Movie Stream Cast 57: What We Do in the Shadows (2015) and Survivor: Cambodia “Second Chance”

MSC What We Do in the Shadows BannerKeeping in the Halloween theme here on Movie Stream Cast Josh is rejoined by Rachel do discuss the vampire comedy mockumentary What We Do in the Shadows. The movie is streaming for a $7.99 digital rental on Amazon Instant Video and for $9.99 on Google Play and YouTube. Afterward, Film Critic Cody Clark joins the show for an epic 45-minute discussion about the first four episodes of Survivor: Cambodia “Second Chance”.

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80 thoughts on “Movie Stream Cast 57: What We Do in the Shadows (2015) and Survivor: Cambodia “Second Chance”

  1. Wow you guys are on a completely different wavelength when it comes to Survivor. It never even ocdurred to me that Jeremy threw the challenge on purpose. How did you arrive at that conclusion when there was no context in the episode to suggest that? Did I miss that? Then again, you guys have seen like 30-something more seasons than I have so I bow down to you :/

    • Have you guys seen the latest episode? Holy crap! That was great. If I wasn’t fully convinced before, I am now. A few things:

      1) Abi is so lucky. She needs to go soon after what she pulled after Woo told his mom’s story.

      2) Woo is now on my good side. I’m convinced he’s a good and likeable guy as well as a strong competitor.

      3) I continue to really like Spencer. I hope he sticks around for a while.

      4) I continue to dislike Stephen. I just don’t see it, guys.

      • **** Mild SECOND CHANCE Spoilers Below! ****

        Finally able to watch it tonight. My wife, myself and our 11-year-old daughter all watch together, so sometimes matching schedules takes a couple of day.

        Great episode, in what continues to be a great season. Major props for Kimmi K. I did not think she had any of what we just saw in her. She is definitely benefiting from having played before, and not everybody does. It seems clear that she’s kept in touch with the show since “Australia” and actually paid attention.

        If Angkor has to go to another tribal council before there’s a merge, then Abi’s gonzo. Woo is far more valuable as a long-term, post-merge asset because of his predictability/emotional stability. Since there’s probably a medical evac next week, however, and with Angkor suddenly having a little challenge momentum … Abi just might make it to the merge. And then she’ll be around possibly until the bitter end, because a) everyone will want to sit next to her at the final tribal council, and b) everyone will be trying to use her each week as a swing vote.

        I’ve always like Woo and Spencer both. I think Stephen has been a little bit stiff and frantic the entire season because of his outside-the-game reputation as a strategic “Survivor” mastermind. He’s got some serious performance anxiety going on. I’m still fond of him from “Tocantins,” but I’d probably be a little mystified, too, if “Second Chance” were my first exposure to him.

        So who’s going to get medivacked? I think the Kass thing is a bait-and-switch; they just cribbed her reacting to someone else’s horrible injury.

        • MINOR CAMBODIA 1-5 SPOILERS

          Regarding your list, JUAN …

          1) Abi’s reaction to Woo’s story was pretty atrocious.

          2) I’m glad you like Woo now. He’s a sweetheart.

          3) I think Spencer is sticking around for a long while. He’s getting a major “hero edit” as Stephen said on Twitter, “Kimmi catches 3 giant clams. No music. Spencer spears a minnow and we break out the London Symphony Orchestra.”

          4) If you can’t appreciate Stephen as a player at least appreciate his hilarious tweets. This is another favorite of mine from this week:

          “Behind the scenes fact: Monica was always the one to clean the fish. (The ones we ate. I’m not saying she bathed me.)”

          CODY,

          I keep hearing people saying thing like you do here with “Major props for Kimmi K” but I just see it as being dense, honestly. Yes, she had tenacity and got Monica voted out, but how short-sighted was it? Monica wasn’t turning against Bayon. Not even close. She was just saying that she trusted Wigles more than Spencer–which Monica was clearly right to do–as well as keeping in mind that they don’t want to be outnumbered by the men down the road. Monica was thinking about this correctly on all accounts: she was staying loyal to her alliance, she had rightly identified Spencer as a huge threat (while Wigles apparently isn’t playing) and she is keeping her eye on her long game by making sure she wasn’t outnumbered in the end-game. Stellar stuff from Monica. Unfortunately, she made some dumb social moves like arguing about food (a Survivor 101 no-no) and trusting that Kimmi had as much sense about the game as she did.

          I really hope you are right when you say that “If Angkor has to go to another tribal council before there’s a merge, then Abi’s gonzo.” It will depend on Tasha’s hubris and whether she (incorrectly) believes that she can control Abi-Maria.

          Cody makes a good point about Stephen, Juan, when he says “I’d probably be a little mystified, too, if ‘Second Chance’ were my first exposure to him.” Honestly, my faith in him doesn’t even come from his first season, but from his podcast. I do think he is adorable on this season in confessionals, though and his edit (though harsh from the editors) is hilarious. I am EXTREMELY encourage that we are going to see some classic season next week based on the “Next Time on Survivor” clip at the end of episode 5. As I told Stephen on Twitter, that was the most riveting 20 seconds of the entire episode, in my opinion.

          RE: THE SUPPOSED MEDIVAC, I DON’T THINK THAT’S WHAT IT IS.

          I HAVE A POSSIBLE EP 6 SPOILER BASED ON WHAT I HEARD HAPPENED AFTER THE GAME.

          POTENTIAL SPOILER ALERT! NOT FOR THE GAME, BUT FOR THE SHOW!

          I saw a tweet from Jeff Varner shortly after the season started airing where he said to “pray for Terry’s family” and apparently he had a son who was having a major surgery or something and it was referred to as “tragic” so I think this might be it. Terry is, of course on the same tribe as Kass.

          END EP 6 SPOILERS

    • FOR JUAN:

      (CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR CAMBODIA THROUGH EP 5)

      Re: Jeremy possibly throwing the challenge … there isn’t any hard evidence in this episode, but sometimes you have to “read between the edit” with Survivor.

      Jeremy felt that he was targeted in his first season for being strong. Ever since they landed on the beach this time he has been talking about aligning with strong men (and challenge beast Tasha) so they can be his human meat shields. If you watched any of the pre-season coverage (I recommend these interviews below by Josh Wiggler, they are extremely well-written and fantastic when the competitor is fantastic), you know that Jeremy went so far as to starve himself before the game even began so that he would lose muscle mass and seem smaller than guys like Joe and Savage.

      Now, with his meat shields gone, we see Jeremy aligning with guys like Spencer and Stephen who are known to be strategists and are on the outs with Bayon, again seemingly surrounding himself with bigger targets than himself.

      So, whether Jeremy threw the challenge or not, it would have been SMART and FITTING with his strategy to appear weak. Especially weaker than guys like Terry who are known for being challenge beasts. Maybe they beat him fair and square, but Jeremy appears to be in better shape than either of these two guys–who both have almost 20 years on him, BTW.

      -Jeremy: http://bit.ly/1hG8WrK

      -Savage: http://bit.ly/1MXyvkS

      -Kass: http://bit.ly/1M5Njhs

      -Terry: http://bit.ly/1PPbKQq

      -Woo: http://bit.ly/1i7Qesw

      -Spencer: http://bit.ly/1NuUX2J

      -Stephen: http://bit.ly/1F2vPQA

      • Survivor Cambodia Spoilers through Episode 5

        If Jeremy starved himself before the game to “bulk down” then I’ve got news for him: IT DIDN’T WORK. I’m just happy to see him playing smart and enjoying himself. I was seriously rooting for him on his first season. I think the early idol find has done wonders for his game. Even if it’s just a one-vote shield, the added layer of protection makes it so much easier to relax and think critically. Good for him.

        I’m not saying Kimmi K. is now on a level with the likes of Russel and Rob. I do think she deserves a gold star, however, for manipulating a vote. She saw something she didn’t like and acted on it, bending some fairly serious gamers (Stephen and Jeremy) to her will in the process. Her immediate position is maybe a little weaker than it was, but she’s still got Stephen and Jeremy with her as long as she plays it cool, and Spencer will happily align with them at the drop of a hat. (Agree, regretfully, that Wiggles is either completely blind to the strategic aspect of the game, or suckering waaay too hard for the ol’ work hard, keep head down, be strong in challenges, don’t rock the boat line of defense.) Based on “Australia,” I didn’t think that Kimmi had a strategic bone in her body. It was a surprising and impressive reveal, given how many people come back to the game not seeming to have learned much the first time, or paid attention to “Survivor” while they were away.

        Monica was doing a couple of things right, but also fell victim to some classic blunders. As Josh correctly points out, she whined about food. She also tried to initiate an alliance beyond basic tribal alignment before the merge, which almost always turns out badly. The only per-merge alliances you can make other than out-in-the-open, obvious, majority rules, our-tribe-is-better-than-your-tribe solidarity alliances are quiet, informal two- or three-person cabals. She did three things wrong with her “Women’s Alliance” proposal to Kimmi: 1) it went against the “original Bayon” gameplan, 2) it potentially involved an outsider in Wiggles, 3) it unfortunately sounded the old “I am doing the thinks about strategy!” alarm. You have to be so, so careful about No. 3. You can’t talk deep strategy too soon or too openly; It gets people voted off every season.

