Movie Stream Cast 58: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

MSC Abbott Costello Frankenstein BannerHalloween is nearly here and we at Movie Stream Cast are celebrating with some spooky movie watching. This episode, Josh is joined again by a little buddy–back by popular demand–to review another monster comedy, Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein. The movie is streaming for a $2.99 digital rental on Google Play, YouTube and Amazon Instant Video.


We’d like to thank Sharon Rowan for our podcast artwork and Chris Ohran for our music. If you enjoyed the podcast, please don’t forget to follow us on Twitter @MovieStreamCast and subscribe on iTunes. You can also reach us by email at

70 thoughts on “Movie Stream Cast 58: Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948)

    • Listening to Little Buddy makes me wish I was a little kid again more than ever.

      And I was glad to hear that Draclea makes an appearance in this movie.

  1. Josh: “So let me ask you, Little Buddy, what did you think of Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein?”

    Little Buddy: “Ummmm…*Insanely long pause* I liked it.”

    Are you sure about that, Little Buddy? That wasn’t the most convincing statement a person has made. Ha

    Awesome having Little Buddy back for such an old movie. I was glad to hear he had the patience to keep watching despite it being in black-and-white. There’s plenty of adults out there that can’t say the same.

    I only saw this for the first time back in May with a blind purchase. Stupid Universal not releasing the other Frankenstein sequels besides Bride on Blu-Ray. >_> I really enjoyed it though. It was great to have Bela Lugosi back as Dracula. Even though John Carradine (House of Frankenstein/Dracula) wasn’t as bad as Lon Chaney Jr. (Son of Dracula), it’s hard to see anyone as Dracula other than Lugosi during that time period. Even though The Monster is an iconic role of Karloff’s, Glenn Strange doesn’t receive enough love. He certainly had a better look as the Monster than Bela Lugosi (Ghost of Frankenstein/Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man) and it seemed as if he actually enjoyed playing the role unlike Karloff. Due to all of these actors playing seemingly every role at some point, there’s a fun bit that in this movie, it’s Lugosi’s Dracula interacting with The Monster when the brain inside of the Monster belongs to Lugosi’s Ygor.

    Part of what made the film effective was that the monsters weren’t involved in any of the comedy, but rather the comedy happened around them. The scene with The Wolf Man trying to kill an oblivious Wilbur is one of the most effective horror scenes in making you laugh while also creating a lot of tension.

    Besides being just a tad overlong, my only other key issue was that the Wolf Man didn’t get to have a happy ending.


    After going through four movies where Talbot is miserable, wanting to kill himself, and is heartbroken whenever he’s brought back to life, he finally gets a happy moment as his lycanthropy is cured. It’s the best possible outcome when he otherwise “Dies” at the end of every other movie. I know there is some debate for whether or not this is canon or if it’s just a stand alone film, but it’s a bit of a bummer that Talbot loses his happy ending and gets killed yet again.


    It’s also a shame that Lionel Atwell died shortly after House of Dracula. It would have been great to have him in some sort of role in this.

    I mentioned this before, but after watching A&C Meet Frankenstein, I quickly watched three other A&C movies in the weeks that followed. It was a great introduction to A&C.

  2. LOL @ Josh disagreeing with Little Buddy’s recommendation of Hotel Transylvania 2. I laughed so hard. Such a meanie!

  3. I thought it was great when he disagreed with little buddy! Such a great example of good podcasting – not everyone agrees, and that’s okay!!! Little buddy is a great reviewer and super good and formulating his opinion and hitting the high points. Good job, little buddy!

    On Survivor; one of my favorite things this season is at challenges when Jeff reminds us of the other times the particular challenge was done and spotlights the players who played and won/lost. Such fun for long-time fans!

    • I also really enjoy revisiting the challenges that these players have faced in the past. Mentioning that they failed at them is also so Jeff. I’m not a fan of the “carnival games” style challenges. I prefer the intensely athletic or with a big puzzle at the end. Skee ball doesn’t really do it for me whether it’s a “second chance” for Ciera or not.

      My little bud will be happy to hear you say that.

  4. Another fun episode.

    I really need to get around to watching these classics. If Little Buddy can do it, then surely I can muster up the patience to sit through some of them.

      • Not at all (remember, I loved A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT earlier this year). It’s hard for me to really articulate what it is about old old old movies that makes it hard for me to get into them. Maybe the pacing? I don’t know, but there is something about them….

        • I think my little bud is right … you get used to it after a bit and give into the charm. Some are more charming than others, however. A lot of the supposed classics aren’t all that great from a purely entertaining point of view.

          • I agree with Little Buddy and Wolfman. I’ll just add, try to think of watching the old movies like visiting the Horror Movie Museum. You may not be scared but it’s fun to see where it all started. You start to get to know certain actors and directors as well which helps.

  5. Emotional Stephen gives one of the Top 5 Survivor Confessionals ever! I love it when we really see that this game is hard in every way.

    Even Juan can’t deny this one. Right?

    • I doubt Juan will cut him any slack because of that dire performance in the ring toss challenge. I find his lack of physical prowess kind of endearingly hilarious though. And he did do great in the eating challenge.

      And yeah, that confessional was super emotional. I think it shows just how much he really does care about the game.

      • I loved it! I suppose of you are the alpha-male type you might find Stephen weak and disappointing, but I find him hilarious and relatable.

        • I don’t know, Josh. I love Stephen and I’m about as Alpha Male as you can get! I go to the Gym at least once every six months!*

          *My dentist is in a gym so technically I am going in the building once every six months.

