Movie Stream Cast 59: The Interview (2014)

MSC Interview BannerOn this episode of Movie Stream Cast, Josh is joined again by Rachel to discuss the comedic assassination plot movie (yes, you read that correctly), The Interview. The movie is streaming for a subscription on Netflix or for a ridiculous $9.99 digital rental on several other platforms. Just buy the DVD if you’re considering that option. Afterward, Rachel tries to guess the entries on Josh’s Top 3 Political Comedies list.

STREAMING NEXT: Digging For Fire

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61 thoughts on “Movie Stream Cast 59: The Interview (2014)

  1. I can’t figure out if I’d like this movie or not. Just hearing the crude jokes and obnoxious characters in the trailer puts me off but I didn’t mind “Super Bad” and I do find North Korea horridly fascinating. Your review certainly piqued my interest but I do have a very hard time with most comedies. I still have to get to Waiting For Guffman and the others that Josh recommended to me a few weeks ago so they definitely take priority.

    And for anyone who wants to learn little tidbits about life in North Korea in an easily digestible way I’d recommend the graphic novel Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle. It’s basically just him recounting some time spent their and how strange it was through a simplistic but charming drawing style.

    • Honestly. unless you’re a huge Rogen fan, it’s a hard one to recommend. You said

      “I didn’t mind Super Bad and I do find North Korea horridly fascinating.”

      So, that makes me think you’d appreciate it.

      But, you also said that,

      “I still have to get to Waiting For Guffman”

      and I think you will love that and Best in Show and A Mighty Wind due to your love of Spinal Tap and The Office. again, they are all better on their second watch (which I know is a weird way to recommend a movie), so be patient.

      “I’d recommend the graphic novel Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea by Guy Delisle.”

      Checking it out tonight! Thanks for the recommendation.

  2. Glad to hear you’ll be back on your regular schedule. A regular dose of MSC is good for the soul.

    I’m surprised that you both liked this movie as much as you did. This is one that I had mild interest in at first, but then less and less interest in the more I heard of it. Now, I think I might suggest to the wife that we watch it tonight (she’s an Apatow fan).

    • It’s dumb fun. I think we both just love the premise and world a lot too. This is closer to movies like Superbad and the 40 Year Old Virgin (which Rachel would normally not watch) in terms of maturity and crude humor than, say, This is 40 (which she likes a lot). So, I think the North Korea aspect goes a long way for her and the film doesn’t totally kick off until Kim Jung Un is on screen. Randall Park is incredible. But with all of those qualifiers, I loved it.

      • Ok, those examples are helpful. Sounds like my wife’s and Rachel’s tastes might align somewhat, both in world view and in Apatow films. (THIS IS 40 is a movie she’ll put on in the background before 40 YEAR OLD VIRGIN).

        This one could go either way with her… only one way to find out….

        [all I know is she’ll probably like this better than BONE TOMAHAWK, but don’t tell that to J]

  3. The Best SURVIVOR: CAMBODIA Episode 6-7 content out there:

    Ponderosa video !!! for the first member of the jury:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCQm1ndAYKw

    Survivor Know it Alls podcast (audio or video):
    http://robhasawebsite.com/survivor-2015-know-it-alls-episode-7-second-chance-recap-wednesday-november-4-2015/

    Dalton Ross video Exit Interviews for episodes 6 & 7:

    EPISODE 6 evac:
    http://bcove.me/f7cnweim

    EPISODE 7 boot:
    http://bcove.me/xlfni98v

    And finally, David Bloomberg’s Why “so-and-so” Lost Survivor, Episode 7:
    http://bit.ly/1RLW9Qm

    • Alas, poor Kass. She just couldn’t keep the Khaos in check. Kumbaya Kass is just not where she wants park her car. Excellent point from Bloomberg that you never want to attract any degree of attention going into the first vote after the merge. Some merges it’s obvious who’s going next in a “stronger tribe pick off the outsiders one-by-one” sense. With this merge, however, there wasn’t an easy or obvious target. Everyone had a pretty good game face going and everyone was in good with at least a couple of other players. If you ever look around after the merge and see that there’s not an easy target … don’t volunteer to be in anyone’s crosshairs!

      I don’t know whether it will happen this season, but I’ve been thinking that the next evolution in gameplay I want to see is for someone to try to strengthen their position with a fake idol *before* they absolutely need it for the next vote. You obviously wouldn’t want to let everyone know. But if you strategically work on a couple of key people, I think the fake idol could do you a lot more good than if you just wait until it’s a Hail Mary situation. The key to a good fake idol, after all, is the threat — not the reality — of its being played. And if you suddenly have an idol, right before you’re about to really need it, no one’s going to buy it. The idol itself can’t help (it’s fake), so getting the idea of it out there early makes it a stronger play. Certainly in the sense of convincing people that it’s genuine (and that they therefore should vote for someone else).

      It’s a risky play, because people who have idols sometimes become a target when they wouldn’t otherwise have been one. Still, I think we’re past the stage of fake idols faking anyone out unless they’re introduced well before they’re needed. It would be especially effective in a season like the one we’re seeing now, where both idols were found early by players who aren’t likely to need them for a while. So the whole idol element isn’t even a factor. The idols are completely off the radar. Also, playing a fake idol early might flush out some of the actual idols, in a, “That guy doesn’t really have an idol and I can prove it,” kind of way. And then you’ve put a target on certain other people, and you’ve opened up the possibility of maybe getting a real idol back where you can actually get your hands on it.