        • David Bloomberg would agree with you on that last point, based on the latest episode of “Why So and So Lost Survivor”

          http://robhasawebsite.com/survivor-2015-cambodia-episode-5-why-monica-padilla-lost-david-bloomberg-podcast/

          CAMBODIA SPOILERS

          I’m not convinced Kimmi was thinking beyond “Hey, that’s not ‘Bayon Strong!'” because if she had thought about it, she’d have realized that it was in her best interest. Monica wasn’t saying to vote out a Bayon (yet) and she proved that by voting “Kelly” with the tribe, even though she didn’t want to. She was just smartly saying “Let’s keep an eye on this for the future.” And she was right. Stephen and Jeremy do want to align with Spencer over Monica. They’re not playing the tribal game. Kimmi is just too dumb to see that. And she didn’t bend their will either. She told essentially them, “Hey, Monica might be coming after you guys” and they rightly played dumb and said “Hey, that’s not ‘Bayon Strong!'” because it benefited them greatly to squash a potential All-Girls thing. It was completely in Jeremy and Stephen’s interest to vote out Monica and not in Kimmi’s interest at all. Monica has said in exit interviews that she was committed to Kimmi ’til the end and Bayon as long as it made sense for her.

  2. What We Do in the Shadows is great. I was actually disappointed the first time I watched the film but, like The Office, I like it the more I watch it. Stew is my favorite part.

    • I saw this in a film festival environment the first time with the cast and crew in attendance, so everyone was amped and the vibe was electric. I was actually more let down the second time I saw it for that reason. But I agree that it is very much like The Office (and all of those Christopher Guest films that inspired The Office) where it just gets better and better the more you watch it.

  3. Did a good amount of watching today.

    What We Do in the Shadows was really entertaining. It certainly fits the bill for a a movie that you can convince people to watch to trick them into watching horror. Part of the appeal is that it’s fun for those with limited vampire knowledge, but then there’s a lot of play on tropes that more experienced horror fans will pick up on. It’s been years since I’ve seen Lost Boys and I wasn’t able to get into Salem’s Lot when I tried watching it due to all of the changes from the book. So I didn’t pick up on the sleeping locations that Josh pointed out to Rachel at the start of the movie. My favorite part of the film has to do with the fact that around the twenty-five minute mark, I was disappointed that there wasn’t a newer vampire to show what they go through. Twenty minutes later, they deliver on that new vampire.

    To me, Stu became the most important character in the movie due to what he brought to the table. There was some good heart to the movie, directly almost entirely towards Nick’s feelings of not wanting to hurt his buddy, Stu, and to not even want to cut this important friendship out of his life when Nick was forced to give up on so many other things from his previous life. Stu was there to play into the whole gag of the older vampires learning about what technology has been up to in the past hundred years. Stu was also the reason why the first interaction with the werewolves was the funniest scene in the movie. After all of this banter about vampires and werewolves, the camera cuts to Stu’s blank look and I howled with laughter due to how strange of a scene that must have been for someone who didn’t even know that he was hanging out with vampires at that point.

    I did begin to lost focus near the end, which I mostly attribute to the fact that most of the jokes were already done and I was ready for the movie to wrap up. Still, I loved it and it’s easy to see why it’s garnered so much attention online in recent months. It’s an easy streaming recommendation.

    • As for Survivor, I’m finding it difficult to watch on a week-to-week basis. The internet has really spoiled me when it comes to not having to watch a show when it first airs and instead just getting to it whenever I please. I like going at my own pace, whether that means watching several episodes in a row or even allowing a few weeks to go by without seeing any episodes. Digging the season though, I’d just like it more if I was watching it on Amazon Prime like I am the other seasons.

      -Spoilers for Survivor Cambodia
-

      Maybe it’s just because I’m most familiar with her, but Abi is a total guilty pleasure for me. She’s entertaining TV and I haven’t grown tired of her yet after seeing four episodes. What I dig about her as a player is that there’s a ton of reasons to vote her off immediately, but then there’s also advantages to keeping her around. Everyone in her tribe is forced to put up with her as long as they can before they can’t do it any longer. LOVE that she hasn’t changed much from Survivor Philippines.

      The two things that stand out for this season that interests me the most are the hidden immunity idols during challenges and creating a tribe where they don’t have anything compared to the other tribes.

      • POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR: CAMBODIA EP 1-5

        I have enjoyed Abi immensely on this season–far more than I could have imagined after hating her in Philippines–but I’ve also had my fill. It was fun, but I want to see some serious game play and it can’t happen with someone as erratic and unfamiliar with the game as Abi.

        I feel you about waiting a week to watch the episodes. It is hard. It’s also why I listen to 10 Survivor podcasts to feed my addiction.

        I also love the hidden idols. I want to see these ones played so we can see the next evolution in idols for this game.

  4. I’m kind of ashamed to admit this, but rather than sleeping I ended up binge watching the first half of the third Survivor season I’m watching. I randomly selected Season 26 Caramoan
 “Fans vs Favorites 2” and the time just got away from me. I binged through the first eight episodes of the season.

    -Spoilers for Survivor Caramoan
-

    Seeing my boy Malcolm back on for another season AND having Russell’s nephew on the show certainly played a huge role in getting into the show.

    For a guy with a marine background, Shamar ended up being a giant dud.

    Philip may be the most annoying player on Survivor that I’ve come across. The dude is flat out delusional and the amount of times he name drops Boston Rob is enough to create a drinking game.

    For the first five episodes, I assumed Julia was a mute. I can’t remember a single time in which she said a single line in those first five episodes. It was really bizarre especially since her tribe was losing all of the time. I knew a little bit about everyone else except for her. She was a paid extra, just hanging around without actually doing anything. Her lack of screen time was likely explained after the tribes were reshuffled and both Corinna and the guy who wasn’t Fishbach, but basically is the same type of person, both made note about how boring Julia was.

    Brandon lived up to his uncle’s name by making a huge impact. That whole scene at what was supposed to be an immunity challenge was extremely entertaining. The guy has to be bipolar or something, right?

    This season featured my least favorite challenge I’ve ever seen. It was the reward challenge where everyone was in the water and the object of the game was to race in a circle while carrying weights. The winner is the first to touch the other team. It was so dull and lacked any of the creativity that most of the other games have, even if some of the games can be pretty repetitive.

    If we get a third straight disappointment with the winner not being someone I felt was deserving, I’m going to start a Jeff Probst hate club.

      • Hey now, I have been following your recommendations. The first season I attempted to watch was Blood vs Water since you recommended it to a few people in the original Survivor thread. Then when I voiced some issues with the family ties affecting logical thinking, you ended up suggested three alternate seasons to watch which included Survivor Philippines. Over the course of hearing my thoughts on that season and wanting to see someone behave like Keyser Söze, you naturally recommended Survivor Samoa, which I ended up watching once I completed Philippines. Once I got done with Samoa, I had begun to watch Fiji due to our recent talk about one tribe having a lot of resources while the other one didn’t, but I quickly turned it off due to it being shown in 4:3 (Just got a new TV, so I wanted to watch something in widescreen).

        So I just went with Caramoan
 since I figured that would be shown in widescreen. For my first blind pick of a season, it’s been a really great watch.

        • Well, I’m glad you liked it. Not trying to be a big baby, but I can’t help it. I just love this show and want everyone to have a god experience with it. I can recommend the perfect season for you, I think, so let me know when you’re ready for another.

          • I’m on the last episode for Caramoan
, so if you think you have a perfect recommendation for me, now’s the perfect time. Otherwise, I’ll be moving on to Cagayan.

          • For the record, I am having a good experience with Survivor. When I first started listening to MSC, I skipped over all of the podcasts and blog posts you had for Survivor due to the lack of interest.

            Pretty much the only reason why I even gave Survivor my first watch since Survivor: Outbreak aired live was because you name dropped me back in the SURVIVORS, READY?! blog post. Had it not been for you recommending Survivor Philippines when I voices some issues with Blood vs Water, I don’t know if I would have finished a single season, let alone looking at starting my fourth season later today.

            So despite some issues with the show, you have caused me to have a ball (Not to be confused for having a Dave Ball) with Survivor. Your excitement and borderline obsession with this show is pretty contagious, especially as I continue to go back and listen to old MPW podcasts and it seems as if you bring the series up on every episode. It’s an effective form of advertising.

          • Cagayan (28) is probably the pick. It is a REALLY fun season and you will get to see the 1.0 versions of some of the players on the current season. It’s a great pick.

            There are a few other seasons I think are better, but I think you’ll find this one satisfying.

            The only ones I could recommend as more satisfying are World’s Apart (30) and Blood vs Water (27). But apparently World’s Apart isn’t available yet and you’re still probably not ready for BvW.

            You should definitely try Redemption Island (22) at some point to see what PERFECT gameplay looks like, but you HAVE to watch Hereos vs Villains (20) first.

            If you ever get around to watching some of the 4:3 Standard Definition seasons, let me know. There are at least 3-4 must-watch seasons from that era.

