Review: Survivor: Palau Season Premiere

Wow, can you believe we're on the 10th season of Survivor? Seems like just yesterday that we had Richard Hatch walking around naked outside the walls of a federal prison convicted of tax evasion. But I digress...

This season started off with a short-lived twist: 20 survivors as opposed to the usual 18, and they weren't split into tribes immediately upon arrival. The premiere proved that the old tried and true methods of humiliation work best: The old grammar school method of picking teams... with the least wanted folks left for last. This was the method to immediately eliminate the extra two folks in this episode. One of which was an older singing (much to everyone's annoyance and bewilderment) English teacher, and a young blonde guy who was so non-descript that he didn't even register as a blip on the radar screen.

I suppose I should be pleased, or at least CBS should be pleased, that a few of the folks on the edges of the bell curve managed to make the initial cut. Of course they have their standard mix of characters, including a female bartender with more tatoos and piercings than I think I've ever seen on the show and the requisite gay hairdresser. There's also a steelworker that seems to require a massive force of will in order to not use cusswords every time he's on screen, and the team dynamic of younger vs. older where the younger team thinks they have the edge because the challenges are (in their minds) based on physical prowess.

I have to say that there are some things about Survivor, at least as portrayed, that never cease to amuse me. A couple of items made me think of the Guy Fleegman character from Galaxy Quest: "Did you guys ever watch the show?". Here are a couple of rules from which one should never deviate, as evidenced in the previous nine seasons:

1. Do not take charge or try to establish yourself as a leader on the very first day.

2. Do not act like an outsider, even if it happens to match your personality on the very first day.

3. Do not stand out in an annoying, strange, or otherwise wierd way on the first day.

I'd say the above three rules have applied to every season of Survivor so far, and Palau is no different.

CBS was pitching this season as being oh-so-different from what's come before. We'll just have to see.

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