      See, “Survivor” producer who is secretly reading this blog? You need some fresh ideas! Recruit me for the next season. I don’t have the body of Angie Cookies (or even Tyson Apostol, really), but I could still give you some good TV!

      • And by “secretly reading the blog,” of course I mean “secretly reading the comments on the most recent episode of this excellent film podcast.” :-)

  4. Just ordered pizza to watch with episode 7 of Cambodia but I thought I’d best briefly post my belated thoughts on the last episode:

    POTENTIAL SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR CAMBODIA EPISODE .

    Firstly was that the first time someone’s been pulled out of Survivor for a family emergency? Crazy and really sad stuff. I hope Terry’s son turned out to be okay.

    And I think I’ve come to the point where anyone getting voted out now before Abi goes home is going to seem really hard to justify to me. I was super sad to see Woo go but if I’m honest I’d rather it be him than Spencer simply because the latter is likely to bring more complexity to the game. And it was crazy to see Kas actually help Spencer to stay in the game though I can’t help but feel she’s scuppering her own game in the process; as soon as people get a taste of the old, frustratingly unpredictable ways of Kaos Kass I think they’ll be quick to get rid of her. I like how much instability and suspense she brings to the game but this move made me doubt the intelligence behind her strategy. It’s almost like she revels so much in mixing things up and indulging the chaotic aspect of her ego that she can’t see the negative impact such behaviour might have,

    I’m a little worried for Stephen too, not due to his challenge performance, but his slightly pushy approach to get rid of Joe seemed ill-calculated to me at this point in the game.

    Despite that however I’ve decided I’m backing Stephen or Spencer to win the game.

    And I don’t know what it is but I’m starting to like Savage less the further we get into this season. Maybe it was just him going after Spencer but I get this weird vibe from the guy like he’s never really had to struggle at anything and he seems kind of entitled. I’m sure that’s an utterly unfair judgement because there’s no real basis for it but it’s just my read on him. And I really liked him in his first season.

    • David, I moved your comments over here so we could keep the conversation going (though I might not be able to until later tonight).

      SPOILERS, SURVIVOR CAMBODIA EP 6

      “Was that the first time someone’s been pulled out of Survivor for a family emergency?”

      Well, you’ll remember something similar from Survivor: All-Stars, although that person pulled themselves.

      “I hope Terry’s son turned out to be okay.”

      If you watched until the very end (you should always do that bc you get final words from the person voted out) they had an update about Terry’s son. He’s doing well.

      “Anyone getting voted out now before Abi goes home is going to seem really hard to justify. I was super sad to see Woo go but if I’m honest I’d rather it be him than Spencer simply because the latter is likely to bring more complexity to the game.”

      Agreed on all fronts. Should have been Abi, but I prefer Woo over Spencer. And I’d add over Savage.

      “Frustratingly unpredictable ways of Kaos Kass …”

      I actually think she’s totally predictable. She acts in (what she perceives to be) her own self-interest no matter what and she’s not happy with second or third place. She’s playing hard for first and if she feels like she’s on the bottom, she’ll make a move on you.

      In this case, she figured she was at the bottom of Savage’s Bayon Bro Alliance, her closest ally was Ciera, she figured she’d have a couple more votes on this tribe and she was going to take out her threats. Her biggest mistake was going after Woo first. She should have taken Savage out first, in my opinion. I think she underestimated the power of Savage’s prayers to the Survivor Gods. Haha.

      “I’m a little worried for Stephen too, not due to his challenge performance, but his slightly pushy approach to get rid of Joe seemed ill-calculated to me at this point in the game.”

      Yeah, that’s risky. I don’t think he realizes how guys like Jeremy and Savage intend to use Joe.

      “Despite that however I’ve decided I’m backing Stephen or Spencer to win the game.”

      I’m Team Stephen all the way, but I think it will be Wentworth or Jeremy in the final three with him who actually win. Maaaaaybe Savage.

      “I’m starting to like Savage less the further we get into this season. Maybe it was just him going after Spencer but I get this weird vibe from the guy like he’s never really had to struggle at anything and he seems kind of entitled.”

      Yeah, as Cody pointed out … he’s a bit of a Deutsch-bag. I like him for two reasons 1) He loves the game and 2) He is giving it everything he’s got. Personality means a lot less to me than those two factors. I think that’s why I love Boston Rob on one end of the spectrum and Stephen on the other. Just do your best with what you’ve got and I will love you on Survivor.

      • Do you really prefer Woo over Spencer? I understand that from the point of likeability but as a fan of intense strategy that’s insane! Woo is wonderful but brings way less to the game than Spencer, whose emotional veneer so far has been kind of eerily fascinating and whose gameplay may turn out to be entirely unpredictable.

        • No, I misspoke or miswrote.

          I prefer Woo as a boot, not as a player.

          I actually learned to fully appreciate Woo on this season–he frustrated me the first time and I wasn’t exactly excited about seeing him back–but he’s so sweet. Impossible to hate.

          I actually thought Spencer was back too soon as well, when we missed out on guys like Shane, but he is a fascinating player.

  5. I only found The Interview to just be okay, the type of movie you stream to kill ninety minutes. It had some laughs, but it’s not something I see myself going out of my way to watch again.

