I read yesterday about how “Survivor” is planning to divide teams by race as it starts out the new season. And I really thought they must be joking–or just floating the idea to see how people would respond. (Responses in my house as well as my carpool have ranged from, “are you kidding me? How stupid!” to, “I feel vaguely offended, but I’m not sure why,” to, “Maybe the white team will manipulate the black team into working together to further oppress and defeat the Hispanic and Asian teams.” Because hey, what can I tell you, you play with stereotypes and you’re gonna get … more stereotypes.)
Now, though, it appears it’s not a float–it’s an honest-to-goodness plan. The thing is, it was pretty stupid last year when the divided the teams into older men, older women, younger men, younger women. But at least you could kind of get what they were going for–brains vs. brawn, in some form, because it’s such a physical game. But with a racial divide, what possible competitive advantages and disadvantages can you possibly even consider without embarrassing yourself with your totally uncool stereotyping (see above)? In sum, there’s no point whatsoever other than to get people talking about the show. Which, of course, they are.
New York City officials are asking CBS to reconsider its plans, with City Councilman John Liu earning my vote for “most awesome quote of the day” with this one:
â€œThe idea of having a battle of the races is preposterous. How could anybody be so desperate for ratings?â€
Exactly. Even better, though, is watching CBS try to stand by its plan as, like, brave and risky and daring and controversial and “part of our history.” Dudes. It’s Survivor. There is absolutely no point to this move in terms of the actual playing of the stupid game. If this is how far you’ve got to go to make people care about Season 173, or whatever you’re on, it’s really time to hang up the bush hat and cargo shorts. For real.
(This is pretty lame that I get this fired up about TV, eh? Well, hey, consider it brave, risky, daring, controversial, and part of my personal history. Yeah, see? Now it’s cool.)Read more →