    • Josh, it did break my heart a little, so I did cut him some slack. Some, but not all. I mean, look at Spencer. He’s more or less the same type of contestant and he hustles hard! Stephen just seems like he’s not even trying. Like Jeremy told him, have some confidence in you, man!

      David, his ring toss game is so weak. I mean, neither strength nor stamina were at play, so what’s his excuse for not trying harder? To me it’s not even about winning, it’s about showing heart. All Stephen’s shown me is an empty vessel. Him breaking down and crying in front of the camera was a nice moment of his humanity showing through, but it’s not enough for me to like him as a contestant.

      • I know it’s quite a stretch but have any of you guys considered that Stephen might be playing up his lack of challenge prowess a little bit? He’s savy enough to know that in modern day Survivor, particularly a season featuring returning players, very few people will get voted out just because they suck at challenges and with so many physically formidable players around maybe he’s decided that coming across as utterly pathetic at the physical side of the game will make those in his alliances feel more comfortable taking him to the end. He might be trying to make them think he’s a good guy to have around because he’s loyal and a good strategist but isn’t likely to go on a sudden immunity run in the approach to the final. Spencer is a similar type of player but the fact that he seems much more capable of winning post-merge challenges potentially puts a big target on his back.

        Of course I’m aware that it’s more probable that Stephen does just genuinely lack confidence/suck.

        • I’ve thought about that, David, but I’m not savvy enough about the game to discern between faking and sucking. If he is faking though, give the man an Oscar!

          • I think he probably is genuinely sucking but at the same time he doesn’t seem all that concerned that his poor performance might be what gets him voted off so I think he definitely recognises that being a weak physical player is no longer a fast ticket home in modern day Survivor. I guess he could be purposefully sucking extra hard.

  6. NEED ANOTHER GOOD HALLOWEEN PODCAST? Here on Movie Stream Cast I also covered The Monster Squad ( ), What We Do in the Shadows ( ), The Guest ( ) and Cooties ( ). Over on The Sci Fi Podcast they covered the entire Alien franchise ( ). Plus, we just released a Halloween special ( ). There is the ongoing “Spooky Flicks Fest” from our friends at Forgotten Flicks Remembers ( ) and I think the GeekCast guys even did something Halloween related ( ). And over on Horror Movie Podcast we covered the entire A Nightmare on Elm Street franchise ( ).

  7. Finished up another season of Survivor.


    – With Spencer being my favorite player, it seems as if I have a clear type. My favorite player ends up being the best player on the worst tribe. So far it’s been Malcolm (First season applies to this, second season is just not picking a new favorite), Russell, and Spencer.

    – This season featured the most deserving winner out of the seasons I’ve seen. Even though I didn’t like him since he was the main antagonist against Spencer, Tony was the star of the season. He controlled the season and especially being pitted against Woo, it was an easy choice. I was glad to see everyone except for Tasha voted for the best player and not the nicest.

    – I love Woo, he seems like the one that would be the most fun to just hang out with. Still, voting out Kass and keeping Tony was straight up stupid. He finally had a chance to show that he was playing hard and he dropped the ball.

    – Kass comes across as a potentially great player, but she’s kind of a sociopath. Switching alliances when she did probably affected the game more than any other single event. I loved that she was thinking throughout the entire game. It may have failed for her, but other than Spencer and Tony, no one else post-merge seemed to put in as much thinking work as she did.

    – Trish wins my vote for least liked player of the season.

    – Kass’ comeback in the immunity challenge during the final four was flat out amazing. It got to the point where I thought she could have just given up and stopped trying. She’s a puzzle beast though.

    – As far as ranking the series though, I don’t think it’s as strong as Survivor Samoa or Survivor Caramoan. However, the finale of Samoa can’t compare to Cagayan. So if I were to do rankings:

    1. Caramoan (Really entertaining and rewarding winner)
    2. Samoa (Russell made this show incredibly entertaining, more than anyone else, but Russell was robbed, yo)
    3. Cagayan (Entertaining season and deserving winner, but didn’t quite reach the heights as the top 2)
    4. Philippines (Good season, a disappointing winner)

    I wouldn’t say any of the seasons were bad though.

        • It’s super entertaining but it’s a tough cast to get behind and there’s an inordinate amount of chauvinism. It’s not that high in my rankings right now but I think given time it will climb up higher due to being quite memorable.

          • For me, the show is most interesting as a microcosm, so I don’t mind the occasional sexist, racist homophobe. That’s real. And … they usually get their comeuppance, which is fun to watch as well.

            Dan is a dick, but what an incredible character!

          • Yeah, it definitely wouldn’t be the same without the jerk contingent and it’s always super satisfying to see them get what they deserve. I think I’m just so weary of dealing with bigots and bullies in real life that I’m a little over-sensitive to it. It’s okay in fiction but when forced to acknowledge that a lot of people actually think and act so horribly, that these are real people who’ll go home and maintain their skewed values, it depresses me and adds to my already misanthropic outlook. It’s sort of jarring when everything’s fun and games and then a player says/does something gut-wrenchingly nasty. Will’s tirade against Shirin for example. That was extremely ugly and it genuinely saddens me to think that somebody could say all that stuff and then maintain an unapologetic and sanctimonious attitude. It makes me say “what the f*** is wrong with people?”.

            Characters like Dan and Rodney do make for great TV though. I think it just makes a season harder for me when there’s such a high concentration of dislikeable people.


      “It seems as if I have a clear type. My favorite player ends up being the best player on the worst tribe.”

