Movie Stream Cast 63: Noah (2014) and Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Noah PosterMovie Stream Cast is back with an extra-long episode of super happy movie streaming time. This episode, Josh and Cody are joined by the “Sushi Surfer” himself, Jonas Otsuji from Survivor: One World (at 38 minutes in), to discuss the premiere of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng “Brawn vs Brain vs Beauty 2” and Jonas’ recruit from that season, the Brawn Tribe’s Jennifer Lanzetti. Josh and Cody also discuss the television series Parenthood and feature review Darren Aronofsky’s Noah, which is streaming for a subscription on Netflix and Amazon and for a $2.99 digital rental on iTunes, and a $5.99 digital rental on Amazon, Google Play and YouTube.

I.  [00:00:00] What We’ve Been Streaming
Cody talks about Parenthood

II. [00:04:27] Feature Review: Noah (2104)
Josh and Cody review Darren Aronofsky’s Noah

Josh: 5.5/10 (Stream It!)
Cody: 8/10 (Stream It!)

III. [00:19:50] Previously on Survivor
Josh and Cody discuss the premiere of Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

IV. [00:37:50]
Bonus Jonas!

V. [00:50:37] Wrap up

Follow Jonas on Twitter: @sushisurfer
Jonas on Instagram: @jonasotsuji


Apologies for the sound quality on this episode. There was a white noise problem that wasn’t discovered until post. We’d like to thank Sharon Rowan for our podcast artwork and Chris Ohran for our music. This episode also contains music from the great Russ Landau. 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

101 thoughts on “Movie Stream Cast 63: Noah (2014) and Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

  1. Thoughts on Episode 1 of Survivor: Kaoh Rong


    First things first, when you go on Survivor, Josh, please wear your buff so that it’s covering your ears when you sleep. The bug going in Jennifer’s ear is the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen on Survivor. It was made all the scarier since I picked Jennifer to win in both of the leagues I joined. For awhile there, I was thinking my pick would be the first to go.

    So far I’d say everyone is giving off the impression I originally had of them. It’s official, Debbie is the most annoying castaway thus far.

    By far, Tai was the one that entertained me the most. Love that little dude. My fear from what we saw in that first episode and the previews for the next episode is that he’s going to shoot himself in the foot by doing something foolish. It’d be a shame too since he has the natural personality that makes non-jerks like him.

    Rather surprised Darnell went home first. Sure, he messed up the first challenge, but from everything we saw in the first episode, Alecia didn’t bring anything to the table.

    Seemed like Aubry bounced back from her anxiety attack by performing well in the challenge. I like her so far more than anyone else on the Brains tribe.

    • Agree with you on every one of those points about Tai, Alecia, Debbie and Darnell, Sal.

      Woah! Debbie is way worse than I thought she’d be. Still hoping she’ll pull it out and be adorable in Coach fashion.

      I feel like you’re in good shape with Jennifer too. I could see her making it to the end. She’s looking strong.

      • #####SPOILERS FOR SEASON 32 EPISODE 2#####

        “I feel like you’re in good shape with Jennifer too. I could see her making it to the end. She’s looking strong.”

        Josh jinxed it.

          • In hindsight, was there any indication from Jennifer at the season premiere viewing party (the one Cody flaked on) that she would be an early exit?

          • ZERO. She was is great spirits.

            Except … maybe now it makes a little more sense why theBrawn tribe cameramen showed up. They would have known that they wouldn’t have another chance.

          • Just watched the episode. That was painful. Wow. I mean, she did it to herself. Poor Jenny, just when I was starting to come around to make her my top pick haha. Sigh…

  2. Oh my gosh. Yes. That bug thing was THE CRAZIEST thing I have EVER seen on Survivor!!! Great episode. Super fun beginning. Still can not get over that bug though..

    • I agree. I think if you’re someone who appreciates the survival aspect of the show, this was a fun episode. Jennifer’s ear thing was an all-time moment.

  3. My USB pick on JSFL is Liz (darn you, Josh!!!) and my overall pick on The Tribe is Peter.

    My Purple Rock picks are Anna, Liz, Peter, and Tai.

    I’m feeling pretty good about those picks at the moment.

    • Don’t forget to make your Survivor fantasy picks for this week, everybody!

      You can change Purple Rock up until EST airtime and you need to make new picks for JSFL and The Tribe or they go to default.