    The real life story of the hacking, threats, little theaters trying to show the movie, the buzz of seeing the death scene, ect was so much more interesting than the actual movie. I’m sure this is true for others, but I only ended up seeing this movie because of all of the buzz. The Interview may have missed out on a proper theatrical run, but man, I imagine a lot more people ended up seeing it than had the hack have never happened and the movie quietly had it’s theatrical release. North Korea going so far out of it’s way to try and stop people from seeing the movie ended up making so many more people want to see it.

    It feels like a conspiracy theory. Sony Pictures comes up with this fake North Korea hacking/threat story in order to create huge publicity. The publicity could not have been better had Sony actually planned it.

    • Well, the publicity for this one movie, but the hacking had a HUGE negative impact on business. All of these private emails with insider information about their company and trash-talk about some if their biggest stars. There’s no way it was intentional.

      I can definitely see why you’d say it’s “just okay” bc I felt that way about This is the End. I guess I am just predisposed to love anything about real-life foreign affairs, the entertainment industry and espionage. This had all three, plus comedic actors and filmmakers that I regularly enjoy. It is silly, yes. I’d say Radall Park elevates the whole thing to a really interesting place, though.

      • I do really like Randall Park. It seems like in the last couple of years, his name has really grown due to The Interview, Fresh Off the Boat (One of my favorite new-ish sitcoms), ect.

        I can agree that Park was the best part of The Interview too.

  6. Since I had some time to kill while I was “Obtaining” Pearl Islands, I decided to knock out a random season and opted to watch the first widescreen season. That just happened to be Josh’s leave favorite season.

    – SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR GABON-

    – The final tribal council was weird in that I don’t think any of the three finalists did a good job of convincing the

    jury to vote for them:

    1. Bob – This should have been an easy win for him, but he nearly lost it in my mind because of his poor performance in the final tribal council. Everyone seemed to be wanting Bob to finally show a more vicious side and show there’s more to him than just being a nice guy. The only answer that he gave that I believed helped was when asked for honest reasons why to vote for the other two, he said there wasn’t any reason why the other two should win.

    2. Sugar – Without question, Sugar was the best of the final three at a strategy game. The problem is I don’t think she cared much about actually winning. You saw that at several points in the same where she’d just have fun or do what she
    thinks is right rather than what’s best for her own game. I believe Sugar not giving answers or taking the easy way out on simple answers cost her the win.

    3. Susie – Susie didn’t have anything going for herself. There was nothing she could have said to try and make people believe she was the best person to win. At the same time, this is why she was able to nearly win. She didn’t disappoint at the final tribal council because there wasn’t anything there to disappoint. Without question, Susie should have had zero votes and came in third.

    – Favorite player in the entire season had to be Sugar. She was downright adorable, had an awesome personality, had a lot of fun out there, and despite a weak start where she appeared to be carried by Ace, turned out to have a good mind for the game. As mean as it was, I LOVED her over the top laughter at Randy during the fake hidden immunity scene. That goes back to my original point of I’m not sure if Sugar cared about winning. She was there to have some fun that scene summed it all up. Screwing over Randy wouldn’t help her gameplay at all, but she enjoyed having a laugh on someone who had been a giant headache to live with. I was totally wrong about my first impressions of Sugar.

    – Speaking of first impressions, there’s my second favorite player of the game – Bob. I love players that are great in challenges, ones that surpass my initial expectations, and ones that have a bit of an eccentric character. Bob had all of that. I don’t know if he’s the first Survivor player to put his buff in a bowtie, but that alone kind of won me over. For being such an older contestant, you wouldn’t know it based on how he performs in challenges. Even before he excelled in individual immunity challenges, Bob impressed me by climbing on the giant ball to retrieve the keys in one of the first challenges (Kenny did that for the Fang tribe). I was concerned he was going to break a hip or at least be as bad at challenges as Gillian, but we never saw that. On top of all that, Bob came across as the nicest Survivor contestant that I’ve seen yet. Totally deserving of winning it all.

    – I liked the growth of Kenny. He started off seemingly only caring about trying to find a girl willing to kiss him, but by the middle of the game, he became this strategic mastermind. It seemed as if he got so caught up in the game that he ended up becoming a villain.

    – Biggest disappointment of the entire game was Crystal. For being a former Olympian, I expected her to be a great player at challenges. We never saw that though and by the end I had her pegged as one of the worst challenges player. The longer the season went, the more I grew to dislike her due to her lack of strategy (Let’s face it, she road Ken’s coattails to the jury) and her more commonly occuring outbursts. I’ll admit to having a personal bias against her though. Her lack of strength in challenges made it difficult to ever like her.

    – It wasn’t until the season was over and I checked the Wikipedia page that I realized I’ve already seen one season with Corinne. Completely unrecognizable from her days on Caramoan. On Caramoan, I liked her just fine. On Gabon, she came off like a total witch. The fact that she didn’t apoligize for her comment about Sugar’s dad bugged me.

    – Randy’s certainly a character. Total villain, but one you could enjoy watching. I do wonder if there’s more to the story about Randy. With his poor social skills, struggle with how people feel, and intelligance, I wonder if he has some type of high functioning Aspergers or something similar. The reunion show made him seem like more than just some angry old man.

    – Matty’s the “That’s my fetish” meme guy! I’ve seen the gif of Corrine, Sugar, and a huge smile Matty so many time on various sites like Reddit and Imgur.