      That makes a lot of sense. I think most Survivor fans tend to root for an underdog.

      “This season featured the most deserving winner out of the seasons I’ve seen.”

      Exactly. Tony is the first person I’ve seen who has been abel to make the “Russell game” work. He plays arguably even harder than Russell, but people still like him.

      “Especially being pitted against Woo, it was an easy choice.”

      I think he would have easily beat Kass as well. The other players her season were too bitter to respect her game. She was far smarter and more strategic than she gets credit for.

      “I love Woo”

      I’ve really come to like Woo on Cambodia. I liked him the first time too, but I was horrified about the prospect of bringing him back when there were awesome players that didn’t make the cut. But he’s just so darn likable.

      “Switching alliances when she did probably affected the game more than any other single event.”

      Definitely. I’m tempted to say Tony doesn’t make the end if she doesn’t flip, but he does have three damn idols, so maybe he does.

      “Kass’ comeback in the immunity challenge during the final four was flat out amazing.”

      I had the same thought. I’d have just given up if I were that far behind.

      “I don’t think it’s as strong as Survivor Samoa or Survivor Caramoan.”

      That’s lunacy. Haha. We clearly are enjoying slightly different things about the show, but as David pointed out here somewhere, that’s part of the beauty of the show. There are so many ways to view it and enjoy it. I do think you’d get A WHOLE LOT MORE out of the show if you watched the bonus material and listened to the podcasts, etc. If you’re scared of being spoiled again, let me know what specifics you are interested in and I will find you the exact episodes. The Survivor: Know it Alls for Cagayan is hilarious and priceless.

      So, just to compare … your rankings so far:

      1. Caramoan (Really entertaining and rewarding winner)
      2. Samoa (Russell made this show incredibly entertaining, more than anyone else, but Russell was robbed, yo)
      3. Cagayan (Entertaining season and deserving winner, but didn’t quite reach the heights as the top 2)
      4. Philippines (Good season, a disappointing winner)

      By the way, I’m just NEVER going to get used to you calling Denise a disappointing winner. She’s a Top 10 best, in my opinion.

      And here are the hosts rankings of the same seasons …


      1. Cagayan “Brawn vs Brains vs Beauty” (5th overall)
      2. Philippines (7th overall)
      3. Samoa (12th overall)
      4. Caramoan
 “Fans vs Favorites 2” (21st overall)


      1. Samoa (1st overall)
      2. Cagayan “Brawn vs Brains vs Beauty” (6th overall)
      3. Philippines (9th overall)
      4. Caramoan “Fans vs Favorites 2” (10th overall)


      1. Philippines (2nd overall)
      2. Cagayan “Brawn vs Brains vs Beauty” (4th overall)
      3. Caramoan “Fans vs Favorites 2” (13th overall)
      N/A Samoa

      I think David has seen all of these seasons now. I’d be curious to see his rankings as well.

      • Here’s my rankings of the seasons I’ve watched so far:

        All Stars (10/10)
        Pearl Islands (10/10)
        Cook Islands (10/10)
        Caramoan (9/10)
        Cagayan (9/10)
        Fiji (8/10)
        Palau (8/10)
        Tocantins (7/10)
        South Pacific (7/10)
        Heroes Vs Villains (7/10)
        Worlds Apart (7/10)
        Philippines (7/10)
        Samoa (7/10)
        Micronesia (6/10)
        Amazon (6/10)
        Gabon (6/10)
        One World (5/10)
        Thailand (not rated because I gave up)

        A lot of these seasons are pretty much tied with one another which is illustrated by the scores out of ten.


          And these rankings are based solely on my overall enjoyment of each season. This enjoyment is derived from different aspects in different cases. Sometimes it might be because the gameplay is fascinating, sometimes it’s the Swiss Family Robinson style survival elements and most often it’s to do with relatable characters with interesting personalities. Similarly, good seasons might have been knocked down a point or two by particularly dislikeable casts (Worlds Apart). Sure, sometimes the more detestable characters are what makes a season enthralling and engaging but other times it can just be uncomfortable and irritating (Thailand, One World).

          Also, my brain can’t seem to amalgamate “deserving winners” with “winners I like”.

          I’d say that Tony (Cagayan), Mike (Worlds Apart) and Tom (Palau) are the most deserving winners I’ve seen but my favourites by far are Earl (Fiji), Cochran (Caramoan), Yul (Cook Islands), Sandra (Pearl Islands) and Bob (Gabon).


        “Exactly. Tony is the first person I’ve seen who has been abel to make the “Russell game” work. He plays arguably even harder than Russell, but people still like him.”

        I think Tony excelled at being a powerful player, without embracing his role as being the main villain. It certainly helped having Kass around to take some of the heat off of him.

        “I think he would have easily beat Kass as well. The other players her season were too bitter to respect her game. She was far smarter and more strategic than she gets credit for.”

        Oh for sure. The only one post-merge person that I think could have beaten Tony was likely Spencer. I do think Kass stood a chance at bringing in more final votes than Woo since since she played a similar game as Tony.

        “Definitely. I’m tempted to say Tony doesn’t make the end if she doesn’t flip, but he does have three damn idols, so maybe he does.”

        Again, completely agree. I don’t see any reason why Spencer’s alliance wouldn’t have targeted Tony had they kept Kass with them. The idols would have helped Tony and could have screwed up Spencer’s alliance if target Tony before they eliminated enough member of Tony’s alliance so they could split the vote. Tony was tough though. Those idols protected him a lot and could screw up a lot of plans.

        “I had the same thought. I’d have just given up if I were that far behind.”