            • Let’s put it like this. If I had another means of “Obtaining” Survivor World’s Apart, would you recommend my next season be World’s Apart of Cagayan?

              You can go ahead and recommend some 4:3 seasons now. If nothing else, I can have them in the back of my head for whenever I’m willing to lose the widescreen look.

          • I’m glad you’re starting to get into it, Sal. It warms the cockles of my heart.

            Love the Dave Ball name-drop. He is one of the weirdest characters ever. I love his comment during the tee-ball/cricket challenge when he says, “Makin’ love is my sport” …what a fun-loving freak.

          • I think Cagayan is a little more wild that World’s Apart, but World’s Apart is a fun one for sure. And both are satisfying.

            After that I’d try Palau (10) for a great 4:3 satisfying season.

            Then, if you just want some killer gameplay seasons that aren’t always satisfying at the end do this:

            1) All-Stars (8)
            2) Samoa (19) – you already have
            3) Heroes vs Villains (20)
            and finally,
            4) Redemption Island (22)

            That arc is incredible Survivor.

            Other really good 4:3 SD seasons are:

            -Pearl Islands (8)
            -Cook Islands (13)

            and I also like …

            -Fiji (14)
            -Panama (12)

            …but those are generally regarded as slightly “lesser” seasons.

          • SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR: FIJI

            “Fiji” is still one of my favourite seasons. And I think Earl played an excellent game. He seems unfairly underrated as a winner to me.

      • LOL. Josh, I told you my reasons. I didn’t do it just to go against you. I’ll eventually get to the seasons you recommended. But hey, you did your job, I’m a fan. Not nearly as big a fan as you, but a fan nonetheless. Considering what my initial stance on Survivor was, that’s a big win, my friend.

        • Of course I don’t expect anyone to be as big a fan as me … I have a serious problem. All I’m saying is … maybe if you all followed my recommendations you WOULD be as big a fan of me. 😉 Haha

          Here’s the main thing: Listening to the podcasts REALLY ups your appreciation of the show. Think about watching Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare on your own and then contrast that to the fun of listening to the analysis of it on the podcast and commenting about it on the site with the community.

          But, it’s not just fun. Listening to these podcasts reveals the true complexities of the game. This show is built like a Pixar movie (to use and example you can understand, hahahahaha) in that that it is constructed for any moron (including my four year old kid) to be able to sit down and enjoy it on a surface level. But it also goes SO much deeper once you start dissecting the strategy and game theory. And therin lies the true fun of the show. Just saying.

          All of these articles and podcasts and links I recommend may be excessive, but it will really make the whole viewing experience much more enjoyable in the long run and keep you watching. See, Dino was what we refer to as “a casual” in the Survivor online community. Of course, we all start out that way. But I’m super-excited for Dino to try the show again with his adult brain and a community like this discussing the ins and outs of the big moves on the show. That’s how you become a fan for life.

          • I still need to get back into Survivor. I do have all of this season on my DVR. Maybe after Halloween…

            And, yes, I definitely was just a casual viewer in my past life.

    • SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR CARAMOAN

      In our rankings episode, Cody and I both agreed that Shamar was a huge dud for us. What a huge waste of time and way to drag down the first half of this season.

      We also questioned whether having Brandon Hantz on the show was responsible from the Producer’s point of view, considering his mental state. The Producer’s are lucky he didn’t slice Phillip with the machete.

      Great to see Malcolm back, of course. He has a few great moves. I agree with you about how annoying and delusional Phillip is and I LOVE him in probably the way that you love Abi-Maria. I like Dawn a lot. I like Andrea ok.

      I honestly don’t remember Julia. but whoever she is, I’d say Brenda has her tied for least memorable (at least for awhile). When you say the “guy who isn’t Fischbach” I’m assuming you mean Corrine’s “gay” Michael Snow. Love that guy. I also liked the bearded Matt Bischoff. , but basically is the same type of person, both made note about how boring Julia was.

      I love Cocheran. Oh, maybe that’s the “Fisbach you mean” … Cocheran is an all-timer for me. He has some of the funniest confessionals I’ve ever heard.

      This season featured my least favorite challenge I’ve ever seen. It was the reward challenge where everyone was in the water and the object of the game was to race in a circle while carrying weights. The winner is the first to touch the other team. It was so dull and lacked any of the creativity that most of the other games have, even if some of the games can be pretty repetitive.

      If you get a third straight disappointment with the winner not being someone you felt was deserving, you need to start taking my recommendations! You have nobody to blame but yourself, there. Try Cagayan and especially World’s Apart. I think you’ll love those. Great seasons with “satisfying” winners. I will say you are a little hard on winners. What, do they have to be alpha males to be good to you? The winner in the Philippines was excellent, in my opinion. You can’t play like an a-hole and expect to get people’s votes. It just doesn’t happen. You start to love guys like Boston Rob who can play like an a-hole but somehow convince people that he isn’t.

      But the biggest bone I have to pick with you is about this endurance challenge. Cody and I thought it was one of the best ever, my favorite instance of it being in Palau. This one was not as great as Palau’s version, but I thought Brenda was hilarious during it. One thing I hate about Caramoan (which we’re seeing a bit in Cambodia right now) are all of the carnival games. They’re fine, but I far prefer diving and heaving and hoeing. Strength and strategy and endurance. The walking around in the water with bags challenge, as simple as it is has all three. I LOVE it. If I was going to be on the show as a contestant, it’s in the Top 5 challenges I’d like to compete in. Especially compared to this “getting rolled around in a barrel then playing skee” ball crap.

      The good news is that the second half of Caramoan is better than the first half. The bad news is … well, I hope you like the winner. Ask me for a recommendation next time.

      • In a 24 hour period, I ended up watching thirteen episodes and starting the season finale. Had I not been so exhausted, I would have been able to watch the full season in that day. Suddenly, David managing to watch 11 seasons in just a few weeks becomes far more realistic. You just have to watch until you pass out. Ha.

        -Spoilers for Survivor Caramoan
-

        I didn’t mind all of the time on Shamar. It was something to do when otherwise, the start of any season tends to be pretty unremarkable. I am disappointed that we didn’t get a King Kong vs civilians fight with Eddie, Reynold, and Matt all hanging off of Shamar’s body, trying to fight the big guy. Shamar going out with an eye injury ended up being underwhelming though.

        For Brandon, did he show any of these mental problems on the previous season of Survivor that he was on? If this is just who he naturally is, then yeah, there’s some potential issues with the producer’s even allowing him to be on this season. Philip is enough to drive anyone crazy, but there was some scariness there with Brandon.

        Loved having Malcolm back, even if he didn’t last as long as I would have preferred. He kicked ass like usual, but he made a critical mistake of trying to form a secret alliance with Eddie, Reynold and others, but it never materialized. Malcolm’s early elimination does make me appreciate those four (Well, not so much Eddie since he wasn’t part of the anti-Malcolm charge) that are still in the game at this point. The SRS survivors stuck to their guns and held their alliance together to dispose of a legitimate threat in Malcolm. Good for them. I will say the epic Three Amgios tribal council was one of my favorite tribal councils that I’ve seen. In reality, it didn’t actually help Malcolm or Reynold, but it was a great moment and if Eddie can somehow win, that tribal council will end up being a huge moment for him.

        Philip is a mad man, but he is one of those characters that is entertaining despite not being likable.

        Dawn cries too much. Man up, woman. Kudos to her for being a rat who would tell Philip everything that somehow had been foolish enough to tell her. It prevented people like the Three Amigos from getting the advantage.

        Andrea won my “Hottest Survivor of the season” award. She did end up having some good plays though. Her being an annoying little sister to Malcolm prevented him from finding the hidden immunity, which lead to his exit. Had he found the hidden immunity, it may have only kept him around for an extra week, but it was still a good play by Andrea. Her exit was really bad though. When you’re trying to do a big play like blindsiding one of your teammates, use the hidden immunity to ensure it happens.

        Julia is the race car driver that literally didn’t speak until episode 6 when she’s confronted by Philip to possibly join SRS, but she made the mistake of telling Dawn, who obviously had to go run off to tell Philip. She ended up getting eliminated in episode 7. Brenda at least stood out near the end with her impressive win in the water breathing challenge (Where you hanged on a gate in the water with the tide rising). Then there was the whole family coming to visit and how it was that nice gesture of allowing the other four to see their family while she and Dawn wouldn’t that likely led to her downfall. Julia is the least memorable Survivor contestant that I’ve come across. I’m used to people not getting much screen time, especially if they’re on a tribe that is going through a winning streak, but she was on the tribe with Philip and Brandon, but they NEVER used her for anything until they finally had to in episode 6. I wonder how the producers feel about casting someone who ended up being so…”Remarkable”.

        Cocheran is the one who I thought was the Fischbach clone. Both are protrayed as geeky and out of their comfort levels on Survivor. With Cocheran in the final four and winning a couple of challenges, he’s looking pretty strong. In fact, out of him, Eddie, Dawn, and…the other middle age blonde hair woman who’s name escapes me (Starts with an “S” I believe), Cocheran is the most deserving to win.

        “If you get a third straight disappointment with the winner not being someone you felt was deserving, you need to start taking my recommendations! You have nobody to blame but yourself, there.”