      I didn’t get strong enough vibes about any of my picks to change them. Anna seemed pretty solid. Liz wasn’t as impressive as I’d hoped, but she seems like she’s in a good position. I’d consider picking up Neal or Peter over Kyle/Sarge/Jason or Nick after episode one, but I’m not sure. I think I’m going to ride or die with my picks.

      • I’m on both The Tribe and JSFL, but I think I might have joined JSFL too late because it never let me pick a USB. I’ve tried every once in a while and it still doesn’t let me. My overall pick for The Tribe is Kyle. It’s too early for me to get a real feel for anyone, but I know I already dislike a bunch of those people. Terrible first episode #worstepisodeever

        • Really? What’s so bad about it?

          I’d say it was at least middle of the pack for a premiere.

          We’re a little spoiled after last season which was a Top 5 as premieres go for me.

          I thought the biggest detractor was the characters who were up for vote off were both kind of boring, but I loved how much we got to know everyone.

          • I think you’re right about being spoiled by last season, but can you really blame me? It was incredible!

            This season’s character roster is what bothers me. They all seem plain vanilla. No one stood out for me and yes, I know it’s only the first episode, but I’m rather pessimistic about the quality of this season. I predict it’ll be top 5 of worst Survivor seasons. But that’s just me.

          • Bottom 5 is BOLD! But I would expect nothing less of you, Juan.

            It feels very different, but in a good way for me. Sometimes when it feels very different, like Nicaragua or Gabon, I really start getting scared, but I think it is kind of fun to see physical hardships of the game (as long as it doesn’t get to Africa or Guatemala levels or fatigue). We don’t see that as much anymore. Cambodia has been a great location for that and for physical beauty.

            There are a few bland people–like freaking Alecia–that I wish would just go quickly and we wouldn’t have to watch their boot episodes (maybe they can all get med-evaced at once), but people like Tai are making up for it, in my opinion.

            • I don’t mind Alecia as long as she provides one comedic dumb blond moment per episode. It’s not much, but thus far she’s added two good laughs to the first two episodes. There’s some value in someone like that.

          • You also have to keep in mind that I’m not nearly as familiar with the Survivor world, Josh. Also, the two seasons that I’ve watched have been awesome and have had people that I really liked like Jeremy and Russell. I’m just going by what I know. Don’t hate the playa, hate the game.

            Also #livedeliciously

          • I didn’t realize you’d still only seen two seasons, Juan. You need to watch Heroes vs Villains, Philippines, Cagayan, Blood vs Water 1 and Redemption Island, at least.

          • The must-watch seasons for me are basically: 8, 10, 20, 22, 25, 27, 28. 22 is the worst of these, but it is a great payoff to some of the other seasons. The most fast and furious are probably 20 and 28.

  4. I suppose this is the last chance to get in your picks for week 2 if you’re in any fantasy leagues.

    To try and keep up with what’s going on that we might not be able to see on the show, I listened to two episodes of Rob’s Survivor Know It All podcasts. I believed I listened to the premiere show with Fishbach’s return (First podcast after the show ended) and the exit interview with the first castaway eliminated. I’m going to try and make it a habit to listen to some of the podcasts, particularly the exit interviews as there’s probably loads going on that we don’t see on the show.

  5. With Jonas helping Jennifer get cast and Fishbach revealing he had previously dated Elizabeth, how common is it for people to be cast on the show mostly because of who they know?

    • It happens quite a bit. Probably one or two people per season.

      For example: Boo Bernis, from Survivor: Fiji, is responsible for James Clement, Russell Hantz, Shannon Elkins and Colton Cumbie.

      Colton, in turn, is responsible for his boyfriend Caleb Bankston as well as Morgan McLeod.

      • Boo’s an awesome man.

        Sadly, I tried to watch Survivor Fiji for my latest season and I had a difficult time getting into it so I switched to Blood vs Water 2 instead. Yau-Man is adorable and I’d love to see a sitcom starring Yau-Man and Tai.


    Holy crap. One of the craziest train wrecks I’ve seen at a tribal council yet. The bug in Jenny’s head was clearly eating away at some of her brain. I’m utterly shocked she made such a supreme mistake when I can’t imagine there was ANY concern of her going home this early.

    Considering she was my pick to win both leagues I’m in, I’m concerned now. Ha

    • You can change your picks in both leagues, it’s just worth less points now.