    – Fang was a down right terrible tribe. It seemed as if they actively wanted to suck. Eliminating Michelle first while keeping Gillian was just the first step in assuring that Kota would continue to thrive. Other highlights included not picking Bob in the repicking of the tribes and voting out Jacquie before Kelly.

    – Josh might disagree with this, but one of the earliest strengths of this season was the location. For the first time in a season that I’m watching, water doesn’t play a big role in the game. Whether that’s good or bad, it’s different. Different is good when you’re still trying to experience different elements of the show to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. The addition of the scenes with the elephants were pretty cool too.

    – I’m normally not a big fan of the family visit day since not much actually happens, but this season had a great episode with Matty getting engaged and Sugar spreading some of her father’s ashes in Gabon.

    Not that I’ve seen what I would consider a bad season, but I really enjoyed this season.

    Next season I’ll be watching is Pearl Islands. Bring on Johnny Fairplay!

    • Gabon is the WORST! Blech. I can’t believe you watched this.

      SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR: GABON

      “The final tribal council was weird in that I don’t think any of the three finalists did a good job of convincing the jury to vote for them.”

      Yes to everything you said here. Terrible finalists.

      “Favorite player in the entire season had to be Sugar.”

      But she was in her Exile Island “Sugarshack” for most of the season. She really didn’t have to play the game. You can’t give her to much credit. And I thought the Randy stuff was too mean-spirited. But I agree that she is one of the best parts.

      “Bob.”

      I will give him the buff into bowtie and the fake idol, but that’s about it.

      “I liked the growth of Kenny.”

      I agree. He was among the best this season, but like the rest of this cast, he just wasn’t outstanding. He’s a 2nd rate Stephen Fishbach or Rob Cesternino to me.

      “Matty’s the ‘That’s my fetish’ meme guy!”

      That’s hilarious. I had never seen this until you mentioned it and I had to look it up. That’s a gif for that meme. Very funny. I liked Matty okay, but he’s like a 2nd rate Fabio or Woo to me.

      “Location.”

      Yeah, the elephant was awesome and a Top 10 animals on Survivor moment, but I hated the location for the most part. Another interesting/different location that is considered bad by most fans is Guatemala. I really enjoyed that setting, but a lot of people (including Cody) hate it.

      I think Corrine, Randy, Charlie, Kenny, Ace, Bob and Marcus were all decent casting and the best of this season, but still below average for Survivor. I thought the rest absolutely sucked.

      If you enjoyed Gabon you’re probably never going to experience a season that you hate. So, that’s lucky.

      If you haven’t found it yet, the Survivor Wikia is better than Wikipedia for you post-season reading:

      http://survivor.wikia.com/wiki/Survivor:_Gabon

      • I think you’re too hard on Gabon, Josh. Bob might not have been the most strategic winner of all time but he was certainly a resourceful and likeable old chap. This is a season where the characters (mainly Bob, Sugar, Kenny and Randy for me) propelled it along far more than the actual gameplay. I guess the whole thing is a bit flat but I still think it’s enjoyable and I liked the location simply for how different it was than any other I’d seen.

        Ace and Corrine were potentially interesting characters but I hated them both. Corrine especially, as she came off as someone almost proud of being horribly cruel and offensive. Although she was far more likeable in Caramoan.

        • I gotta agree with David here. (Again. It must be Agree with David Day.) “Gabon” is probably a third-tier season at best, but it wasn’t the post-apocalyptic nuclear wasteland that, say, “Nicaragua” was. Gameplay comes in many different forms. There may not have been tons of high-level double- and triple-crossing this season, but Sugar and Bob made enough moves that they deserved to be where they got. (I’m with Sal about Susie, which is why is why I hate three-person final tribals so much. There have definitely been seasons where three or more players could have made a strong argument at FT, so I get what the producers are going for. In practice, however, the third person is almost invariably some no-account who has no business getting a vote from anyone and is only present because the other two figured that no one would possibly vote for “that” person.)

          • I really like a three person finale. Even though you do end up with at least one undeserving person, it does shake things up and make it a tad less predictable.

            Despite not seeing many great arguments for why an underdog should win over a more obvious choice, I do love the final tribal council and hearing the finalists, particularly the ones that are long shots, try to twist the game around into making a solid argument for why their game play justifies giving them a million dollars.

            The Gabon final tribal council interest me so much due to what a poor job two of them did to try and convince the jury to vote for them. Before that final tribal council, I wouldn’t have ever believed Susie would have gained a single vote, let alone nearly winning.

            When there’s only two finalists, there doesn’t seem like there’s as much room for surprises.

          • It’s a real dilemma for me. My ideal Final Tribal is two STRONG competitors who both deserve to be there AND both do a good job addressing the jury. Unfortunately, it’s incredibly rare to have two deserving players present (let alone two deserving players who are both capable of hitting their talking points) at a two-person FT. I can’t think of a good example, off the top of my head.

            So I like three-person FTs, because it greatly increases the chance that there will be at least two deserving participants present. But I also hate them because the third wheel participant is typically a useless go-alonger who doesn’t have anything to contribute and is either wholly ignored by jury members, or ends up cutting into the response time of people who actually deserve to be there.