        The point where I would have given up was when everyone was working on the puzzle and her rope got tangled around the pole, forcing her to climb down to fix it. F that noise.

        “We clearly are enjoying slightly different things about the show”

        Hey, as long as I’m enjoying it, that’s all that really matters.

        “By the way, I’m just NEVER going to get used to you calling Denise a disappointing winner. She’s a Top 10 best, in my opinion.”

        I think you’re focusing a little too much on my thoughts on Denise alone. My disappointment of that final result goes far deeper than just her. It was my first season since Outback aired live. I have a very straightforward opinion on who deserves to win (As you’ve said, I do favor the alphas). That was the only final three since I began watching the series on here that I didn’t think any of those three should have won. I may not be happy about who won Samoa, but there was at least one strong player at the end that I believed should have won. Cagayan had a couple of people in the final three that played a great game. So for me, Denise was the best of a lame final three. Had I watched that season at a later point, I may have been more okay with it.


          You also have to keep in mind the editing. Sometimes the editors get stuck on a great character and don’t show enough of the strategy.

          I think Malcolm being so beloved by production and Penner being such a good narrator made it so that a lot of the story was told through there eyes. And then they go home? It feels like you’re left with duds, but it’s just not true.

          Casting is almost always impeccable. Most of these people can spin a good yarn, so when they don’t say anything, it is often because production doesn’t want you to like them–or they just like someone else more. That’s the saddest fact of Survivor. They don’t alter any of the game like most crappy reality TV (because they are beholden to Quiz Show style rules), but they do manipulate the narrative in editing to fit the story they want to tell and sometimes it is really frustrating when you want to know what all of the characters are thinking.

          I guarantee you that they could have let Denise and Skupin guide more of the story and you would have felt better about them in the finals because you’d be getting more of their thoughts and struggles all the way through, but they loved Malcolm and Penner and so those guys get to tell the story, despite being the lesser players in this particular game.

          If they wanted people to be totally satisfied with Samoa, they should have given us less Russell and more Natalie, but they were betting that most of their audience would rather get all the Russell insanity rather than a totally satisfying winner. They were right in your case. For me, it’s a disappointment that keeps me from really loving that season.

          If you haven’t seen through CAMBODIA Episode 4, stop reading. SPOILERS

          In Cambodia it was Varner and Abi early on. They are awesome characters for TV but when Varner goes and Abi’s reign of terror is over it’s like … okay … who else is in this game? It’s a misstep by the editors in my opinion. It’s too focused on the now and not focused enough on the overall piece.

          • I can completely understand that. It doesn’t change the fact that in the context of a television show, that final three didn’t seem too overly impressive to me. From a personal standpoint, this is just something I’m going to have to deal with.

            I will say that as I watch more seasons, I’m trying to look at the bigger picture. Even though I don’t care if someone comes across as the ultimate villain, I understand now that in order to win, you have to at least be somewhat likable. Looking back, I don’t think Survivor Philippines was the right season to begin with. That’s not a knock on you for recommending it to me though. It’s all about trying to figure out what I like about Survivor and pairing it up with a season that I can appreciate. As far as progression goes, I think it’s actually been getting better. Philippines was entertaining, but the outcome didn’t work for me. Samoa introduced me to a ruthless character that played exactly as I wanted to see. Caramoan had a final three that I felt deserved to be there and because I had two seasons under my belt, I could appreciate what they did to get there more than I would have compared to if I watched it for my first season. Cagayan was sorta the perfect season where we had someone playing ruthless, yet did it in such a way that they won.

            I imagine this applies to everyone, but picking out Survivor seasons is a trial and error process. You can appreciate certain seasons more at various points. There may even come a point where I can get into Blood vs Water.

          • I guarantee that you will eventually like BvW.

            Since Phillipines, I’ve been trying to recommend seasons where I think you’ll be satisfied in the end. The tricky thing is, I thought that one was satisfying, so it’s all subjective.

            You haven’t seen a terrible season yet, though. David’s seen a couple.

            I enjoy the Coach arc David is recommending, but there are several (by your standard) disappointing winners in that arc.

            Prediction: You are going to love All-Stars and Boston Rob. You really need to give Palau a shot too.

  8. Binged watched through several episodes of Survivor Worlds Apart yesterday. I got up to the final pre-merge episode.


    (I may butcher some names because I don’t want to Google anything to double check in case of spoilers)

    – Vince came off like a major creep. Acting like a jealous boyfriend a day or two on the island? Bro, calm down. Whether Jenn does or does not want to shack up with Joe doesn’t have any influence on how much you creep her out.

    – Again, my favorite ends up being the best player on the weakest tribe. Joe’s pretty awesome. Unlike Vince, he’s laid back, killer at challenges, and has the extra appeal of looking like Malcolm. So it’s pretty easy to get behind him.

    – Nina (Did you know she’s deaf?) is a really tough situation. I felt she overreacted a ton, but at the same time, she’s likely felt like an outsider ever since she became deaf. As a result, she’s looking too much into Jenn and Haley (?) hanging out and supposedly excluding her. It got to the point where it was almost worth getting rid of her solely to no longer have any issues.

    – With that being said, it was BS that they voted her out after the water challenge with the holes in the bucket. How can you eliminate someone when you didn’t even give them a chance to perform in a challenge? It’s not fair. With her being on the bubble, let her participate so that she can either prove her worth to stay or give another reason to vote her off.

    – I find Shirin to be oddly entertaining despite how annoying she is. Look, chances are you will never be able to watch monkeys get it on in their natural environment again. That’s some newsworthy stuff, yo!

