The right winger. The left wingers.

On second thought, it's 15. The narrator dude is just as much a caricature as the character that Ralph Garman played.

I'm saying it now.


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Old 09-09-2014, 10:38 PM   #27
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Did the "Prepper" really say that the "chicken tractor" was like a yoke that you attach to chickens and they till the ground with it ?

This sounded ridiculous to me though my wife seemed to think it was really "a thing". And sure enough, it is that at all. It's just a movable chicken coop w/o a bottom.

Again, I may have misheard -- did she really say that ?
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Old 09-09-2014, 11:10 PM   #28
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Did the "Prepper" really say that the "chicken tractor" was like a yoke that you attach to chickens and they till the ground with it ?

This sounded ridiculous to me though my wife seemed to think it was really "a thing". And sure enough, it is that at all. It's just a movable chicken coop w/o a bottom.

Again, I may have misheard -- did she really say that ?
I didn't hear her say anything about attaching a yoke to the chickens. But based on her description, I got the impression that it was a box/cage that you put over the chickens and it has little tines protruding into the earth and the natural movement of the chickens will drag the cage along the ground and till up the earth. I guess it's the fact that she called it a "tractor" that gave me that impression. In reality, it's just the chickens pecking at the ground that does the "tilling," and you move the cage to a different location each day to get a different patch of ground "tilled."
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Old 09-10-2014, 12:28 AM   #29
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If you're talking about how long the show will last, I think it makes it the entire year, for two reasons; one, as pointed out on Entertainment Weekly Radio, Fox has too much money invested up front in this, and two, Fox has nothing better to show on Friday nights. However, I do see the show eventually going to one night a week, and that night being Friday.
Well, if it's going to last that long, there's going to have to be tons of interventions (off camera, of course) because it doesn't look like any of them would survive more than a couple of weeks with that resources they have.

Then again, if it's loosely scripted, I guess yeah, it's going to last that long just because.

Because as it is right now, I don't see the experiment lasting more than a couple of months naturally.
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Old 09-10-2014, 06:11 AM   #30
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In reality, it's just the chickens pecking at the ground that does the "tilling," and you move the cage to a different location each day to get a different patch of ground "tilled."
That's all a chicken tractor is. I've never heard anyone claim that it would till the ground though - only fertilize it.


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