        Pfft…this was the first season where I wasn’t going off of one of your recommendations, pal. Since World’s Apart isn’t on Amazon Prime, I’ll watch Cagayan next.

        BTW, if you could include season numbers, that could be nice too. While sometimes Amazon Prime does list the name of the season in the description, not all of them are like that. In the case of Cagayan, it only lists it as Brawn vs Brains vs Beauty. The only one to find out the season number for some of the names is to google it, but I’m obviously pretty hesitant to google too much out of fear that I may be spoiled. Cagayan is all set though.

        Admittedly, I am a fan of the alpha males. They do a lot to deserve a win rather than just hang around without getting noticed like others. I also think my mindset is different from most of the people who plays Survivor.

        -SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR SAMOA-

        For instance, when it came down to the final three of Russell, Mick, and Natalie, Russell was clearly the one most deserving of winning for me. I don’t watch the reunion shows (Eh…let’s just get on to a new season), but I’m guessing the people didn’t vote for him because he was a jerk. For me, I see Survivor as a game. Do ANYTHING you need to do to get ahead. As long as you’re not killing off the other contestants as if you’re in Battle Royale, it’s fair game. So for Russell, he was a manipulator, had Mick and Natalie as his two loyal lackies, and he managed to mostly control the game, at least what we were shown on TV. He even managed to win the final immunity challenge, ensuring that Brett finally went home. Instead, Natalie wins and I’m at a loss for how Natalie was awarded the win over Russell when she never won an immunity challenge, never found any hidden immunity, wasn’t controlling others, sucked in challenges and didn’t do anything other than listen to what Russell had her do. Mick at least won an immunity challenge.

        I will say this, if I was writing a fictional season of Survivor, it went down almost perfectly. You had one villain being a jerk for the entire season, underestimating his teammates, making a huge show at the very end about how he’s clearly going to win, and then *Boom* he loses to the one he least appreciated.

        Unlike the first season I watched, this one did have a final three with at least one person who was totally deserving of a win.

        -END OF SURVIVOR SAMOA SPOILERS-

        We’ll see how I feel about the winner once I finish this season though.

        While the contest wasn’t a carnival game (Which I will admit there seems to be a good amount of during this season), it didn’t make for interesting TV for me. Maybe it would have been better had Philip and company actually put in some effort.*

        *I’m sure Philip totally threw the challenge. A man like him could NEVER actually lose a challenge.

        • “For me, I see Survivor as a game. Do ANYTHING you need to do to get ahead. As long as you’re not killing off the other contestants as if you’re in Battle Royale, it’s fair game. So for Russell, he was a manipulator, had Mick and Natalie as his two loyal lackies, and he managed to mostly control the game, at least what we were shown on TV.”

          While I agree that Russell was technically more deserving of credit than the winners in his subjective seasons (particularly Samoa), I have to point out that he’s myopic when it comes to an integral part of the game. At his first reunion show he pretty much stated that he would have won if America were to cast their votes rather than the jury, citing this as a flaw in the game. To me, if Russell had it the way he wanted, the most fascinating aspect of the game would be stripped away and with it the original streak that makes Survivor stand above so many other crappy reality TV shows. The really interesting part is not just winning challenges and voting everyone else out but it’s also voting everyone else out without making them hate you. That’s why a bitter/disgusted jury doesn’t represent a flaw in the game; on the contrary it’s an intrinsic part of the game. And it’s why Russell’s super aggressive and vindictive tactics are both his biggest strength and biggest weakness. It’s not just about getting to the end by any means necessary, it’s about getting to the end by well calculated means. I truly believe that if a precedent had been set by Russell winning one of his seasons then Survivor would have metamorphosed into a far less interesting game.

          • That’s a fair opinion to have, but I have a completely different mindset for how I want Survivor to be played.

            I realize the following statement is going to be over the top and not 100% accurate, but to me, Survivor’s stance on having to keep the jury members favorable towards you can be summed up as:

            It doesn’t matter if you’re the best player, the winner will just be the nicest person.

            That idea takes away some of the fun for me because it makes it a less complicated game. It’s all about being nice and alliances rather than looking at who truly deserved to win. I will admit that it’s possible that if I was in the game, I would feel differently, but the jury should vote for who was just the best player. It doesn’t matter if someone is a jerk to me, if they were the best player, I want to vote for them. Otherwise, you end up with a lame winner that didn’t excel in any real areas.

            For me, the heart should not play into the ultimate outcome of the game.

            Then again, I am someone who loves evil players. I haven’t seen the season (Nor do I even know which one it took place in, so I can’t even give a proper spoiler), but I heard about how Johnny Fairplay once had someone come on the show and tell him that his grandmother had died, when she hadn’t actually died. To me, that’s BRILLIANT. It’s such a dick move, but it’s an effective way to manipulate people into either liking you or not wanting to vote against you. The same thing happened in uh…episode 1 of Survivor Samoa when Russell lied about his past. Total jerk move, especially for people who actually went through what he claimed he did, but this is a game. Morals, integrity, honesty, ect have no business inside of the confines of a game.

            You had mentioned that had my favorite player of Survivor Samoa won, it would have caused the game to lose some of it’s charm in future seasons. However, I disagree with that. Just because you’re trying to be Keyser Söze, doesn’t mean you’re going to be effective. Since you’ve seen so many seasons, you probably know better than me. How many people have been voted off early due to playing too hard? Playing the Keyser Söze role is not an easy task. If you can survive until the end without being voted off, you should be rewarded, not punished.

          • “It doesn’t matter if you’re the best player, the winner will just be the nicest person.”

            I definitely know where your coming from with this and I think it has happened in several (usually disappointing cases) but I certainly don’t think it’s the rule in the majority of situations. Quite often when the “nicest” players make it to the final two/three they actually get quite a lot of stick from the Jury for being coattail riders and not making big enough moves. To me it’s all about balance. On one end of the spectrum you have players like Rupert and Woo who play ostensibly honest, straight-forward games and hope that by being “honourable”, hardworking and generally amiable they’ll get far in the game but who lack the strategic qualities necessary to be a truly savy player, and then on the other end of the spectrum you’ve got the likes of Russell who is brutally manipulative, aggressive and machiavellian to a fault. I think my favourite winners tend to be the ones in the middle who balance the social game, the strategic game and the physical game. I feel like it’s such a multi-faceted game that just rolling over everyone like a bulldozer doesn’t equate to excellent game-play. The true masterminds know how to vote people out or manipulate others to vote people out without getting too much blood on their own hands. Case in point; Cochran using Dawn, desperate to play a more ruthless game than her previous outing, as a backstabbing pawn that helped further his own game without turning the jury against him. So I’d argue that the approach of keeping the favour of the Jury on your side actually makes it a more complicated game rather than less complicated. You have to be willing to make big moves and deceive and manipulate people but not so blatantly so that the Jury recognises your duplicity. That to me, is the heart of what makes Survivor such a unique and fascinating game.

            I do understand your love of the “evil players” though. The show just wouldn’t be the same, or half as interesting without them. It’s a point I feel conflicted on, because I really struggle to root for people who I actually suspect are genuinely horrible but when they’ve got the gameplay to back it up (and Russell certainly has) then I can very much appreciate the drama and intensity they bring. Russell Hantz certainly deserves credit for changing the game and for almost single-handedly making Samoa and Heroes vs Villains two of the most memorable seasons.

            • That it is. There’s a lot of differing reasons for why someone might enjoy the show. There’s also so many different things that can come into play when it comes to winning the full game. It’s not good enough to just win challenges, be everyone’s best friend, or having a good strategy. It gets even more complicated when it comes to who ends up on the jury. A guy like Russell would prefer to have someone like me on the jury, but he might not want someone with your thinking on the jury.

              I think it also says a lot when there’s finale result that someone finds to be complete BS, yet the show is still so good that you immediately start a new season to kill another six hours with binge watching.

              There’s some shows where how it ends can cause you to lose all interest in ever watching it again. The basic idea for Survivor is interesting enough to keep you coming back for more.

          • “What sort of personal problems/trauma did Brandon have?”

            He was a teen father, was going through a divorce (or just had been divorced), he’d been a violent and criminal youth, his family was emotionally abusive, he seemed to have a somewhat unhealthy relationship with his faith/religion and I think he just had some undiagnosed bi-polar issues that he should have been medicated for rather than put in a highly volatile situation.

            “It doesn’t matter if you’re the best player, the winner will just be the nicest person. That idea takes away some of the fun for me because it makes it a less complicated game.”

            I would say the opposite. I think the premise is the star of the game because it is so complicated to fight for your life and betray and backstab and them have to turn around and ask for a million dollars.

            You can’t get to the end by just being nice. You either have to fight and claw OR someone drags you along as a goat. And if you’re the perceived goat, you get ripped to shreds like Sherri did.

            “The jury should vote for who was just the best player. It doesn’t matter if someone is a jerk to me, if they were the best player, I want to vote for them.”

            I think you’re leaving out that part of being the best player is having a good social game. You’re really undervaluing that component. And a good strategist will implement a social game into their strategic game. Spencer is trying to do that in Cambodia. That’s what made Varner so good for the little while that he was. Abi doesn’t have that piece of the puzzle and if she gets voted out, that will be the reason.