    – Max became super annoying pretty quickly. I sincerely hope that when Josh gets on Survivor in it’s second to last season, he dials back on his Survivor fandom so he doesn’t come across like Max. Knowing which sign has won Survivor the most? Who the hell even knows that?

    – What’s everyone’s personal opinion on nudity? To me, it seems like a poor idea. If you’re good looking, you’re likely going to get some jealousy hate. If you’re not so good looking, people are going to hate you for having to look at an ugly naked dude. The biggest negative of all for being naked is my fear of falling or dealing with some animals. I’m pretty protective of my junk, so I’d just be terrified of tripping or something to cause an injury. So while it may be nice as far as beating the heat or being comfortable, it doesn’t seem worth it.

    – Rodney’s a total tool. That is all.

    – I can’t remember her name (Emily?) but the blue collar woman who ended up getting bloodied during the blindfolded challenge is my favorite for the girls. She’s a bad ass. Runner-up is Jenn from the original no collar tribe. She brings some good lolz.

    – Will making it to the merge is amazing. He’s awful at challenges and should have been voted off before Nina. It just further shows what a rough deal Nina was given.

    – Dale is awful at the social game. What makes it hilarious is the fact that he doesn’t realize just how bad he actually is.

    • I just recently finished watching Worlds Apart and I posted about it in the comments of MSC episode 57 but here’s what I had to say (edited somewhat to remove spoilers and stuff):

      “I just finished up Worlds Apart, which is a season Josh and Cody rated pretty highly. I was kind of torn with this one. The gameplay was intense and in my opinion the winner was very deserving. I actually quite liked Gorgeous Joe and Shirin 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 (although TERRIBLE at challenges) ended up proving himself beyond redemption. 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 Sal, at risk of pissing off Josh by contradicting his recommendations but taking into account the seasons you’ve seen and enjoyed so far (and the fact that you’ve been watching Cambodia) I’d suggest a three season run of Tocantins, Heroes Vs Villains and South Pacific.

      This way you get to enjoy the entirety of Coach’s character arc (he’s in all three seasons and has a very complete and satisfying transformation throughout as well as being an extremely baffling and hilarious character) and you also get to see Stephen Fishbach’s initial season (Tocantins), Russell Hantz in his second season (Heroes Vs Villains) and then Cochran, Dawn and Brandon Hantz in their first season (South Pacific).

      I’m sure Josh and maybe Cody would disagree with this as a recommendation but I’ve found that the best way to navigate Survivor’s extensive back-catalogue is to approach seasons that feature characters I’m already somewhat familiar with. Having someone you can relate to from the very get go is definitely conducive to easing into otherwise new territory.

      • I don’t mind taking someone else’s advise for my next recommendation. Watching a three season story arch sounds nice, although I am a little concerned about being spoiled by watching seasons with returning players. Technically speaking, this latest season that’s currently airing on CBS caused me to be spoiled by Survivor Cagayan once it got down to the final four.

        Your three seasons does sound like a good strategy though. Having Malcolm return with Russell’s nephew instantly made Caramoan interesting for me and allowed me to skip over that initial period where you’re just watching without being emotionally invested due to not having a favorite player yet.

        • I don’t neccessrily disagere, but I actually think you’ll enjoy the Boston Rob and Russell story arcs better than the Coach story arc.

          You can do both by watching:

          1. All-Stars
          2. Tocantins
          3. Heroes v Villains
          4. Redemption Island
          5. South Pacific

          *HOWEVER, you’d also spoil what I think we all agree is one of the very best seasons in Palau. It’s a long road, but I’d watch Palau before HvV if you’re worried about spoilers. HvV also spoils another great season, Pearl Islands, but I don’t think you’ll be satisfied by that winner, so you can probably catch that one later.

          • I don’t think I’ve said “amen” since I was in primary school but I’ll say it in this instance. this is a great framework for a long haul stretch of seasons that all link up with reoccurring characters and compliment each other really well. A good variety of different approaches to strategy side of the game on show too.

            Although I haven’t seen Redemption island yet, but I’m actually going to start that season this week.

    • Sal …


      “Again, my favorite ends up being the best player on the weakest tribe. Joe’s pretty awesome. […] it’s pretty easy to get behind him.”

      I bet.

      It’s not that I dislike Joe, I just didn’t see what all the fuss was about his first time out. I get it more in Cambodia, but he seems a little clueless to me. Savage has the same problem. Their lives are just so perfect, they have very little self-awareness.

      “Nina (Did you know she’s deaf?) is a really tough situation.”

      Yeah … it is tough. On one hand, based on what you hear about Jenn being a brat and Hali being clueless in the post-season, I totally believe that they excluded her. She actually said that Joe was really mean to her too and wouldn’t let her compete in any of the challenges. On the other hand, it’s like a self-fulfilling prophesy. I think she made things WAY worse for herself than they needed to be. Rule number one on Survivor is don’t stick out. Hali actually says it well in a secret scene, “Don’t be a weirdo. Don’t be annoying. Don’t be inconsiderate. You’ll do ok.”

      “I find Shirin to be oddly entertaining despite how annoying she is.”

      I fell in love with Shirin by the end of Worlds Apart and I was rooting for her in Cambodia.

      “Max became super annoying pretty quickly. I sincerely hope that when Josh gets on Survivor […] he dials back on his Survivor fandom”

      Dude, give me a little credit. There are a lot of Survivor superfans on the show and all of them aren’t as annoying as Max. You’re boyfriend Malcolm is a superfan. Joe is a superfan. Jeremy is a superfan. Cochran is a superfan. Stephen came in a novice, but became a superfan after his first season. Spencer is a superfan. Hows about I try to be like one of those.

