Tag Archives: In Living Color

‘Survivor: Cagayan’ Look Back: A Case For Kass; Plus Look-Alikes!

First, an apology: I was derelict in my responsibilities during this last season of Survivor, posting only a single recap in spite of yet another strong entry into the series. I can offer neither excuses nor reparations, just the promise that I will try not to be so negligent again. Trust me, I missed the recaps more than you, so it’s something I really hope to get back to. I can’t promise that this won’t happen again. But I promise I’ll try.

Now that my mea culpa is out-of-the-way, let us go ahead and – despite the season ending weeks ago – discuss the Survivor: Cagayan finale, as I finally got to the last few episodes this week and it’s still fresh in my mind. Cagayan continued what has been a string terrific, engaging, surprising Survivor seasons, a red-hot streak that has been the show’s renaissance, proving the series to be just as entertaining and relevant in its 28th season as it was in its first. And this season featured, if not one of its best players, one of its boldest, not-cop cop Tony, the Sole Survivor and winner of the million. To use a phrase that I really don’t care for, Tony played balls-out from day one, making alliances, immediately breaking them, swearing on his dead father’s grave like it had the weight of a Facebook RVSP, digging up Immunity Idols, lying about Immunity Idols, creating paranoia, letting his own paranoia persuade him to blindside players in his alliance, building #SpyShacks, and totally vexing his fellow Survivors and, often, himself in the process. It wasn’t the cleanest Survivor game ever, quite the opposite, but it was effective. Tony played big, was never out of the spotlight, but always managed to hang onto control of the game, partly because of his “bag of tricks,” but partly because no one else wanted to sport his bullseye. But being so omnipresent, so visible, often seemed to take Tony out of the discussion for elimination. Like the purloined letter, he was hidden in plain sight, deftly (sometimes) keeping his alliance committed and loyal and keeping himself safe. In the end, especially in a final two against Woo(!), Tony deserved to win the million. However, while Tony did the most to earn the victory, I was surprised at the lack of respect for Kass’s game, who likewise played a bold, unpredictable, cutthroat and successful (but just not successful enough) game.

Read on: Goats and Llamas

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Filed under Analysis, Better Late Than Never, Century 21 Reality, Look-Alikes, MS Paint, Tribal Council, Winterfallen

‘Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit’ Finale – Apt Pupil

Survivor Caramoan Final 4When Survivor: Caramoan – Fans vs. Favorites 2 Legit 2 Quit began just three months ago we bemoaned the ubiquity of loud, boisterous, attention-grabbing personalities like Shamar, Brandon Hantz and Former Federal Agent(?) Fillip. It felt like a season plotted by casting – and by casting just a few controversial, polarizing figures, stunt casting essentially – than a season anchored by appealing, charismatic, engaging characters who we would want to root for, and a season that might rely on shock value and stock reality show antics than good stories, solid gameplay and jaw-dropping twists. Well, we are happy to say that we were wrong. While the pre-merge game was dominated by those big names and big bodies, and while some of our favorite players were eliminated earlier than we would have preferred, after the merge Survivor: Caramoan has delivered great Tribal Council after great Tribal Council, offering some landmark series moments. It was like viewing a Sandra Bullock film back to back to back. Blind Side after Blind Side after Blind Side. And it’s left us with five somewhat unlikely players, none of whom are physically dominant or socially controlling or remarkably devious. Just five players who’ve managed to get to the end, through considerable disadvantages and obstacles, each carving a somewhat different path. It wasn’t what we foresaw for Caramoan, but we’re not complaining.

Cochran, for sure, is the front-runner, having played a smart, strategic, clean game. But Dawn has been right there with Cochran, and she’s made stronger personal bonds, which could play in her favor. Don’t discount Sherri though, who took an entry-level position with Stealth ‘R’ Us when the fans’ alliance fell apart, came in everyday on time, punched her card, worked hard, and is one of the few employees still with the company. Then there’s Eddie, who’s been on the outs from day one, has been to nearly every Tribal Council and was always at risk of going home, and who has made no enemies. Finally, you have Erik, who’s ruffled very few feathers, managed to flip and flop without seeming untrustworthy, and has an excellent chance to sweep the remaining challenges. Really, out of these five, you could make a case that all of them can win the million and it’s going to be interesting…

Oh, wait, Erik’s down…

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Filed under Brilliance, Century 21 Reality, It's gross., Tribal Council, We'll Get It In Post

Angels and Demons: On the MTV ‘Real World’ Marathon

Real World Los Angeles Ahead of the premiere of the twenty-eighth (!) season of The Real World, set somewhat curiously in Portland, MTV has scheduled a weekend marathon of three “classic” seasons of the trailblazing reality show. Starting Friday night at 8pm MTV will air the first entry in the series, the groundbreaking Real World: New York, followed by the booze and sex soaked Las Vegas season Saturday at 2pm, and rounded out by the Puck and Pedro-fronted season three, Real World: San Francisco, beginning 8am Sunday. While we applaud the selection of NY and SF as 66.6% of the marathon, we cannot support the further promulgation of Las Vegas, especially at the expense of more worthy, important, less debaucherous seasons like Los Angeles, New Orleans, Seattle, or even the underrated Miami.

