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Thread: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

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    Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    Subject for discussion -- I have often wondered this when I watch Survivor: Why is it essential that the teams be so miserable physically? Winning Survivor depends on strategy, alliances, immunity necklaces etc. But these people also basically starve for a month, living on a couple cups of rice a day plus whatever they might be able to dig up or catch, which usually isn't much. They wear pretty much the same clothes, which seem in the case of most of the women to be limited to bikinis, despite cold or rain. Is all this misery necessary to the game? I'm not suggesting that the show be moved to a Hilton ballroom. But suppose every player was issued a standard kit that would include a poncho, a blanket, a fleece sweater, a couple shirts (maybe in their team colors), etc., and a basket of basic rations. Maybe two MREs a day or some boxes of Powerbars or lifeboat survival biscuits. Would it really degrade the game if these guys were healthier and stronger? I could even imagine the stuff becoming part of the game play: people might trade food for some other advantage, or someone getting voted out could choose to leave his supplies for his whole team, or he could give it all to one person, or if he was pissed off he could carry it all away with him. Some players would no doubt steal food from others, or try to hide it. Some would try to stretch their rations out as long as possible, and others would probably eat it all in a few days and start begging from the others. Or maybe the rations would be issued daily and would vary, so every day would begin with the players going somewhere to get their stuff and negotiating/arguing over who gets what. Maybe they'd have to draw straws for a picking order, so first pick gets steak and last pick gets [insert least-favorite food here]. I can see all kinds of twists to the game. But when so many people really are starving around the world, it leaves me feeling vaguely uncomfortable to watch starvation as entertainment.

  2. #2
    Unhinged Paradox Magnum's Avatar
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    Re: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    It's called "Survivor" for a reason. It's not supposed to be easy. The people signing up for this know what they're getting into. So no, I don't think the show should change in that way- in fact I wish they showed more of the survival stuff.

  3. #3
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Re: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    I think they've gotten a little carried away with the literal survival element of the show.
    I thought it was going to be a gimmick when they dropped them out of the boat in only the clothes on their backs and had the tribes hit the local town to get the supplies they needed in season six.
    Although they haven't done that since, it seems that none to mimimal food, no flint or fire given until after the tribe has been to TC and no change of clothes is the norm.

    I like your suggestions.
    "That's Numberwang!"

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    FORT Fogey mindy384's Avatar
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    Re: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    I wish they had to actually SURVIVE on their own--they spend freaking 12-18 hours per day doing nothing but lounging around on the beach and every now and then they go do a challenge that lasts (usually) about an hour. I want them to pick locations where the people are responsible for surviving--let them find materials and build their shelters, let them hunt/fish/pick fruit/scavenge, let them build/start a freaking fire! Boy Scouts can do all of this in the wilderness and these folks are competing for a million dollars! Stop handing out the gear and lets watch this game take on yet another very interesting angle!

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    PWS
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    Re: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    One reason they make them hungry is it increases the liklihood of people snapping at each other--good TV.
    One reason they lie around is they are hungry... and I think often there are restrictions on what they can and can't catch and eat--either because they are in a "park" or because they don't want the backlash from PETA et al.
    Recently they don't seem to starve all that much....not like in the past when, say, Heidi was really just a collection of bones with 2 giant bags of silicone attached---very weird look.
    I was about to suggest you might enjoy TAR better, but your last line, "starvation as entertainment" did hit a nerve.
    That said, it is called "Survivor", and I, too, miss the days when people actually worked for their food....a la Richard Hatch who was the superfisherman, and kept his tribe fed, and so was considered to essential to vote off.

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    Re: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by mindy384;4111968;
    I wish they had to actually SURVIVE on their own--they spend freaking 12-18 hours per day doing nothing but lounging around on the beach and every now and then they go do a challenge that lasts (usually) about an hour. I want them to pick locations where the people are responsible for surviving--let them find materials and build their shelters, let them hunt/fish/pick fruit/scavenge, let them build/start a freaking fire! Boy Scouts can do all of this in the wilderness and these folks are competing for a million dollars! Stop handing out the gear and lets watch this game take on yet another very interesting angle!
    This would be an entirely different show bearing no resemblance to Survivor. Hunting would require guns or bows and arrows and you have to be skilled in this. Most of these beaches are very close to populated areas so there is loging for the large crew that it takes to produce this show.

    The point is to take people out of a comfortable environment and create drama in this situation. It is Lord of the Flies or shipwreck inspired. A lot of the fun is watching someone plucked out of middle America show up with Aligator shoes or a young NYC woman roughing it for the first time. That is the very foundation of this show.

    We saw much more suffering in earlier seasons. Australia was the most extreme and they backed off on that when they saw that the small ration of rice was way too little and the weight losses were dangerous.

    PWS, I agree.

  7. #7
    FORT Fogey mindy384's Avatar
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    Re: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by shoepie;4112126;
    The point is to take people out of a comfortable environment and create drama in this situation. It is Lord of the Flies or shipwreck inspired.
    Ehhh..I don't think it is even close to Lord of the Flies (because that is some really deep, scary stuff--and the boys essentially had nothing but the clothes on their backs following the accident). But, I digress...anyhow, in the first seasons they were much stricter regarding food, amenities, etc... I enjoyed watching contestants earn positions by becoming "providers" and what that element brought to the game. Now they get tents, blankets, tarps, chests of food--that is not SURVIVING. If they want the game to become a strictly social/intellectual contestant then they might as well call it Big Brother Island Style or several other reality shows and stop filming. But, the producers (not me) made this a game about complete "survival" to the very last man/woman and that is what I would like to see.

    And, for the record, I am still pissed that Piggy died and will never forgive Golding.

  8. #8
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    Re: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by mindy384;4112687;
    Ehhh..I don't think it is even close to Lord of the Flies (because that is some really deep, scary stuff--and the boys essentially had nothing but the clothes on their backs following the accident). But, I digress...anyhow, in the first seasons they were much stricter regarding food, amenities, etc... I enjoyed watching contestants earn positions by becoming "providers" and what that element brought to the game. Now they get tents, blankets, tarps, chests of food--that is not SURVIVING. If they want the game to become a strictly social/intellectual contestant then they might as well call it Big Brother Island Style or several other reality shows and stop filming. But, the producers (not me) made this a game about complete "survival" to the very last man/woman and that is what I would like to see.

    And, for the record, I am still pissed that Piggy died and will never forgive Golding.
    I agree with you here. The earlier seasons were better in this respect.

    at the bold.

  9. #9
    FORT Fogey mindy384's Avatar
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    Re: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    Quote Originally Posted by shoepie;4112711;
    I agree with you here. The earlier seasons were better in this respect.

    at the bold.
    same here. I don't want them crawling around barely getting by...I just really, REALLY liked the first few seasons and would love to see those 'environments' again. Of course, one could argue that a part of my love-fest came from the casting, since they used to find contestants who actually had brains...

    I'm pretty sure most people are upset about Piggy and the worse part is being a young reader and KNOWING that its coming from the obvious foreshadowing but hoping for a miracle that never comes (actually, I was hoping for him to turn into the karate kid, a magic ninja or the terminator and beat the crap out of the hunters...ehhhhh).

  10. #10
    Red Sox Nation Brooks's Avatar
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    Re: Do the teams have to suffer so much?

    Most seasons most contestants are recruited, often from the ranks of m/actors. It is very rare to have anyone with any survival skills, to the point where I think it may count against you during interviews. And once dominant relations are established during the game, invariably some people drop out from helping around camp at all, like Sash happily letting Jane do the fishing and scut work. It isn't reality, it's entertainment.

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