Another season of Survivor has come to an end. While 2 of the Final 3 contestants (Chrissy and Ryan) were from New Jersey (My home state), with Chrissy actually from my hometown (Lebanon Township), it was Ben who Outwitted, Outplayed, and Outlasted everybody to win the Million Dollars and be crowned champion. Was really rooting for Chrissy, and do feel that the final advantage that she won was not really an advantage, and think it actually was a disadvantage. While I do not think there was any conspiracy at play to have Ben win, I do feel that the way he won was a bit tainted. Hats off to him. He took advantage of the way the game was set up this time to get ot the finals and get the votes needed.
While the season was very enjoyable (especially with a local rooting interest), I did feel they went a bit overboard with the number of idols and advantages. After a while, I started to feel like the spirit of the game was taken away and switched from a social and mental game to being basically a glorified scavenger hunt. If they keep things this way going forward, then all we will see is everybody looking for idols immediately after every Tribal Council with whoever finds them moving on to the end. Really no fun in that. Going forward there should either be a limit on the number of idols that any one person can play, they should be much harder to find, or maybe something like they did with Lauren, where you needed to find 2 seperate parts.
I also felt that the final advantage actually took away from the drama of the final immunity challenge, and will make the final immunity challenges way less interesting going forward. The drama was with Ben believing he had to win or else he was going home. Now, when you get to the final 4, you can try to win to guarantee a spot in the finals, but you also know that if you lose, you still have a way of getting to the finals. As a viewer, this takes away all the drama. Why give people extra chances. Make them play as hard as they can knowing they have to win. Hopefully the producers see this, and get rid of it after next season.
Few final thoughts:
Liked the idea of the 3 tribes, but think they need to lock and find people who really fit the categories they had (Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers). Seems like there were a few players who they just through into a group for no real reason (How exactly was Ryan a Hustler, or Ashley a Hero)
I liked the format at the final tribal council with everybody being able to ask questions.
I was a bit upset that they hardly mentioned any of the contestants at the live reunion show. Either the contestants voted off early were so boring they had nothing to say, or any film of them doing anything interesting, or they want to promote themselves more with all the shots of Jeff running through the audience. I may be old school, but would rather have Jeff acknowledge the players who played the game rather than question some random audience members.
All in All, another great season and looking forward to Season 36 next spring. I really think I have never missed an episode, and have watched almost everyone on the day they aired (Do use DVR to time shift a bit). Going way back, I remember taping them on my VCR in the early days and hoping it worked
Discussing the Final Advantage / Disadvantage
As far as the other bid story for me, Mike Francesa signed off as the drive time sports talk show host on WFAN Sports Radio in NYC last Friday, December 15th after 30 years. I remember coming across the Mike and the Mad Dog show on my way home from work back in 1990, and have been a loyal listener ever since. Everyday when I got in my car for the 1 – 2 hour drive home (yes, I drive a lot), the 1st thing I would do was to put on 660 AM (and then 101.9 FM) on the radio and listen to Mike and the Mad Dog (Chris Russo) and then Mike solo. Really liked the insight and knowledge that Mike brought across all sports, as well as breaking format to talk about politics, movies, books every so often). Also loved that the show was local, with most of the talk about the local teams (Mets, Yankees, Giants, Jets, Knicks, Nets, Rangers, Devils and Islanders). And finally loved that Mike did not cater to anybody or other networks. Remember Mike saying that if somebody wanted to come on his show to promote something, but stated that Mike could not ask about certain things, then he would gracefully decline. An he never attacked or went after other hosts or networks in a mean way. All this showed when numerous guests called in the 2nd to last day to congratulate him, and show their respect.
Will be interesting to see who the replacement team does going forward. I will give them the benefit of the doubt and listen for a while. Hopefully they will realize what worked for Mike and stay close to the same and not try to imitate other shows that don’t work (They don’t work for a reason).
On his last day, I had the day off from work, so I went to an early afternoon showing of “The Last Jedi”, and then was able to listen to the last hour or so in my car. Was a great way to finish listening after 30 years. Thank you Mike for all the memories and you will be missed
As far as “The Last Jedi”, I really enjoyed it. While there were a few parts that got a bit hokey (they could have eliminated most of the casino part), I did like how they did not go strictly by the book and made some bold choices. I realize that these characters are so ingrained in everybody’s mind, and everybody has a idea of how they think they should act, that it would be impossible to please everyone. But the movie had plenty of emotion and some great action, Throw in that Rey is a somebody you respect and root for, and that Kylo Ren is really a great character (villain or not), and you have a movie that fits right in with the rest of them.
Here are the Star Wars Films and the 1st time I saw them in the theater
Star Wars (1977): Wellfleet Drive In, MA (Family summer vacation)
Empire Strikes Back (1980): Paramus Mall, NJ (Me and my dad – Still the best)
Return of the Jedi (1983): Essex Green Movie Theater, NJ (High School Friends)
The Phantom Menace (1999): Bridgewater Mall, NJ (Cindy)
Attack of the Clones (2002): Manville, NJ
Revenge of the Sith (2005): Sony Theater, East Hanover, NJ ( With Tom from CIT)
The Force Awakens (2015): AMC Theater, New Brunswick, NJ (Verizon Free Showing)
The Last Jedi (2017): Philipsburgh Theater (Afternoon showing in the snow)
Hope that everybody finds some time to spend with friends and family during the next few weeks. Enjoy some time away from your work to relax and remember the good things that happened to you in 2017. Have a Very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year