Survivor Reviews: Game Changers

I’m well aware that I’m six billion years late with this. I’m sure you already know why, so I’m not going to waste any time on my “journey” to this point. I just needed to get this off my to-do list before BB19 ended. So let me start by saying this: I. Freaking. Called it.

December 2016
“Game Changers is, in fact, going to suck. Good luck proving me wrong next time.”

Oh, but it didn’t simply suck, mind you. It specifically sucked ass balls. I still have a lot of seasons to rewatch, but the way things are looking right now, I think this might be my least favorite season ever. Pretty much every criticism you could make for a reality competition show is present here: bad casting choices, awful boot order, mean-spiritedness, predictable gameplay, squandering of good drama, awkward forced storylines, too many twists, tarnished reputations and relationships… I mean, my god. And the worst part is that I didn’t even think it was going to be this bad. I don’t think there will ever be another season with as few redeeming qualities as this one.

Let’s start out with the very, very few positives I can say about this miscarriage of a season. While a lot of the cast is full of people who were really only cast because CBS are the only people that liked them (and because that’s how CBS does everything nowadays), I can say without a doubt that there were quite a few people I was happy to see. “Queen Sandra is one of my favorite characters of all time, so why wouldn’t I be happy to see her again? I mean, she has nothing to gain from coming back a third time, and she’s absolutely going home early, but sure, I’ll savor this moment.” Unfortunately, this treatment was given to a lot of the people I was rooting for in the pre-season.

That’s not to say the alumni who got screwed over weren’t at fault for this. J.T.’s last two episodes took away whatever credibility he had left as of the letter incident some seven years prior- can we go back to 2009 and officially revoke his paycheck? And then there’s Varner… no, you know what, no, I’m not going to talk about that. He and the rest of America have suffered enough. My point is, while it’s clear that a lot of the more iconic players didn’t really bring their A-game, the fact that these “game changers” just had to fulfill their desires to make #BigMoves is what doomed this concept. I understand that it’s better to get the threats out as soon as possible, but when you have people who, quite frankly, do not belong in the environment you set up for them, being the ones to initiate those plays, I die a little inside. In other words, these “game changers” really put the “moron” in the “oxymoron” that is the phrase “game changers”.

But even then, a lot of those #BigMoves were confusing as hell. In the second vote of the season, Sandra makes a big deal about getting rid of Tony without having to vote for him. Um, if everyone knows that you spearheaded the operation, what good is voting with your target, especially when the two of you have been at each others’ throats the past two days? There was no reason to do that. What, did you think you’d get a cookie for that performance? For some idiot reason, stuff like this kept happening all season, and I’m putting the blame on the editing team for overcomplicating everything. Every time we were on the verge of a suspenseful tribal council, they threw in copious amounts of misdirection. Normally, that’s standard for a show like Survivor, but when you rely on misdirection too many times, the suspense is gone, and you’re begging for it to end.

While we’re still talking about whack job editing, Sarah Lacina. Now, I know there are a lot of people who absolutely despise both her and the edit she was given, and I totally see why. This whole “Sarah is Awesome” storyline came completely out of nowhere, and during the early merge, no less, and it’s especially jarring because everything she did was so basic and boring for a project with the name “‘Game’ ‘Changers'”. Anybody else could have done the things she did. But honestly? I don’t think Sarah was that bad at all. Yes, she was kind of boring. Yes, her winner’s edit was obvious. Yes, that time when she gave Cirie her vote steal as a “sign of trust” was one of the most idiotic ideas I’ve ever seen. And yes, I can’t say too many good things about her. But compared to the rest of the BS we had to deal with this season, those are minor complaints. I don’t think it’s justified to put the blame for this season sucking squarely on her.

Now you’re probably saying to yourself “Hey, wait a minute! You just said you couldn’t say a single good thing about Sarah, just like how you said the same about this season as a whole! Why does she get a pass? Hypocritical, much?” Valid argument. Here’s my answer: it’s my website and not yours. I can say whatever the hell I want, and I say Sarah wasn’t that bad. So there. Review over, screw this season. I’ll see you in a few days with my equally salty review of Big Brother 19.

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