            ** HUGE, APOCALYPTIC “HEROES VS. VILLAINS” and “SOUTH PACIFIC” SPOILERS ** SAL AND DINO, STOP READING NOW **

            Probably the best three-person FT ever was “Heroes vs. Villains.” And that outcome bugged the heck out of me, because Parvati and Russell were both more deserving than Sandra.

            Another good three-person FT was “South Pacific.” And that outcome bugged the heck out of me, too, because Coach was way more deserving than Sophie and Albert (who was at least on equal footing with Sophie). I’m more able to accept it, however, than “HvV,” because Coach and Albert basically rolled over while Sophie stood her ground.

            One of my least favorite three-person FTs was “Philippines,” because Whelchel and Skupin were so inferior to both Denise and Malcolm. It shoulda been Malcolm vs. Denise vs. Bobbsey Twin A or B. (Although it’s hard for me to denigrate Skupin, because, damn, that guy [SPOILERED] a freakin’ [SPOILER] with only [SPOILER] on “Australia.” And that’s just plain awesome.)

          • Sal, I agree. The final 3 is the way to go for me. There are several seasons (I can think of three devastating examples right off the top of my head) where the best player of the season came in third place and didn’t make it to a final 2 tribal council. With a final three, sure you may have a goat (OR EVEN TWO), but I think the chances of the best player making it to the end are much higher.

        • I love Survivor …

          As Rob Cesternino often says (paraphrasing the old joke about sex): Survivor is like pizza. Even when it’s bad, it’s still pretty good.

          … but as I look over my Top 30 list there are a handful of seasons that have some element that makes watching really painful. My bottom 8 seasons:

          23. Nicaragua
          24. Tocantins “The Brazilian Highlands”
          25. Vanuatu
          26. Borneo
          27. Marquesas
          28. Amazon
          29. Australian Outback
          30. Gabon “Earth’s Last Eden”

          That still leaves 23 seasons that I like (counting the current season) and 10 seasons ( again, counting the current season) that I think are arguably amongst the best television ever created. Undeniably amongst the best NON-FICTION television ever created.

          But those 8 seasons … uugh. There are some really rough patches. And I don’t know if I stand by my exact rankings among these 8 (I could let Tocantins and Outback float to the top), but these are definitely the worst 8, in my opinion.

          Nicaragua has a lot wrong with it, but it still has Fabio and Marty. Both of them are far better than anyone on Gabon and they should both be back. Jill, Sash and Brenda are as good or better than anyone on Gabon. Holly is annoying, but at least an interesting game case study. She’s way more interesting than anyone on Gabon. And then there is Na-Onka. Hate her, go ahead, but she is better TV than the entire Gabon cast, combined. I’m not saying that people should watch Nicaragua–they shouldn’t–but it’s better than Gabon.

          Gabon is unwatchable, in my opinion. I made it through once. I own it (sadly). But of my bottom 8 it is the 1 that I refuse to subject myself to ever again. I can’t imagine ever having any interest in watching Nicaragua, Vanuatu, Borneo, Marquesas or Amazon again, but I have already seen Borneo, Amazon and Marquesas multiple times, and I would gladly binge watch any of them before re-watching one episode of Gabon. What a miserable cast of characters that do nothing interesting for 39 days. It’s so bad. It’s SO bad.

          • Wow…tell us how you really feel about Gabon. Ha

            It’s weird to see you completely trash a season of Survivor.

          • STOP BAITING ME with your callous and unwarranted dismissals of “Survivor: The Australian Outback.” That is an awesome season. Period. And you know who agrees with me? JEFF. FREAKING. PROBST.

            “Nicaraugua” is terrible. Fabio isn’t even good enough to qualify as a super-duper poor man’s Woo. The double quit is among the two or three most heinous things ever to happen in the game, right up there with the fact that the bleeping double quitters got to be on the bleeping jury. And there was actually another quit that season: Jimmy Johnson asked his tribe to vote him out, but somehow managed to not get busted for it by the editors. (Probably because the knew what was coming down the road.) Also: Medallion of Power.

            I probably won’t ever watch “Gabon” again, but I see no reason to cast it on the midden. Bob C. and Sugar were much more interesting than anyone from “Nicaragua.”

          • I think the thing about some of these slightly older seasons that aren’t the most popular is that they still retain a slight aspect of emphasis on the survivalist, procedural elements and the struggles of the shipwrecked lifestyle.

            But those issues are barely touched upon in the more recent seasons. One World for example is hard to watch AND diverts attention from any of those more relatable elements of primitive human survival. Apparently Jonas did amazing things with the bare essentials he could gather but we never even get to see any of that. It’s ALL just social stuff amongst mainly dull or detestable people.

          • MILD ONE WORLD SPOILERS

            David, you should watch Jonas and Leif’s Ponderosa videos. They are awesome and show some of the cool cooking stuff he was doing.

            I really love Kim (I think the season is worth watching just for her) and both Tarzan and Troyzan are a blast.

            Lots of really likable characters too. Other than Alicia, all of the really annoying people are gone before the merge.

          • I’m not trying to bait you! Look, The Australian Outback is fine, but unremarkable other than the disasters that happened. Those are big show moments, but not great game moments. The game in Australia sucked.

            You know what is totally unconvincing?

            “JEFF. FREAKING. PROBST.”