      “What’s everyone’s personal opinion on nudity?”

      The most important answer to this is, if the tribe likes nudity, you like nudity. If the tribe dislikes nudity, you dislike nudity. Again, don’t stand out. Go with the flow. Don’t give ANYONE a reason to talk about you in a negative way. Max and Shirin had a really rough time “reading the room” … clearly Tyler was uncomfortable with Shirin’s nudity. That’s enough of a reason to stop it. That said, bad play by Tyler there for showing his discomfort so clearly. Survivor is not a time to take a stance on something that is ultimately trivial in a game for a million $.

      “Rodney’s a total tool. That is all.”

      Not quite all. He becomes a highly entertaining tool by the end. I have never been less excited by two Survivor contestants as Tony and Rodney and then be completely turned around on them by the end. Rodney isn’t quite a Tony, but he’d make an EXCELLENT villain on Heroes vs Villains 2. When the impressions came out, he won me over.

      “The blue collar woman who ended up getting bloodied during the blindfolded challenge is my favorite for the girls. She’s a bad ass. Runner-up is Jenn”

      Jenn has several great lolz, as you say, but (without getting into spoilers) I ended up hating her. And the post-show stuff I heard about her made me dislike her even more. Kelly was rad and a total badass. I like Carloyn to some degree. Hali is fun, but clueless. Love Shirin.

      “Will making it to the merge is amazing. He’s awful at challenges”

      Will has my favorite challenge fail of all time and he and Dan running that challenge in tandem was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on Survivor. That whole challenge was ridiculous. And Jeff actually cracks and laughs too. Very funny.

      “Dale is awful at the social game. What makes it hilarious is the fact that he doesn’t realize just how bad he actually is.”

      Who is Dale? Are you talking about Kelley Wentworth’s dad in season 29? Because he does indeed suck at the social game.

      • “Who is Dale? Are you talking about Kelley Wentworth’s dad in season 29? Because he does indeed suck at the social game.”

        The older guy from the blue collar tribe that lost his underwear on day 2. Maybe his name is Dan? I’m still somewhat new into the season that I’m not 100% on the names, but Googling the season to find out the right names would risk being spoiled.

        • I’m just yanking your chain.

          Yeah, Dan. He’s unbelievable. I actually really enjoy watching him because he is such a train wreck. But his game is terrible and he is so bullheaded.

          • “I’m just yanking your chain.”

            I feel like every time you read one of my Survivor comments, especially anything regarding Denise, you let out a long sigh before you start replying. Ha

      • “Will has my favorite challenge fail of all time and he and Dan running that challenge in tandem was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on Survivor.”

        I’m curious which challenge fail this is? Will did have a lot of them. The one that sticks out to me was when they were supposed to be going down slide type structures and he just sort of slumps like a dead sea creature.

        I’d actually love to hear a list of the funniest challenge fails/moments. I love the bit in Fiji when Yau Man is on the challenge where you have to shoot fireballs into targets and as he prepares the camera pans over to the “four horsemen” jerks and they’re mocking him and mimicking his weedy, oldman technique and then he scores perfectly, winning the challenge and showing the “four horsemen” up as massive tools. That’s more a spectator fail though I guess.

        And Stephens Cambodia fail where he hit the other teams target is already up there for me. The more I think about it the more hilarious it becomes. A really good point was brought up about this on Rob Cesternino’s podcast though; isn’t it unfair if you’re the team in the middle and going wide on either side could result in scoring a point for your rivals, as opposed to the teams on the end where that possibility is only a factor on one side?

        • Yeah, and regarding Stephen, I’m surprised Jeff was so hard on him when Abi and Kimmi both came close to hitting the wrong team’s targets as well. Although, it’s not great to be compared to Kimmi and Abi.

          We should put together a list of challenge fails. They are dumb schadenfreude, but two of my favorites come in Fiji when people just simply fall down. One is really cute when Michelle is the caller on a blindfold challenge and she falls off the side of the platform. The other is in the memory challenge where Lisi is hopping down and just turfs it on her stupid face. Another all time favorite is Rafe dunking himself on the rope bridge in Guatemala.

          Yes, that’s the exact Will moment I was thinking of. And there is another at the end. And Dan is almost as brutal. The editors even did something they NEVER do and snuck in a Wilhelm Scream. Amazing.

          • Both those moments from Fiji stuck in my mind too. I really liked Michelle and was like “Oh shit!” because it looked like a pretty hard fall but she just got right back up and got on with it.

            Actually, one of the reasons I like Fiji so much is for all it’s genuinely funny moments of physical humour (not an aspect of comedy that I’m usual particularly taken with). Within the space of one episode Boo had seemingly injured every inch of his body through wacky mishaps and general misfortune. it rivals Skupin’s apparent masochistic tendencies in Philippines.

      • Josh, I know you’ve mentioned wanting to go on Survivor many times but have you actually applied?

        It would be unbelievably awesome to see you on a season.

        • I have not applied. I plan on applying in two years time if the show is still going. I’m sure you’ve heard me mention many times that Jonas from One World is my buddy and he’s got some application tips for me.