            BTW, I think you’re going to LOVE Boston Rob.

            “Otherwise, you end up with a lame winner that didn’t excel in any real areas.”

            That’s a valid concern, but in 31 seasons of Survivor, we’ve really only had 3-4 totally lame winners, in my opinion. That’s good enough odds for me to keep watching.

            Yes, Russell was brilliant in Samoa, but it’s not for the lying. The lying was good TV, but not all that impressive gameplay. That kind of lying is easy to do. anyone can do it. Just not everyone WOULD do it. You can fabricate anything. If he was such a good player, he would have taken the deception further and pretended to like these people rather than humiliate them. He had too much ego to do that. A good player can do that to the cameras in confessionals, but keep cool in the game.

        • POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR CARAMOAN AND SOUTH PACIFIC:

          I recently finished up the Coach arch with South Pacific which is also the season that introduced us to Cochran, Brandon Hantz and Dawn. So I followed it up with Caramoan.

          Brandon Hantz definitely had some notable issues in his first season although he was nowhere near as unstable as he ended up being in Caramoan. You could see the conflict bubbling beneath the surface as he tried to maintain his composure and play an honest game applying devout Christian values to his approach and distancing himself from his uncle.

          And I actually really enjoyed both South Pacific and Caramoan. Coach has one of the most complete and compelling arcs of any returning player; from entertaining but frustratingly pretentious buffoon (Tocantins) to manipulative but genuinely strong and likeable player (South Pacific) via his tearful moment of self-realisation in Heroes vs Villains.

          And Cochran has probably become my new favourite contestant. He’s certainly the player so far that I’ve related to the most (except for the fact that he’s smart and successful). His self-deprecating humour is a joy to behold and he also has a great arc, going from an over-excited, neurotic super-fan to a genuine challenge beast and subtly strategic powerhouse. Caramoan was a really satisfying watch for me. The arrogant chauvinist alpha males got what was coming to them and we had a winner who not only deserved it but also had an extremely entertaining screen presence and was genuinely lovable.

          • ALL THE SPOILERS TO SPOIL FOR SURVIVOR: CARAMOAN

            I agree with everything you said.

            Coach was someone to laugh at the first two times. And I genuinely loved him by the end of South Pacific.

            My problems with Caramoan are that the pre-merge sucks due to all the focus on Shamar and Brandon. And I was dying to see more of Brenda until we did. I was really disgusted by Brenda at the end.

            Despite being emotional, I think Dawn deserved to win every bit as much as Cochran. She was with him every step of the way and had way more blood on her hands. There is a lot of good in the season, but it is scarred by a dull pre-merge, an awful jury performance at final tribal, and just brutal emotional moments with Brandon’s breakdown and Brenda’s vengeance that I think are below the caliber of this show and more in line with what people expect from typical reality crap-TV.

          • Have you seen Redemption Island yet, David? I really like the All-Stars, Samoa, HvV, Red-I arc. That’s my personal favorite.

            SOUTH PACIFIC SPOILERS

            Love Coach, but as well as he played, he totally fumbled at tribal council and allowed a lesser player to profit from all of his hard work. He still didn’t have that last piece of self-awareness to know that you can’t cut people’s throats and then play the “honor” card at the end.

          • SPOILERS FOR CARAMOAN:

            Yeah, when I saw the tribal council with Brenda asking Dawn to take out her false teeth it triggered a memory of you describing that moment as particularly uncomfortable and unpleasant and I totally agree. It was the most vindictive jury question moment I’ve seen since Corinne’s attack on Sugar at the end of Gabon. I understand that the game gets emotional and getting voted out sucks but those kind of genuinely cruel and hurtful personal attacks trouble me. I don’t like that people actually think it’s okay to treat others that way no matter the context.

            And I agree that Dawn played a good game but I think she just went a bit overboard trying to prove herself as a ruthless contender. She did it well but I think that the fact she made such close relationships with the people she’d later betray definitely played against her. I think it’s just her personality being at odds with her actions really; Cochran’s nature seems to predicate a level of social detachment rendering his betrayals less potent but when someone as ostensibly genuine, sweet and friendly as Dawn is the one sticking the knife in it seems all the more painful.

          • Josh, to be honest I’ve been avoiding “Redemption Island” because Boston Robs vesty arrogance grates on me so much. I will inevitably get to it though, especially to see more from Special Agent Philip Sheppard.

            SPOILERS FOR WORLD’S APART

            I just finished up “Worlds Apart” though, which is a season you and Cody rated pretty highly. I was kind of torn with this one. The gameplay was intense and Mike was definitely a super deserving winner (despite starting the game terribly by being one of those guys who tries to get everyone to constantly work around camp) and I actually quite liked Gorgeous Joe in this season but where the hell did they dig up the rest of these cavemen? We had Vince who appeared to be a sexual harassment lawsuit waiting to happen, Rodney whose head was made of so much meat he should have shut up and made pastrami sandwiches with it instead of constantly trying to guilt people into giving him their rewards and Dan who was little more than a delusional, passive-aggressive garden gnome. Why was everyone in this season a horrible misogynist? Between Joaquin’s Patrick Bateman-esque chauvinism, Dan’s “how to talk to women” advice and Rodney’s ignorance it was just disturbing to watch. Even Will who seemed fairly normal at first ended up proving himself beyond redemption with his despicable outburst at Shirin. And why did everyone hate Shirin? Why did these horrid dullards act like she was an idiot because she was excited to see Monkeys mating in the wild? That’s a cool thing to see!

            All that said though, I think this will definitely become one of the most memorable seasons in my mind. It was very entertaining in a sort of trainwreck-of-a-train-full-of-insane-people kind of way. And watching Mike fight his way through against all odds was compelling (although I think I found him a little flat as a character).

            I need more time to process.

        • “You just have to watch until you pass out.”

          Love it.

          POSSIBLE SPOILERS FOR CARAMOAN & SAMOA

          “I am disappointed that we didn’t get a King Kong vs civilians fight with Eddie, Reynold, and Matt all hanging off of Shamar’s body, trying to fight the big guy.”

          That would have been amazing.

          “Did he show any of these mental problems on the previous season of Survivor that he was on?”

          Brandon was a bit unstable on his first season, but nothing like this. He’s just so young and has had so much trauma in his life. Survivor takes a long time to process for anybody and he didn’t take enough time. He has no legitimate support group coming from the family he does. I thought his first season was commendable, but Russell and his dad mocked him publicly for his game play for “not playing like a Hantz.” But the biggest issue here is that production knew. They HAD to know. They run physicals and psych evaluations on everybody that goes out there and they’ve said they “considered it a possibility” which means they knew and didn’t care, which is why I was really worried that was a “shark jump” moment for the series. There was another a few season later with some controversial casting of a known racist, but the show has proven over the last five seasons (except maybe San Juan Del Sur, which isn’t great) that it is still a force to be reckoned with. It many ways it just keeps getting better.

          Malcolm had trouble, scrambling from the bottom for most of this game, but he tried. Not a fan of The Three Amigos, especially Eddie, but Malcom rocked these tribals with balls of brass. The famous “hold up bro” moment was classic and the Phillip move was brilliant.

          This music is painful, but it is still worth watching this “Hold Up Bro” musical with Legos if you are a fan of Caramoan.

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMrJxVW0wCw

          “Let’s Bro-Down Together!”

          Yes, Dawn cries too much, but she is cut throats like a ninja in this game.

          “Andrea won my ‘Hottest Survivor of the season’ award.” It would have been Brenda for me, until final tribal spoiled it. After that, I’d drop to my number 2 with Andrea as well. She’s also a decent player if she wasn’t always falling for these dumb guys. And yes, she blew her exit.

          Ah, yes. Julia the race car driver. Actually, almost all of the young women on the fans tribe were practically mute. Which is fine. I hate that kind of casting. Give me some PLAYERS, not just bikini babes and bros! I think that’s another big problem I have with this season. Reynold and Eddie and the 3-4 anonymous women on the fans tribe were just terrible casting. Clearly, most of them didn’t know the game. If you are going to call it the “Fans” tribe, give me some FANS of the game. Like Kelley Wentworth on Cambodia. She looks like she’d be the ditzy blond bikini girl, but she’s playing her ass off and knows the game inside and out.

          “BTW, if you could include season numbers, that could be nice too.” Will do.

          “For me, I see Survivor as a game. Do ANYTHING you need to do to get ahead. As long as you’re not killing off the other contestants as if you’re in Battle Royale, it’s fair game.”

          You’re not going to find anyone in the world arguing that Natalie was a worse player than Russell. We all agree with that. But Russell screwed his own game by being arrogant. As Stephen said in the most recent episode of Cambodia, “the strategic is emotional because you can’t have a real alliance unless you form real bonds.” Look, I am a strategy-hound. It’s the main reason I love the show, but you also have to remember that people are people and you can’t undervalue the social game. THAT’S A THIRD OF THE GAME! MAYBE MORE! In most cases, juries vote for the person they can stomach admitting that they lost to. And if they like you, it’s easier to admit defeat than if you’ve humiliated them. The very best players play, in my estimation, play a hard, cutthroat game but are able to 1) build a resume, 2) let people down easy when you vote them out and 3) earn respect by explaining your journey well at the final tribal council. Winning challenges or controlling the game can be good too and helps you get to the end, but it’s not as necessary to win.