      That was BRUTAL! But word on the street is that Sydney told Jason about Jen’s plans to do an all-girls thing and so even though Scot still believed her, Jason had the votes to get her out going into tribal. It was still an epic flame out, but I don’t think it actually changed the plan. She likely signed her death warrant when she tried to leverage Alecia against her alliance.

      • Jenny said in her exit interviews today that her fate was sealed before tribal and she spent and hour and a half trying to dig herself out. She also said that the all-girls thing was Alecia’s idea which she only entertained for about 5 minutes. I don’t know how much of that is true, but it’s an interesting angle on it.

        HEROES v VILLAINS spoiler

        I think it was Rob who pointed this out on the Live Know It Alls podcast, but they closest tribal to this was Danielle’s boot on HvV.

        • Finally saw Ep. 2. I have never seen someone go from potential winner to catastrophic vote-out so fast. In Ep. 1, Jennifer seemed to be tough, savvy and steady. Then suddenly tribal council is looming and she loses her mind. The edit that she got is almost in direct contrast to her explanation, meaning that the truth probably lies somewhere in between. Too bad. Incidentally, for anyone who has her as USB in the JSFL game (like I do), you can’t make a change until the merge. If you have her winning it all in The Tribe game, then you can change immediately. If you picked her for the Purple Rock Podcast game (as I did), then you’re just SOL.

          Looks like the Brawn tribe is not long for Kaoh Rong. Seems to happen a lot in three-tribe seasons: The tribe that loses the first immunity challenge gets stuck in a losing rut and eventually flames out completely. It’s just too hard to recover when everyone else is at full strength and also has a “winner’s mindset.” I predict that Scot and Kyle will make it out of their current “fine mess,” but it’s hard to envision either of them doing very well playing from a “low man on the totem” position in a new tribe.

  7. Last night, I streamed a documentary film from 2008 called Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father. The film was very well executed and all, but, more importantly, I honestly can’t recall if a movie has ever touched me the way this one did. The emotions it conjured ran the gamut from utter sorrow to total rage – I’m both glad I saw it and wished I hadn’t at the same time.

    It’s a 10/10 for me and a priority stream if you haven’t seen it already (I know I’m a little late to the game on this one). It’s currently streaming on Netflix.

    Josh – Netflix is currently streaming a ton of high quality documentaries. As a documentary filmmaker yourself, I’d love to hear what you have to say on some of these. Thoughts on doing a documentary-themed episode in the future (possibly including a top 5 or 10 list of best docs currently streaming on Netflix)?

    • That’s a great idea, Dino. In years past, Rachel and I have covered all of the Oscar-nominated docs. I approached her about doing that again this year, but it didn’t come together. However, I could totally see doing a Top 10 Netflix Docs show. I want to do a Top 10 Netflix Horror show as well.

      • Hey, it happens sometimes! (good ideas)

        Would love to hear a top 10 Netflix horror show as well. Obviously.

    • As I imagine this is true for most people, I heard about Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father from word of the mouth and simply instructed to watch it without looking into the movie at all. In fact, the person who told me about the movie told me to avoid even going to IMDb to read the plot.

      I found the film to be highly effective at grabbing the viewer and making them feel so many different emotions thanks partly due to the twists. It’s certainly not a film to watch if you’re coping with depression already. Since I saw it in July 2014, my memory is a bit fuzzy, but I seem to remember being really impressed with the editing.

    • Upon reflection, I’ve come down a little from where I was when I posted this. At the time, I was still riding the emotional wave from this film; hard to call it the after-movie glow, given the subject matter, but essentially that.

      I still thought it was generally well-done and the material is an emotional ride that I think is worth taking… for some reason… but as a film it’s definitely not on the same plane as masterpieces like Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing and The Look of Silence, or the work that Asif Kapadia has done on Amy and Senna.

      So, I’m downgrading to a 9/10 for Dear Zachary.