          I will say, Matt and William would be far better than me as a TV character and I was attempting to train William this Summer. If he gets on he’ll be like a Russell if he can keep focused. If he starts to get cocky he’ll be like a Coach. If he loses it he’ll be like a Phillip. He’ll be an all-timer character. Matt would be like a Kim in a best case scenario and a Tony if he starts to go mad. My fantasy is that Id look like Rupert and play like Cirie. I think I’d have the mind of a Penner and the heart of a Mike … which probably means that Id be more of a Coach myself. I could see myself getting scary as a Brandon Hantz 2.0 or a Shamar if I lose my mind.

          • You guys are reeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaally into this game. I’m not gonna lie. It’s kind of scary :/

            • It could be worse. Their obsession could be for cocaine instead of Survivor. Never thought about that did ya, Juan? Huh? HUH?!

              Yeah, don’t you feel silly now?

          • I actually filmed a video once, completed an application, and sent everything in. Then, literally like five minutes after clicking “Submit,” I reread the guidelines they give about what to include in your video and realized that, without actually meaning to, I had broken almost every one of them. Blah. I don’t think I even made it past the “unpaid CBS intern” level of screening applications.

            The video part of the application process is always going to be my Achilles heel. I never have good ideas for what to say or where to film. There’s nothing particularly interesting about me as a contestant (white dude, dad, colorless tech journalist profession), and I freeze up creatively whenever I try to imagine the five or six perfect things to say/do in a 180-second video that will make a TV person say, “Yes. THAT guy.”

            I’ve been in a MBA program for the last three years, but I may give the application process another shot this year. I’d love to at least say I’d gotten as far as talking with a producer. Actually getting on the show would probably not work out so well. We have kids, a mortgage, future orthodontia, soccer camps, college, etc., to pay for. I’ve never had the sort of job where two-month sabbaticals are either commonplace or encouraged. I’ve also never been the kind of super-confident and blithe go-getter who could just quit my current job and plan to get a new one upon my triumphant return.

          • If I actually got on the show, I’d probably come off like Rick Nelson in the body of Stephen Fishbach. I would film confessionals faithfully all season long, probably thinking that I was being clever and incisive and giving the producers lots of great material. Then I’d watch my season and realize that my entire “edit” consisted of standing in the background of other people’s shots a lot and getting maybe one or two cutaways where I make a wry face during confessional and then the camera switches back to camp life scenes.

  9. Last night I had a dream that I was hanging out with Josh and Steven Spielberg in the town of Whitby (as featured in the Bram Stoker’s Dracula novel) where they were collaborating on a film about seamonsters.

    there’s not a single part of me that doesn’t hope this dream was prophetic.

  10. Thoughts on the second half of World’s Apart from the merge until the end.


    – This season probably has the most rewarding winner yet. Someone who flat out dominated post-merge, but also had the huge disadvantage of being an outsider. Instead of holding that against him, they voted for the right person.

    – Mike became really entertaining once he stopped being a complainer about people not working hard enough and instead became an underdog who mastered the art of the happy dance. I was rooting for Mike for most of the second half of the season.

    – I’ll admit, Rodney stepped it up post-merge. He tried doing some thinking, which in itself is a miracle, and managed to be in a super comfortable position for practically the rest of the game. Awful at challenges and too much of a complainer to be a real threat though.

    – Jenn continued to be a fun player. Between her bee sting and hilarious exit interview, massively entertaining.

    – Shirin became one of my favorite players. Unless you watch current WWE, you’re not going to get this, but she reminded me so much of Bayley. If you’re not familiar with Bayley, her character is that she’s a WWE super fan. She came in originally without being taken seriously because people couldn’t get past the fact that she acted like a little kid in awe of everything. Eventually, she started to gain respect when she had this surprising mean streak when pushed too much. Right now, she’s extremely popular because she’s real and likable. The fact that Bayley and Shirin even look alike made the comparison all the easier.

    – As far as the sexism goes, I’m a little defensive of Dan (AKA Dale ha). On one hand, he’s a moron who just does not know how to talk to people. At the same time, I think he’s someone who speaks without thinking about what he’s going to say before it comes out. As a result, with this poor filter system, he makes really bad jokes that weren’t meant to offend anyone, but it does. I can relate to that. He’s a moron, but he doesn’t mean any harm.

    – On the other hand, there’s Will. I can defend Will’s initial comments to some extent. He just had his integrity questioned after this selfless act and he was nearly 30 days on this island that will naturally make you irritable due to lack of food, sleep, ect. My issue with Will mostly deals with that tribal council where he still wouldn’t apologize after having a few days of cooling off and having time to reflect. Even on the reunion show, I didn’t buy that he felt he did anything wrong. His rant went far beyond just being pissy and wanting to yell at Shirin. Will became the most unlikable person on the show for me.

    – That fire building tie-breaker at the very end was a complete joke. Taking nearly an hour to make fire? After that pathetic showing, I wouldn’t have voted for the winner of that regardless of who won.

    – For as good of a challenger player as Mike was, his social game was horrific. He said it best on the reunion show. The moment he teased not buying the letter from home, he should have stuck with his guns and not changing his mind again. Then again, the even better idea was to not be a moron and just go along with the rest and buy the letter without any tease. That one move made him an underdog rather than being on the outs with only Dan and Cierra.

    – Did Hali do a single thing other than just standing around and looking pretty?

    – Mama C played a good game. I think she would have won had the final three have been Rodney and Will.

    – #WorstBirthdayEver

    – If there’s a criticism for the year, it’s that they didn’t show enough of Tyler being a threat. One episode he’s just a regular background player and the next everyone is talking about how he’s obviously the favorite to win. I don’t deny that that was likely and I did see him being a threat, but it was a bit jarring to see the change of attitudes happening so quickly on the back-to-back episodes.