          Side notes:

          *I can’t believe your still harshing on the Philippines winner so much. They are SOLID in all three aspects of the game: physical, mental and social.

          *And just FYI, I think the reunion shows can be pretty fun. Sometimes they are pointless, but occasionally you get some really good insight or character moments. For instance on Samoa, Russell tried to buy the title of sole Survivor from Natalie for like $2K. Haha

          • What sort of personal problems/trauma did Brandon have? Based on what Philip said to him, I got the impression that he isn’t close with his parents, which is why his kids were being looked after by Russell’s wife.

            That Youtube video was pretty great. Between Philip’s pink underwear, Erik’s hair, and Malcolm hiding a hidden immunity behind him, they covered as many small details as they could.

            Brenda was certainly easy on the eyes, but the more time she spent around her dad, she came across as more of a person to me and not just some hot half naked chick.

            Most of the girls on the fans team were lame ducks, but at least the two who were shacking up with Reynold and Eddie had an excuse. They were eliminated really early on and they did have a character trait of being the bro’s hoes. Julia? Absolutely nothing.

            I’m sure the reunion shows can be really fun and do a fine job at explaining some things that aren’t expressed on the show. That being said, I’m more interested in being marooned on another island and meeting these new wacky contestants.

          • I think the way Russell and Brandon’s dad treated Brandon appeared pretty despicable. They were trying to punish and humiliate him for having the guts to show some moral fortitude and decency. That’s terrible and how his dad can apparently claim to be a “man of god” is beyond me.

  5. “What We Do In The Shadows” seems like one of those films that I’ll have to get myself in the right mood for but I am curious to check it out. I recall enjoying the bits of “Flight of the Conchords” that I saw and this seems like one of the few types of comedy movies that I’m likely to really enjoy.

    And Josh, i’m curious if you’ve started any of your homework from the Survivor deals you struck with us yet? No worries if you’ve been too busy but as always I’m anxious to hear your thoughts.

    • A part of me hopes Josh pulls a Russell and reveals he’s never had any intention to doing any homework. It was all one big con to get everyone watching Survivor. Ha

        • Ha to Sal and double-ha to David. you couldn’t really be THAT mad ay me after you fell for Survivor, right?

          If I remember correctly, I told you guys I had to wait until after October due to the Elm Street, 31 Days of Horror and Survivor all happening (not to mention the incredibly stressful two weeks I’ve had with work), but …

          November is for Game of Thrones, December is for Firefly, and then I will start Buffy early next year. I know there are more, but those are the big three and the planned order so far.

          Actually I should move David’s pick (the name escapes me at the moment, sorry) before Firefly and Buffy, however, since Matt and Station have only watched one episode of Survivor so far. And David has been the leading Survivor rockstar.

          • My pick was “Peep Show” (if you can find it over there) but I’m most eager to hear your thoughts on “Game of Thrones” so that coming first should tide me over for a while.

            And I know it wasn’t part of the deal and you’ve already got shed-loads of watching to do but I’m still curious to hear what you think of “This is England”. In fact that might be a good one to pair up with an eventual “Green Room” review as they both riff on skinhead violence/music subculture type stuff.

          • I love that you’re recommending Rob Has a Podcast episodes for me. This is a turning point. Love it.

            I have listened to the Lost and Walking Dead equivalents of this podcast.

            I’ll be sure to listen.

            As for This is England / Green Room … I’ve been trying to plan a Punks & Skins bonus episode for awhile for William and Mattroid and Brain. Those would be good additions to that show.

          • “As for This is England / Green Room … I’ve been trying to plan a Punks & Skins bonus episode for awhile for William and Mattroid and Brain. Those would be good additions to that show.”

            That would be amazing!

          • Josh, if you’d like to have a podcast to listen to along with your GoT watching, then I would recommend the “A Cast of Kings” podcast. It’s produced and hosted by David Chen, with co-host Joanna Robinson from Vanity Fair. The discussion is very intelligent with just the right amount of whimsy, and the dynamic between the two is great – Joanna has read all of the GoT books, while David has not read any of them, so they approach the show from different perspectives. It’s super good and completely spoiler free.

            However, if you do listen to the podcast along with the show, I would recommend waiting until season 2. They actually started the podcast with season 2 of the GoT show, so that is completely spoiler free. By popular demand, they’re actually going through season 1 now, but it does contain spoilers for what has happened on the show through season 5 (since it’s time-shifted).

    • David, have you seen Waiting for Guffman or Best in Show or Spinal Tap or A Mighty Wind (which I recommend in that order)? If you like those, you’ll like What We Do in the Shadows.

      You also loved The Office, so I think you’ll be into this. It’s the same kind of humor.

        • As much as you like The Office and Spinal Tap, I have to believe that you’d love Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show and A Mighty Wind. All the same people and better produced as they go along. These are movies that just get better and better the more you watch them. Waiting for Guffman is definitely better the fourth and fifth time you watch it than the first. Same with A Mighty Wind. Best in Show is the easiest to enjoy straight out of the gate. And again, What We Do in the Shadows is right along these lines. You may have a whole new favorite group of comedies ahead of you that you’ve been missing out on all of these years!

  6. -Spoilers for Survivor Caramoan finale-

    This is the first season where I’m completely down with the winner of the game. Cochran became the most successful player in the second half with winning one immunity challenge after another, had a strategy without worrying much about making some not so popular choices, and just the change that took place throughout the season made him stand out so much.

    Dawn got too much flack for claiming to be a tough villain while actually being a crying mess. The truth is she was a mix of the two. She wouldn’t stop being super annoying with her crying, BUT she still did a lot of big plays. She screwed over people and it helped in a big way. I am a little surprised she didn’t receive a single vote due to taking out her teeth. That move showed she was more than just a mess. I do still truly believe Cochran should have easily won, but I still expected Dawn to win 2-3 votes or so.

    Man, I felt so bad for Sherri during the talk with the jury. NO ONE bothering to ask her any questions about her strategy and if they were even talking to her, it was bringing up how she was only taken to the final three because she was a weak link.

    • SPOILERS FOR ALL OF CARAMOAN

      Caramoan is one of the worst jury performances I’ve ever seen. They made a better choice than they did in Samoa, but they were so sexist and agist. Dawn cried a lot, yes. Survivor is hard. I don’t blame her. she made way more difficult moves than Cochran, or rather, the moves they made together were largely possible because of the relationships Dawn made with players like Corrine and Brenda. David made a good point above that Cochran’s lack of emotion allowed people to forgive him easier than Dawn who people like Corrine truly believed cared about them OR WORSE people like Brenda who felt they had gone out of their way to care about Dawn. Phillip and Malcolm and Reynold and Eddie were such jerks to Dawn (and, yes, Sherri). Again, I think this is an example of feeling best about losing to Cochran out of the three. When two people have almost the exact same strategic moves and one is asked if they want to grab drinks after while the other is asked to take out their teeth, I think you’re dealing with an embarrassingly bitter jury. I do like Cochran as a winner, but I don’t like the treatment of Dawn and Sherri. It is borderline bullying. Sexism and Agism runs far too rampant in Survivor. As Rachel always says, “the worst thing you can be to a Survivor audience is a an older woman.” Ahem, Philippines …

      • Too many egotistical bros get cast in some seasons and a lot of them seem to have very little respect for women (or anyone who isn’t also an egotistical bro). I’ve just started One World and already, just a single episode in, I’m faced with an (apparent) majority alpha male alliance (of 4 in a tribe of 9?) consisting of arrogant, chauvinistic knuckle-draggers. I’m hoping they end up with egg on their smug, supercilious faces.

          • Man, I knew Colton was notorious for being a particularly disruptive player but I was not prepared for how much of a disgustingly conceited, over-privileged, spiteful little shit he is. Nothing grinds my gears more than pampered brats wheeling out their own sense of country-club/private-school-bred superiority over people from less privileged back-grounds.

            I also really dislike Alicia.

            I’m having a hard time with the players in this season so far.

          • This is a notoriously rough cast.

            I love Kim, Chelsea, Jonas, Sabrina and Troyzan. They made the season palatable for me.

            I like Monica, Bill and Tarzan (although he can be infuriating). And I even like Jay, Kat and Leif (although they are all morons).

            The rest are ROUGH.

          • I really like Troyzan, Tarzan and Jonas. I’ve not seen enough of a lot of the women yet to really make up my mind aside from detesting Alicia and now feeling sorry for Christina because she’s being bullied by Colton and Alicia.

            I find it funny that those two have paired up actually. It seems that deeply ugly, bankrupt personalities attract.

            And some of the jobs these people have in real life have me baffled. Douche-bro-king Matt Quinlan being an Attorney and Alicia being a Special Education Teacher? Oh dear.

          • I wanted to like Christina, but she really is an idiot. Doesn’t excuse the poor behavior from Colton and Alicia.