Choosing New York to lead off the marathon is a no-brainer. It was not just the first season of the long-running series, it defined what the series would be. Like Richard Hatch on the maiden season of Survivor, The Real World: New York set the mold for what this show would be, and, in many ways, set the course for Reality TV for the next twenty years. It’s cultural relevance and impact cannot be understated. Likewise for San Francisco, which was even more captivating and controversial for its inclusion of Pedro, an HIV positive Cuban-American, and Puck, a bellicose bike messenger with questionable hygiene and even more questionable social skills. This season – with its portrayal of a gay man (living, not dying) with AIDS and the caustic, boorish punk who alienated his housemates to the point of eviction – truly launched the show, and as well as awareness of the deadly disease, into the public consciousness, establishing The Real World as an MTV institution and a cultural phenomenon with immense significance. Nearly ten years later, Las Vegas began to undo everything that San Francisco and its peers has established.

Read on: Sin City or the City of Angels?

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Filed under Analysis, Nostalgia Corner, The Worst, TV Killed the Music Video Star

‘Survivor: Redemption Island’ Finale: Pawn Stars

Our Redemption Island journey came to an end Sunday night, and while the home stretch of the season had been rather uneventful and predictable, if economical, we still had the chance for fireworks in the last two hours.  Would Rob complete what was unquestionably one of – if not the – definitive Survivor performances, winning it all in his fourth attempt?  Or, perhaps, would Matt fulfill his destiny and return from Redemption Island to become the Sole Survivor (if that was God’s will)?  Or would Mike, the lone remaining member of Zapatera, the double threat of soldier and Jesus lover,  reenter the game and lockup votes from his former teammates?  Or would Grant, the remarkable physical specimen, go undefeated down the stretch, the jury rewarding  his unparalleled athletic prowess with a million dollars.  Or, finally, would Andrea prove victorious in the final Redemption Island duel and surprise us all by going all the way to the end?  Well, there’s no way that could happen, right?

Wrong! But could anyone possibly stand in the way of Boston Rob???

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Filed under Analysis, Be careful what you wish for, Century 21 Reality, God Laughs, LOST, Masochism, Tribal Council, You Decide

Today in ‘Today’: Heyyyy

GUYS!  We need to let Kathie Lee and Hoda know if we like their new sign-on!

Frankly, we’re for it!

What do you two think?

Ouch.  Although, we would prefer it if KLG & Hoda-woman got on the same page before air.  C’mon, gals.  It’s 10am.  Do you know where your lines are?

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The Bestest News: Jim Carrey to Return to ‘SNL’! And a Look Back at His Last Go ‘Round

To this day we consider Jim Carrey’s May 1996 hosting turn as the best SNL of our generation (with perhaps Alec Baldwin’s November 2006 hosting appearance as the strongest since, but certainly not better), so it was with great excitement that we learned that Carrey will be returning after  almost 15 years to host the first SNL of 2011.  Set your DVRs for 11:30pm on January 8, kids.  If anyone could pull SNL out of its doldrums, it might be Carrey (although, the NBC website might want to get his name spelled name right).

Coming up: We look back at that instant classic…

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Filed under Freak Out Control, Good Humor, Nostalgia Corner, Saturday Night Live

“Presidential Reunion”; Or Will Funny or Die Kill ‘SNL’?

By now you’ve all seen this Funny or Die sketch (because it was uploaded almost a week ago, which this day in age classifies it as old) that brings together the all time team of SNL presidential imitators.  It’s great, right?  Totally awesome (especially Chevy, doing what Chevy does best).

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However, what concerns me is what this video, and videos of its ilk, means to SNL.  Why I am so concerned about a show that has basically been skating by since 1993, if not earlier, and has never really faced any real competition, I don’t know (and no, MADtv doesn’t count).  But the more I see the Funny or Die videos featuring both SNL and non-SNL talent I wonder how long the show will be able to compete (especially now that Funny or Die has its own show on HBO, although the one episode I saw was rather underwhelming).  And this Presidential Reunion, directed by Hollywood heavyweight Ron Howard, really caused me pause.

Keep reading: Does this spell the end for ‘SNL’?

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Filed under Analysis, Good Humor, Saturday Night Live, Virulent