    – Overall, it’s a really solid season. I’d probably rank it as being higher than Cagayan. It didn’t have a player I got really behind like I did with Russell or Malcolm. Players like Joe, Spencer, and Mike are a clear rung or two below my main two favorites.

    So five seasons in, loved them all, even if each one has some flaw. Now I just need to figure out which season is next.

    • Awesome comment. I will reply in detail when I get a minute. Glad you enjoyed it.

      I’m telling you, you gotta watch All-Stars. I think you’ll be all over Boston Rob like Russell and Malcolm. Good stuff.

  11. Finished up another season of Survivor.


    – The first thing that stood out about this season was the video quality. I don’t know if it was just the lack of HD cameras, but it had that weird Soap Opera like look to the video. In addition, the lighting looked pretty poor as sometimes it was too bright and other times too dark due to shadows. It took a couple of episodes to get used to the look and to get rid of the urge to stop the season and watch a more recent season.

    – In hindsight, I think this season would have been an ideal first season for me to watch. For me, I have a tough time accepting the social aspect of the game and how you just can’t be a Russell and expect to win. In the more recent seasons, it’s tough to accept this when everyone is already playing a sneaky game. In Palau, the social game was a huge part of the gameplay. Emotion and friendships beat out pure strategy every time.

    – Palau came off as the meanest season I’ve seen. Some of the highlights included eliminating two players before the game truly began, the big family visit for only half of the tribe, the first time I got to see Exile island, the food auction having the family letters be so expensive, ect. It’s brutal, yo.

    – Based on these mentions of old school vs new school, I’m guessing this is clearly an old school season. The game play and strategy was fairly underwhelming. It’s difficult to rank this season in that some ways it was disappointing, but at the same time, it stood out for completely different reasons that aren’t seen on the newer seasons. For example, there was a greater emphasis on the pure survival aspects of being stranded on an island. Whether it was dealing with potentially dangerous animals, winning sewing kits in reward competitions, the smoke signals competition for getting your shelter pimped out, ect. So altogether, it feels like a different version of Survivor.

    – Ulong is the least successful tribe in Survivor history, right? Seeing them lose every single immunity challenge was brutal.

    – I don’t know why James lasted as long as he did. He tended to suck in competitions and he let down the tribe a couple of times when he took the lead.

    – Angie was screwed. She should have lasted longer in Ulong. Along with Bobby Jon and Stephanie, she was the best that tribe had to offer.

    – “I stepped on a coconut” Jeff was pretty disappointing. Based on how little most of the tribe helped at camp and in challenges, a 50% Jeff was still better than most.

    – I feel bad for Bobby Jon for not being able to make it to the “Merge”.

    – I loved the time Stephanie had alone at the Ulong camp. It was something I’ve never seen in Survivor so the freshness of those scenes was a huge positive for the season of Palau.

    – Once the season was finished, my favorite player ended up being Stephanie. She was a great player and offered for a fantastic story that unfortunately ended prematurely. I wonder how much the CBS suits were hoping Stephanie would last longer than she did. The longer she would have lasted, the more compelling her story would have been.

    – For Koror, it was mostly just unlikable players (Janu, Caryn and at times Coby) or players that didn’t stand out to me much (Gregg). The two I did really dig were Shaggy (Ian) and Tom. Due to my natural attitude of being into evil players who is willing to do anything to win, I felt bad about how much heat Ian was getting near the end of the season. Poor guy’s biggest problem was just how terrible slip ups that seemed to keep coming out the more mistakes he lets out. A villain though? No way. Tom was a really nice guy and flat out dominated. Tom may have even been the most dominant player I’ve seen on Survivor, beating out even Tony due to never being in trouble of being voted out.

    – It’s hard to be disappointed with the winner of Palau. Tom was the most deserving, won the most individual challenges, and played the social game. There wasn’t an actual negative going against him particularly when he was matched up against Katie.

    – Looking over the Wiki page to get the right names and I see that Jenn died back in 2010. That’s terrible. To give her an in-game compliment, despite being in the shadows due to being Gregg’s other half, she showed that she could be a big player once Gregg was voted off. She likely could have given Tom a far better fight than Katie did.

    – The brutal treatment that Katie received during the final tribal council got me thinking about the distinction between being worthless/carried to the finals due to your strong alliance and recognizing your weaknesses/being smart enough to know who to align with. Seems like a fine line and if you don’t have something else going for yourself, you’re screwed.

    – Overall, I had a lot of fun with this very different season from what I’ve used to seeing. Even for old school Survivor, this season seemed to stand out for all of it’s first time happenings.

    Not sure what season I’ll watch next. For the sheer ease of it, it’ll be a season from Amazon Prime.

    • Wow Sal! You’ll be caught up with me in no time at this rate!

      And I agree with almost everything you said about Palau though I didn’t find the gameplay and strategy particularly underwhelming but I believe it was only my second season after All-Stars so I hadn’t had much exposure to the far more complex and intense stuff of the later seasons.

      I also thought Tom was a great winner and I liked Ian a lot and felt like he was being treated a little unfairly considering his game was really no more duplicitous than anyone else. I think he was playing to win but struggled with the fact that his approach involved hurting people. It was like he very innocently, just out of being a nice guy, wanted to keep everyone happy and that ultimately backfired. It was a really interesting dynamic for a final three in this season from an emotional/relational perspective.

      I also really enjoy the survival heavy nature of the earlier seasons. That’s an element I find lacking from the newer seasons, almost entirely by this point and understand why but I miss it.

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