            Alicia is actually worse than Colton in my opinion. Mostly due to what I saw of them post-show in podcasts and such. Colton is doing a bit of a character and knows he is being despicable while Alicia actually is that slimy.

            Monica is pretty good here and comes back for Blood vs Water where I REALLY got to liking her.

          • Yeah, there’s something about the way that Alicia just sycophantically revels in Colton affording her the platform to bully Christina which is just horrible. Like the sadistic kid in the schoolyard who knows they can get away with being truly awful to people because they’ve got their big brother to protect them. The fact she works with special needs children is genuinely terrifying.

            SPOILERS FOR ONE WORLD:

            And Colton may be putting on a character but that’s still no excuse for being such an entitled vacuum of decency. I’m just watching his medevac episode and I’m not beyond admitting that i’m taking pleasure in his childish yelps of anguish.

            And Christina might not be the sharpest end of the stick but she seems like a good person (of course I’m aware that’s irrelevant to the actual game of survivor*). She seemed genuinely concerned about Colton even after he’d been such a thundering arse.

            *Speaking of which, I feel like all these horrid characters are actually vastly undercutting/overshadowing the game in this season. Everyone’s strategy seemed to just go out the window for the sake of appeasing Emperor Colton. It’s weird. The drama is way more from the people being actual real-life jerks rather than any kind of intense game play. I mean it’s not like Colton and Alicia are actually good players. They’re terrible, but the whole game has been revolving around them anyway.

  7. I have a couple of questions about the general game of Survivor that doesn’t pertain to any specific season.

    – Does the 2nd and 3rd place player end up earning any extra money than had they been eliminated earlier in the game? If so, do you make more money if you came in 2nd than 3rd? Do non-final 3 jury members earn more money than people eliminated pre-merge?

    I’ve been wondering those questions about prizes because it bugs me whenever a player goes up to another and tries to talk them into voting in their favor to bring them in the final three. They use the excuse of “You know I can’t beat you, so bring me instead of ___”. It bugs me since if you truly believed you didn’t stand a chance to win, then it doesn’t matter if you’re in the final three or not. Obviously, real reasoning is trying to talk someone into helping them make the final three so they have a chance at winning. If the money you get paid goes winner > 1st runner up > 2nd runner up > rest of the jury > pre-merge eliminations, that will never be an annoyance for me anymore. If I know I can’t beat the eventual winner, it would make sense for me to try and win second place if that means more money for me.

    – How much do jury members actually see? Are they shown any video footage from earlier in the season, especially on the other camp? Do they get to watch along when they’re a jury member or do they only see what happens at the tribal councils and hearing from recent eliminations what’s been going on?

    This is just something I’ve been wondering since it would seem as if the later eliminations would have a better grasp of what was going on than the earlier ones.

    – Filming wise, how much time passes between that final tribal council on location to Probst coming out in the studio on the big finale special?

    This won’t affect how I view the game, just curious about it.

    • “I have a couple of questions about the general game of Survivor that doesn’t pertain to any specific season.”

      You have the Qs, I have the As. Let’s hope. I numbered your questions to make it easier for me.

      1) The only person guaranteed money is the winner. The reason they do that is mostly so that people who are bitter early boots don’t try and spoil the game. Nobody gets paid until after the reunion show. Having said that, they basically have the same pay scale each season. Everybody gets a flat rate of about 10K for appearing on the show. You make a tiny bit more every day you survive in the game up to 2nd place which is a big jump to 100K. I think third is still like 20K, so you really want to at least get one vote in that final tribal and not come in third of a final three. Of course, sometimes there are also final twos. And I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a little bump when you make the jury. Everyone voted-out pre jury stays at Ponderosa until the jury portion of the show begins, then they all go off together go on a vacation. They send them off to some nearby tropical resort for the last 2 1/2 weeks. At that point, the jury takes their place at Ponderosa. And as you know, there are Ponderosa videos of the people who are voted-off during the jury phase. That’s some of my very favorite bonus content.

      2) The jury only sees tribal council, they see nothing in the game after they leave. HOWEVER, there is A LOT of talking back at Ponderosa about what went down and they tend to influence each other a lot.

      Watch how bitter Phillip is already acting about Dawn (who he has zero reason to be personally mad at) at the end of this Ponderosa video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br4o5ohbz9E

      3) The time between final tribal council and the finale/reunion can really vary. They always film two seasons back to back in the Summer at the same location, then one airs in the Fall and another airs in the Spring the following year. Then, off to a new location. That’s one reason why the reunion shows are often heated is because people have now watched the season and seen all the crap the others talked behind their backs. With Second Chance, it was a bit odd because it filmed second and aired first, so it is the quickest turn-around between filming and watching yourself on TV that has ever happened so far. They were only home for like a month before the show started. It’s usually 3 at the shortest and 6-8 at the longest, depending on exactly when they film in the Summer.

      • 1) As long as people are paid different amounts of money depending on which place they finish, that will no longer be an issue for me.

        Based on what you describe happens to those eliminated pre-merge, I no longer feel bad for the person eliminated first. They get a little bit of TV time, they aren’t on the island long enough to starve or be too uncomfortable, they get to hang out at the nice Ponderosa for a couple of weeks where they can actually eat and sleep indoors, and then they get a free vacation once the jury members come over. All of that while also getting paid 10k. As long as leaving for the show doesn’t cause any problems in your personal life (Job firing you, spouse or kids being pissy, ect), it’s a pretty awesome gig for someone considered to be biggest loser of the game.

        2) This makes me wonder if this makes elimination order even more complicated. It might make more sense to keep someone who hates you around longer so that they don’t have more time at Ponderosa to complain about you to try and get others to not vote for you.

        3) Is Malcolm the only person to have completed two seasons of Survivor without a single episode airing? It makes me appreciate Malcolm’s performance in Caramoan more when he barely had any time off after just finishing up nearly every day of the previous season of Survivor. 68 (I believe?) days of nearly starving with only a couple of weeks to recover in the middle of it? That’s pretty impressive to endure that and still do well.

        I began Cagayan last night before getting some sleep, so I only got midway through the first 2 hour episode. That being said, I find it really ironic that in a season build around specific groups of brains vs brawn vs beauty, basically everyone on the show is good looking. There’s one guy on the brains team (Can’t remember his name, but he’s the one who arrived at camp first) who looking like a freaking male model. The chick with the hair on the brawn team is smoking hot. I mean the least attractive person on the entire show is probably just Kass and it’s not as if she’s ugly. If she got a makeover, she’d probably look pretty hot too.

        It’s not a negative and it won’t hurt my enjoyment of the show, but it made me laugh at these casting choices.

        • 1) “Based on what you describe happens to those eliminated pre-merge, I no longer feel bad for the person eliminated first.”

          I still feel bad for them. Obviously, the money would be great, but if I were the first boot, I wouldn’t care about the money at all. I’d be sad I didn’t get to play the game after so much effort just to get out on the island. It would be really heartbreaking for a long-time fan.

          2) Trying to figure out the jury game is a big deal that the show can’t really cover. You’ll see some interesting aspects of that in Cagayan.

          3) “Is Malcolm the only person to have completed two seasons of Survivor without a single episode airing?”

          A lot of people have done back to back seasons–Shirin and Joe on Cambodia, for instance. In terms of literally no episodes airing before you go back out, it has happened less. Your boy Russell is probably the most notable example. He only had a few days off between Samoa and Heroes vs Villains. There have also been a few people who have gone out after only a few of their episodes aired. James and Amanda played their second season of “Fans vs Favorites” after just a few episodes of Survivor: China had aired. Rupert showed-up on All-Stars after only a few episodes of Survivor: Pearl Islands had aired.

          “68 (I believe?) days of nearly starving with only a couple of weeks to recover in the middle of it? That’s pretty impressive to endure that and still do well.”

          Yeah, the argument goes both ways. You could argue that being physically and mentally depleted from your first game is a huge DISadvantage. But you could also argue that it is a huge ADvantage to go into a season and know all of your competitors games while they have no idea how you have played. Also, maybe you’re still mentally in game mode and it might take the others longer to catch up who haven’t played in, say, 13 years. There were also rumors that because HvV was filmed in the same Samoan location, Russell was not only way more familiar with the beaches and landmarks (where you might find food or idols) but that he had actually hidden supplies from his tribe the first time that he was able to go dig up and use on the second time.

          4) Yeah, some of the classifications are a bit of a stretch. Garrett could fit any tribe. Tasha should have been on Brawn. You could argue that J’Tia should have been on Beauty and isn’t much of a Brain, but he job description fits brain better. Kass, Spencer and David are a good fit for Brain.

          On Beauty, that tribe is pretty good, but I think LJ or Brice could have been on Brain. Maybe switched Garrett.

          On Brawn, I think Woo could have been on Beauty, but I’m fine with him on Brawn. That’s probably the best tribe when it comes to fitting the stereotypes. But again, it really doesn’t impact the game all that much. Not nearly as much as “White Collar vs Blue Collar vs no Collar” does.

          • “But you could also argue that it is a huge ADvantage to go into a season and know all of your competitors games while they have no idea how you have played.”