            I have almost the exact opposite taste as him. Sometimes I don’t even think that he understands what is good about the show. PLUS he likes it because it made him more money than any other season. It’s like my example I always use about how Universal thinks “Meet the Fockers” is the better movie than “Meet the Parents.” Jeff is a killer host, particularly in tribal council, but his opinion on the game means zilch to me.

            “Bob C. and Sugar were much more interesting than anyone from Nicaragua.”

            No way, dude. Marty, Fabio, Sash, Jill, Na-Onka, Holly, Brenda …

            SPOILERS FOR SURVIVOR: NICARAGUA

            “The bleeping double quitters got to be on the bleeping jury. […] Also: Medallion of Power.”

            I agree that those are two of the worst things I’ve ever seen on the show. Which makes it all the more shocking that this season is so much more watchable for me than Gabon.

  7. Nooooooooooooooooooooo…

    ****SPOILER ALERT FOR SURVIVOR CAMBODIA EPISODE 8****
    Not Savage! Totally bummed about that, but it was an awesome play by Wentworth who is one of my top contenders to win the game by the way. I still hate Abi with all my heart and I’m now a Ciera hater too. I just can’t stand her whiny attitude just because she’s in the bottom. I’m so glad Kass is out. I was so tired of her gameplay and personality. I’m still cheering for Spencer, Jeremy, and Wentworth in that order.

    • SPOILERS: Cambodia Ep 8

      So weird because I thought you spoiled this episode with a tweet you sent and I SWEAR you had said that you were glad the person was voted out. So I thought Stephen was going FOR SURE and I was so scared for him the whole episode.

      I’m only really rooting for Stephen at this point, but I like Jeremy, Wentworth and Spencer as players (in that order) and I’m interested to see what Joe, Ciera and Keith are going to do.

      It took a long time for Keith to come on the scene this season, but he was HILARIOUS.

      This was an excellent episode of Survivor and Wentworth is straight-gangsta. I was sad to see Savage go, though, because he was playing his guts out and I love to see that.

      • Haha what a hilarious misunderstanding! When I tweeted that cryptic message, I was referring to Chaos Kass. At that time I wasn’t aware that there was a new episode out, so when I read Josh’s tweet thanking Savage, I was very confused because again, I wasn’t aware that there was a new episode out. So, really, you spoiled me, Josh. Thanks a lot, bro.

        I agree with Keith being hilarious in this last episode. I’ve grown fond of him over time. I’ve always been fond of Joe, but I think he just put a big target on his back by winning immunity back to back and now that Savage is not there to protect him and since he didn’t step up like Ciera and Wentworth wanted him to, I’m afraid he’s now in grave danger. Stephen is another player that I feel is in danger of being kicked out. He’s been very pushy lately and he’s already a target. It’s going to be interesting to see who he ends up aligning with since both sides wanted him out in the first place. Things are getting very interesting. I think this season has been very strong and I like how everyone’s hustling and scrambling to stay in the game. That’s what I like seeing. Anyway, good times.

          • The podcasts keep me happy throughout the week. What are you listening to?

            So, the musts are “Survivor Know It Alls” and “Why [so and so] Lost Survivor” podcasts from Rob Cesternino.

            The Ponderoa videos and “secret scenes” are also musts.

            The best strategy show that I listen to is the Dom and Colin podcast.

            Two good all-around podcasts are “The Purple Rock Podcast” and “The Tribe: A Survivor Podcast.”

            I also enjoy Rob’s other weekly podcasts, the one he does with a Survivor guest and his exit interviews, but those are back-ups if I’m getting desperate.

            My favorite exit interviews are the Dalton Ross video exit interviews for Entertainment Weekly.

            Gordon Holmes also does some really fun written exit interviews on the Xfinity blog where he does a word-association game with the booted contestant. He also does weekly “power rankings.”

            If you want to get really crazy, you can check out Andy Baker’s blog “The Baker’s Dozen” that gets really deep into the edit, as well as anything by Jeff Pittman. He goes DEEP with game states and easter eggs. Both of those guys are at TrueDorkTimes.com

            Then, if I get really desperate, I will listen to SurvivorOz, Survivor Talk with D&D or the Survivor Fans Podcast. I usually get around to those if there has been a really great episode of cliffhanger and I’ve got ants in my pants.

            The Survivor Oz recaps mostly suck, but their interview archive is really great. They’ve interviewed about half of the people ever on the show in long-form audio interviews and some of them are REALLY great and enlightening. Amazing resource. I can’t stand their regular podcasts, though. Bad production value, boring and sophomoric. Be warned.

        • It was doubly confusing for me because when I saw that tweet I thought “I’m sure I remember Juan saying he liked Savage at the beginning of the season”.

          But I just kind of assumed that Savage’s entitlement and sanctimonious hypocrisy had soured Juan’s opinion of him. Because that’s kind of true in my case.

    • I’m on a similar page to you Juan, except I’m cheering for poor old Stephen as well as Spencer, Jeremy and Wentworth. I also quite like Tasha and Keith.

      I can’t say I totally hate Ciera, I think she’s an interesting player, but I definitely agree that her constant moaning at tribal councils is getting insufferable. I can’t help but automatically translate the complaint that “no one’s playing the game” into “no one’s playing the game the way I want them to be playing it, wah wah wah!”.

      • “I can’t help but automatically translate the complaint that “no one’s playing the game” into “no one’s playing the game the way I want them to be playing it, wah wah wah!”.”