  8. Hey guys, I only just got caught up on the first two episodes of the new Survivor season.

    So far I’m loving Tai but I fear he’s taking a few too many risks when he could quite easily be sailing by this early in the game on charisma and usefulness alone. I’m not playing any leagues or anything but my pick for winner is Neal based solely on gut instinct. He seems very intelligent but reserved enough to not stand out as a major threat. I think Liz also stands a fair chance. Can’t make my mind up regarding Caleb; didn’t like him at first but his bromance with Tai in the second episode was pretty charming and entertaining. I swear Debbie is more obnoxious and annoying even than Tocantins Coach (though maybe seeing the entireity of his redemptive arc has softened me to his earlier quirks). But so far she’s like a Coach 1.0 minus the weird charisma and hilarity. I’m also not fond of Joe or Nick and I thoroughly dislike Kyle Jason, he just seems like the kind of crude, macho tool I can’t stand. He may turn out to be a memorable player though. I’m fairly indifferent regarding everyone else so far though I wished Alecia went home instead of Darnell in the first episode. I liked Darnell and I think the other members of To Tang made a terrible decision there.

    Jennifer’s meltdown in the second episode was kind of hard to watch but it seemed as though she brought it on herself. I don’t think big moves and complex turnabouts ever pan out well for people who are already in decent positions this early in the game.

    Also, does anyone else get the feeling that the producers switched a member from each categorical tribe into an opposing tribe before the game started? Maybe just to mix things up and create some fish-out-of-water dynamics. I feel like Tai belongs on Brains, Alecia belongs on beauty and Debbie belongs on? Brawn maybe? Either way she doesn’t seem particularly intelligent to me, particularly regarding he level of self-awareness, or lack thereof.

    • Debbie is stuck between Coach 1.0 and Phillip Sheppard 1.0. She’s not quite as wiggy as Phillip, but not quite as polished as Coach.

      Tai needed to fade back into the pack a little, and striking up a bromance with Caleb is a good place to start. It’s never helpful early in the game to stand out too much. Getting an immunity idol would also help him. I’m a little surprised that he didn’t try to use the special tool he dug up (whatever it is) to get at the idol. (Maybe he did, of course, and they just didn’t show it.) I’m guessing that it’s some kind of extendable pole with a hook or clasp or something at the end that would help him get the idol down without climbing so far up the tree (or climbing up it at all).

      Agree that Jennifer dug her own grave. Kyle does kind of seem like a tool, but his putdown of Jen at tribal council was pretty funny (and spot on).

      • Tai got a tool? I was under the impression that whatever Tai dug up actually was the idol but it was locked up in some way and the thing up the tree was the key to unlocking it? I could be wrong though as I’ve only watched the episode once.

        • My understanding was the same as yours, David. I thought Tai found a clue to a buried box containing and idol, but needed to get the key to open the box from the bundle in the tree. I think the clue said something about knocking it down. Having said that, I think the actual plan is to force him to work with someone else. We know that one twist from this season is that two idol’s can be combined to form a super-idol (like Tony’s, Yul’s and Terry’s) that can be used after the vote. I think the Tai Trang / Beast Mode Cowboy bromance is setting-up them working together to get that idol. And possibly forming a Voltron super-idol!

        • —Survivor: Kaôh Rōng Spoilers—

          I was under the impression Tai found a tool to help him get the idol from that…post like object attached to the tree. The tool was that large object Tai uncovered. The only problem is that tool doesn’t do Tai any good unless he gets close enough to the post attached to the tool.

      • He found a chest with the idol locked inside, and a tool to help him fetch the key to the chest from a nearby tree. He mentions the tool when he reads a note that explains it all, and briefly flourishes it for the camera, but then it’s like he never found it after that. I think his mindset was, “I’m going Ozzy Lusth this freaking tree, and I won’t even need the tool!” Kind of shocking that no one either noticed his scrapes afterward, or went looking for him while he was wrestling the tree.

        Sometimes it seems like they almost aggressively monitor each other at all time, and sometime a tribe member appears to wonder off for half a day or so, and nobody says “boo.” I’d imagine that days start to seem long and boring pretty quick.

        • What I’ve been wondering is how do some of the castaways manage to hide from the others when the sneaking castaway is being followed around by at least one cameraman?

          • My guess here is that, since they’re all being followed by cameramen, all of the time, most participants don’t really notice when a camera guy goes somewhere with a tribemate. Especially since the could just be going off somewhere to record a confessional. I’d imagine it’s also the case that there tends to be either a camera setup, or crewmember monitoring “high interest” locales like “where an idol is buried” at all times. I’ve wondered before whether Russell was savvy enough to figure that out in Samoa (if indeed it is the case).

  9. Josh – Why is my comment on Dear Zachary in “awaiting moderation” purgatory? Does WordPress not like embedded links in the comments?