            That’s actually a really great counter way to look at it. Even though Malcolm played mostly the same game, he could have drastically altered his style and personality without anyone having any preconceptions about him.

            “There were also rumors that because HvV was filmed in the same Samoan location, Russell was not only way more familiar with the beaches and landmarks (where you might find food or idols) but that he had actually hidden supplies from his tribe the first time that he was able to go dig up and use on the second time.”

            I realize this might actually be considered cheating, but if Russell really did hide supplies during Survivor Samoa and then dig them up for the following season, he’s a lock for being my favorite player of all time. I LOVE that rumor.

  8. Thoughts on pre-merge Survivor Cagayan (Ep 1-5)

    -SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR CAGAYAN (Duh)-

    – Garrett has to be one of the dumbest players in Survivor history, right? Right? I don’t know what was worse. Going home with a hidden immunity in his pocket, refusing to scheme or talk without it being in a group talk, or his stupid slip ups such as accidentally saying “Alliance” instead of “Tribe” during a tribal council.

    – I became a big fan of Spencer during the basketball challenge when him and three useless women on the brains team. He put in so much effort, but they failed so miserably due to weak partners like Miss Rice (Forgot her name, but the chick who threw rice into the fire).

    – I found it hilarious that the brains tribe lost that aforementioned basketball challenge when brawn were actively trying to throw the challenge.

    – The brawn tribe/new purple tribe (Solanna or something like that) overvalued the threat that Cliff could have been. Sure, he was great as a power player in challenges and could get along with most people, but Woo had it right. Cliff was going to have a lot of trouble getting people to vote for him in the final three when he’s a guy who went to the NBA finals and played against the likes of Michael Jordan and that amazing Bad Boys era of the Pistons. Seems really unlikely to have regular Joes vote to give Cliff another million regardless of how nice he came off.

    – I hate Trish. Granted, I may just hate her because I had a thing for Lindsay, but Trish is so annoying.

    – Really dug the challenge with the tree-like post that you rammed through walls and then you complete a maze on the post. Pretty creative.

    – I found the original beauty tribe to be unmemorable. The only one who seems to have a chance at winning is LJ. The girls didn’t offer anything other than T&A. The black guy (Name escapes me) didn’t get enough of a chance to be memorable to me. The only thing memorable about Jeremiah is that he looks like Robb Stark. Hopefully Jeremiah doesn’t plan to get married on the show.

    – Tony, the police officer, seems like a major threat to winning. The problem is I think he’s trying a little too hard at this stage. He’s not hiding the fact that he’s playing hard, particularly when he told his new tribe that he lied about his job and that he is a police officer. Once the merge happens, I suspect he’s going to get blindsided soon.

    – Woo’s awesome. Unfortunately, I believe this latest season of Survivor revealed that he came in second place on this season. On the plus side, I don’t remember if they mentioned who won this season.

    • SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR CAGAYAN

      1) Garrett. Yeah, he didn’t play well. I think he’s the kind of guy that could come back ad do better on a 2nd time out, but he was really bad here. And his lying about the idol was pathetic compared to even Morgan.

      2) Her name is J’Tia and she’s the worst. Spencer has a lot of heart, for sure. They always refer to him as the Charlie Brown of Survivor, always about to kick the football before if gets yanked away from him. Here’s hoping he can correct that in Cambodia.

      3) I agree with you about Uncle Cliffy in principle, but it was also revealed (maybe in the post-show interviews and such) that he was really running that tribe and I think that scared the people who felt as if they were on the bottom like Trish, Tony, Sarah etc.

      4) I hated Trish because of the Lindsay thing too, but she has some strong moments as a player in the game. I really expected much more from Lindsay. Quite a disappointment.

      5) Agreed on the ramming puzzle challeneg. I think that appeared for the first time in Survivor: China, but this is one of the better uses of it.

      6) Haha. Yeah, the beauty tribe was pretty unmemorable. Morgan showed a lot of promise in the very first episode (and enough T to warrant her place on the screen). Mostly, I think Alexis has way more game in her than we get to see. You have to keep in mind that there is a lot that happens in the course of the game and sometimes there is a great player that we just never get to see because their story doesn’t build up the overarching story. I thought Brice was very funny and I’d have liked to see more of him too. And yes, LJ seems like the best bet for a winner in this pack. Jefra lives up to her last name of “Bland” and Jeremiah equally so. I think Alexis was just way underserved by the edit.

      7) I have never seen a wilder player on Survivor than Tony. He’s like Russell Hantz on speed. Varner’s first two episodes of Cambodia was the closest thing I’ve seen to Tony and even then Tony is hitting the nitrous boosters in his police cruiser while Varner is just in a nice Corvette.

      8) Woo is awesome. Uh … don’t rewatch Cambodia episode 1 and try to finish Cagayan as soon as you can. There may be spoilers coming if Woo finds himself back on the chopping block!

      • Survivor Cagayan Spoilers

        2) Charlie Brown eh? Going off of just looks alone and not what happens to him on the show, he reminds me of Shaggy from Scooby Doo.

        3) Was he? Then I suppose it makes sense then. It was said a couple of times on the show, but they never showed Cliff being in control. He was just the lumbering giant that had Lindsay laughing at all of his jokes and hanging out with his little buddy, Woo.

        3a) How does the hardcore Survivor fans feel about an all celeb season of the show? With these celebs, their past success seems like such a drawback to it seems unlikely one of them could ever win. A celeb season would eliminate that issue. Maybe that’s too gimmicky though?

        4) Was there anything more said about Lindsay? Does she have anger problems or something to justify leaving solely out of fear of what she’d do to Trish? Even though Trish was annoying, Lindsay seemed to jump the gun to reach her breaking point.

        5) Now that I have a decent amount of challenges under my belt after watching a few seasons, I’m noticing that there’s a lot of repeats. It’s not really a negative, but the repeats do not have that fresh feeling to it.

        6) I have no idea if Morgan’s a decent player, has any chance at going far or being important in any way, shape or form. Yet, she’s very noticeable whenever she’s on the screen. I wouldn’t mind seeing Brice on a future season of the show to see if he has any skills.

        8) I’m not up to date with Cambodia (Only saw the first four episodes). Since I prefer watching the new season’s episodes in blocks, I imagine I’ll be done with Cagayan before I get back to Cambodia. Again, having to watch a show week-by-week totally sucks. The nice thing is with November just about here, I’ll be able to focus more on past Survivor since I tend to drastically scale back my horror movies viewing in Nov.

        – I LOVED the first tribal council after the merge. A ton of stuff happened with Sarah seemingly being the deciding vote between the two tribes, Tony pulling out his hidden immunity to force the other alliance to switch their vote, Tony giving his immunity to LJ only for LJ to reveal he has one too, which he gave to Tony, then it’s revealed that the other alliance voted for Jefra and NOT Tony or LJ. To cap it all off, the biggest reveal is that Sarah wasn’t the deciding vote, but Kass was. Sarah’s gone and you have one of the biggest roller coaster tribal councils that I’ve seen yet. So much fun and I’d rank it up there with some of Russell’s main ones and the legendary 3 Amigos two hidden immunities to vote Philip off as my favorite tribal councils.

        The tribal councils are becoming one of the best aspects of the show for me. I’m seeing a ton of great ones within a short amount of time.

        • CAGAYAN SPOILERS

          3) “He was just the lumbering giant that had Lindsay laughing at all of his jokes and hanging out with his little buddy, Woo.” He was that too, but that was Cliff playing the social game and subtly getting the numbers on his side (based on exit interviews).

          3a) They are talking about an all-celebs season, but they don’t want to get D-listers. I think they are waiting to get a big enough group of celebs that are actual fans of the show. The two most famous that have said they wanted to play are Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry. The rest are in the Lou Diamond Phillips category. I was on CSI: SVU or something. All of them are hardcore fans, though. And that is why I am fine with it. As long as they get fans of the game like Uncle Cliffy and Jeff Kent, I’m cool. I’m usually cool with all pro athletes, fans or not, just because I like to see them come from professional sports and get their asses handed to them on Survivor. But then you’ve got somebody like Lisa Welchel. She’d normally not be famous enough to get a spot on my Celebrity Survivor season, but she’d get it for being an actual fan of the game. My preference is just to throw a random celebrity on each season. It fits the Gilligan’s Island model.

          4) We didn’t hear anything else about Lindsay other than she hated Trish. I think she just went from feeling like she was at the top to suddenly finding herself on the bottom and not being able to deal.

          5) I like fresh challenges if they aren’t carnival games, but I definitely have my favorites from the past that I like to see as much as possible (throw a twist in here or there and I’m good) and I’d rather have a repeat that is a really great challenge than push for something new and it is a dud.

          9) “The tribal councils are becoming one of the best aspects of the show for me. I’m seeing a ton of great ones within a short amount of time.”

          Yes, yes, yes. They can be great if people are playing hard and the editors do a good job. And Cagayan has more than a few gems.

          Love me some Chaos Kass!

          http://www.survivortalkwithdandd.com/2014/04/chaos-kass-a-song-parody.html

          Based on Kass’ quote in the first episode of Cambodia, I’m expecting to see more chaos at the merge in this new season.

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