        Exactly!

        And I would add: “no one’s playing the game in a way that benefits me the most, wah wah waaaaaaaaah!”

        • Yes, I think you’re both right about how Ciera is coming across, but I thought she actually did a better job at the *coffee and cookies reward (read: *diarrhea reward) when she said, “Look, half of you are on the bottom and if you wait too long to make a move it will be too late.” The trick is convincing them how it benefits them to make a move, but I’m still not totally sure she has done that convincingly. Having said that, with Savage gone, she has a great chance of breaking that group up. I do want to like Ciera, but I’m just not feeling her this season as of yet. Her best moment was the “hold the phone” moment when Savage wanted to make her the fake boot.

          • I get where she’s coming from, but I don’t think berating the other players for their passivity and casting a spotlight on her own obsession with “playing the game” is conducive to success. I guess she’s in a frustrating position but to me the best tactic would be to try and quietly impress upon those at the bottom of the alliance that she’s their vote in the event of a coup without broadcasting as much to the whole tribe. She was doing a good job talking with Stephen and then at the award challenge but then undercutting that progress by drawing a target on her own back. Lay low, don’t make waves and appear pliable to the requirements of others.

          • Agree. No matter how frustrated you are at finding yourself on the bottom, the way to climb the ladder is NOT to make a HUGE PUBLIC DEAL of your not-at-all-diplomatic assertion that EVERYONE ELSE else is playing the game badly and NO ONE wants it as much you do. The key difference between Wentworth and Ciera is that Wentworth vented her frustration with Joe in a confessional (and probably to a few allies behind the scenes), but Ciera vented hers to Probst in front of everyone else.

    • *** SURVIVOR SECOND CHANCE SPOILERS ***

      I get all of the Spencer, Jeremy and Wentworth love. They’re all awesome players, and I’d be happy with any of those three making it to Final Tribal. (Though, let’s be honest, what has Spencer *really* done this season, other than luck into getting his ass saved a couple of times?) But what the heck does Joe have to do to win you people over? Dude is a challenge MONSTER. He’s been leading his tribe(s) to challenge victories all season long. He KILLED the first two individual immunities. His social game has been shaky once or twice, but he is ballin’ on that level. On top of which, key factor here, he’s only made camp life *better* for everyone else. (Even if the ONLY thing he’d done along those lines was to hit on the nets-into-hammocks thing, it would still be a huge, if subconscious, boost to his standing in everyone else’s eyes.) Even if you think he’s a total douche (and I can’t think what he’s ever done that would make anyone suppose that of him), show some respect for his game, fellas. :-)

      And if for some crazy reason you DO think Joe is a douche, then please watch his Ponderosa video from “Worlds Apart.” Don’t even watch the whole thing. Just watch 0:00 to 0:35, then skip to 6:00 and watch until 6:35, then skip to 7:55 and watch to the end:

      http://www.cbs.com/shows/survivor/video/tZGXx2SvPfFnMo1SuorrCUv3REQm1byv/survivor-ponderosa-joe/

      That, my friends, is someone who LOVES “Survivor.” I’m always a sucker for the superfan types (think of Cochran, to cite an entirely different example), and I’m especially a sucker for a human being as decent and sincere as Joe.

      I know that he’s carrying a huge target around, but I want him to get to Final Tribal SO. MUCH. I don’t even care whether he ultimately wins, I just want him to have the chance to make his case. My second choice would be Jeremy (because he’s rad), third choice Wentworth (ditto) and fourth choice Spencer. I really think two of those four will be at Final Tribal, but the third person will be either Abi (way out in front of her competition on being someone’s “vote for me, not for crazy” asset), Wiglesworth (way in front of HER competition on being someone’s “vote for me, not for this other person who coattailed it” asset) or possibly Kimmi.

      I’ll miss Savage, and I wanted him on the show this season. I’m happy that he’ll be on the jury. Still, not splitting the vote was a big blunder. I’ve heard all of the rationales expressed, and I even agree with some of them. Savage had no way of knowing that Jeremy had an idol (which probably explains why Jeremy wasn’t a little more proactive about splitting the voice). But he knew that Joe was safe, and he knew that there were almost certainly idols in play, and sometimes you have to override the possibility of ruffling feathers a little and just be sure that your own ass is covered.

      In a similar vein, as much as I loved Wentworth’s big play (That, my friends, is how you play an idol!), I’m seriously worried for her now, because now everyone’s gonna know that she (most likely) DOESN’T have an idol. I know she’s a scrapper, though, so I’m counting on her to scramble.

      • Whoa, whoa, whoa! I’ve been a Joe lover since the start, Mr. Clark! He IS a monster. He does so much during the challenges and he’s not even half the size of someone like Jeremy. I just don’t think he’s going to make it to the end. He’s too big of a threat, plain and simple.

        • “I’m still cheering for Spencer, Jeremy, and Wentworth in that order.”

          See, Juan, I don’t see Joe’s name in that sentence, but I *do* see Joe still in the game. :-) He’s on notice, sure, but no more on notice at the moment than Wentworth. She just made one of the hugest strategic plays in the history of “Survivor” … but she made it when there are still 11 people left. Her target, at the moment, is probably even larger than Joe’s.

          • Haha you got me there. That I didn’t pick him as one of my favorites to win doesn’t mean that I don’t have love for him though. Wentworth has a big target right now, yes, but Joe is the bigger threat in the long run in my humble opinion.

            Anyway, I believe Josh and David were the Joe haters since the start of the season *shakes finger at them*

          • I actually do like Joe quite a lot but his approach to the game can basically be summed up as “win everything and be a nice guy” which is great and admirable but doesn’t necessarily make for the most interesting contestant. He’s a smart, handsome, amazing physical specimen with great social skills. So what’s his arc? How does his character grow and change in order to win? That’s the sort of stuff I want to see in a player. I can’t say I’d be upset with him as a winner though, he wouldn’t be undeserving.

            But I’m still waiting for Stephen to swig a can of spinach, transforming his withered biceps into heaving anvils and then kick all the ass in the final few immunity challenges.

      • SURVIVOR: CAMBODIA SPOILERS THROUGH EP 9

        Cody said “in quotes”:

        “What has Spencer *really* done this season, other than luck into getting his ass saved a couple of times?”

        Well, I’d say he’s completely changed his game style and remained flexible to go from being an easy post-merge boot to someone with a real chance to go far. He’s used his social game and got himself off the radar, for the time being. Luck? Yes. But also a lot of good social work.

        “What the heck does Joe have to do to win you people over? Dude is a challenge MONSTER.”

        I just don’t care that much about challenge beasts unless their stories are good too; Joe’s story has been pretty boring. He’s just the golden boy. Compare that to Mike Holloway or Ozzy 1.0 where these guys are underdogs playing their butts off to survive … that’s fun. I don’t dislike Joe, he’s just a little “meh” and I feel we’ve learned a lot about him from little things said by a Stephen or a Spencer that lead me to believe that he’s not all that interesting. Spencer doing the football plays in “Joe language” was not a great look for Spencer, but it told me something about Joe too.

        “He’s only made camp life *better* for everyone else […] show some respect for his game, fellas.”

        His survival skills are on fleek, but his game isn’t doing much for me. I like him. He’s like a Woo to me where I’d be fine with him hanging out the whole game and just being pleasant in the background. But with Joe going “Tip-Top-Toes” (to quote Rodney) with Stephen, the edit forces you to take a side and I choose Fishbach all the way.

        Nothing against Joe. I didn’t see where the praise was coming from the first time he played. Combined with this season, I totally see the appeal. But you have to admit that he’s a bit of a boring character.

      • Well, it’s actually really bad, so you can go ahead and go to bed.

        Be sure to watch it in the morning though as it’s actually hilarious and maybe my favorite Mulaney special thus far.

        November has been awesome for Netflix original comedies. You had the Mulaney’s The Comeback Kid, the return of Mr. Show (Only called W/Bob and David), and Aziz Ansari’s new show – Master of None.

  8. —Spoilers for Survivor Pearl Islands—

    Just finished episode 8 and I don’t feel like waiting another day or two before talking about this. The big twist of two previous eliminated players returning – WOW. Probably the biggest non-voting moment I’ve seen in Survivor yet. I loved it due to how unexpected it was and how it looks to have shaken up the game some. The only thing I didn’t like was that the returning players went back to a tribe only to then be merged before a next challenge. It made the whole big showing of which tribe Lill and Burt would go to seem kind of pointless.

    What’s the general feeling among Survivor fans for this twist in the game? I can see viewers absolutely hating it due to the feeling that all of these eliminated players do not deserve a chance to get back into the game particularly the ones eliminated first.

    • From what I can gather that twist is pretty maligned for the exact reasons you suggest. Pearl Islands is an awesome season though.

      • What David said. People hated it. Despite the reasons given, I personally feel like they actually hate it because of what ultimately happens with these characters in the game (which I won’t spoil for you), but there are a lot of reasons to dislike it. I myself didn’t mind it at all. An interesting way to shake up the game, in my opinion, and perfect for a pirate-themed season. I also REALLY liked Burton when he came back. Burton 2.0 was much more interesting than Burton 1.0.

    • I thought the “Pearl Islands” twist was lame, and I believe that’s the general consensus. I’m interested to hear what you think of it after it completely plays out. I do wish there were some mechanism for strong-willed, crafty players to occasionally reenter the game. I sorta like Redemption Island, when it’s been around, for that reason. But I also feel like too much time gets wasted on Redemption Island duels. I’d much rather have that happen off-camera and be available as a bonus, like the Ponderosa stuff, and not do endless (and always odious) combined reward/immunity challenges.

      ** “SURVIVOR: WHATEVER THEY CALLED BLOOD VS. WATER II” SPOILERS **

      My biggest beef with there not being a rescue mechanism is “Survivor: San Juan del Sur” (looked it up). The two craftiest, strongest players, Jeremy and Josh, turned on each other early, both got eliminated, and we ended up with a deeply boring second half of the game. (Wentworth was an early boot as well, but hadn’t really shown anything when she went out, so we didn’t realize what we’d lost.) So I think it’s worth it for the producers to keep tinkering with re-entry schemes.

        • I don’t mind the outcast twist at all and I actually quite like the idea of Red-I. I like that they have to battle for their spot. But, yes, the episodes suffer due to lack of reward challenges. I did think that Red-I has had some nice characters moments with Ozzy (on South Pacific) and Matt (on Redemption Island) and I LOVED it when it was implemented in Blood vs Water. That’s when it was really done right and added so much to the game.

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