          • Mainly, I feel like it is too emotionally brutal / manipulative. I think it does the audience a disservice, in a way.

            Also, although I’m intrigued by the editing style and think there is something interesting to it in a RadioLab kind of pacing that could be used really deftly, I think it feels pretty amateurish here.

            Hate is probably a strong word, but I don’t ever recommend it to people.

            • Those are both very fair criticisms. I definitely agree with what you said about the editing style. The first time it reared its head was pretty jarring. Eventually I got used to it. It’s something that could be interesting, especially for recap-style sequences as it’s often used here. But the execution was just a bit off.

    • I don’t know if this applies to MSC, but I had e-mailed Jay about links and posts going into moderation. He said the default was that if you posted more than one link, it automatically went into moderation.

      • You got that right. I’m considering switching my overall winner picks to either Alecia or Julia-whatever-her-name-is.

        • If Alecia can make it to the merge, she might have a great chance of making it to the final three due to everyone else having bigger targets on their backs.

          • And that’s a real possibility now that Brains sent home one of their best immunity challenge tribe members.

            I get the long-play thinking behind that move, but I feel like they ended up shooting themselves in the foot for the near term. At least I hope they did.

          • That was a really good episode, actually. I’m taking back what I said, Yoshi. Characters just seemed to click for me on this third episode. Exciting things ahead!

          • I really enjoyed this episode. I love seeing the over-confident self proclaimed leaders of the pack pay for their arrogance. I kind of liked Liz but watching Peters conceited ego get deflated was well worth it. Debbie actually really impressed me in this episode and I’m starting to feel like she’s a little more self aware than she initially seemed. Neal is still my pick for winner so I’m glad he dodged a bullet.

            And I have so much love in my heart for Tai.

            • I loved Neal’s subtle fakeout “behind the back look” move he made after Jeff asked if anyone had a hidden immunity idol they wanted to play. That was classic.

              Now, I’m team Tai and Caleb. #TrueLove

  10. Continuing on through my Survivor journey with my 14th season:


    – The first season I tried to watch, Blood vs Water, I just couldn’t get into it because I couldn’t wrap my head around why everyone was so emotional. Play the game, yo. Thanks to seeing so many seasons, I’m now able to see why it matters. Granted, there’s still a greedy part of me that wants to say screw your loved ones and just try to win at any cost, but if Russel H has taught me anything, it’s that you can’t win unless you play by their rules. The Blood vs Water gimmick ended up adding a lot of drama to an otherwise average season.

    – Nadiya/Natalie – I can’t say Nadiya was around long enough to form an opinion. I found Natalie to be a bit annoying, but I respected the hell out of her game. Despite being in the background for most of the first half of the game, she became the biggest player once the merge happened. Personally, I would have prefered to be in the final three with Missy/Baylor, but by doing what she did, Natalie showed that she was running the camp with big moves at the end. For the final three, Natalie was the most deserving to win.

    – Jon/Jaclyn – For most of the game, I was thinking how foolish it would have been to allow Jon to make it to the final three. He had a killer emotional backstory. With how nice he was and the whole story of his dad dying and wanting to adopt, to me it seemed like a guarantee that he would have won. I went back and forth between being okay with Jac and finding her slightly annoying. I don’t think she did enough to stand out on her own.

    – Missy/Baylor – Never before have I seen a castaway that has been literally carried to the final three to the extent that Missy was. I hated that she made the final three despite not competing in some challenges due to her injury. It sucks. It’s not as if she did a lot in the game prior to the injury and after the injury she was an obvious person to bring to the final three because who would possibly vote for her other than her own daughter? I would have preferred to see Missy pulled from the game. Baylor is someone who at points I liked, but at other times she seemed like she’d be unlikable outside of the game. Getting rid of Baylor before Missy made a ton of sense though.

    – Keith/Wes – In a season where it took me most of the season to decide who my favorite player was, Keith ultimately became it. He hardly has the mind for Survivor, but he’s a funny guy and ended up being great in the challenges. It doesn’t surprise me at all that Keith was selected to return to Survivor 31. Wes, on the other hand, was completely forgettable.

    – Drew/Alec – Man, Drew got all of the talent in the family. Not only was he a better challenge player, but he had the over the top personality. On the other hand, Alec is like getting a can of RC Cola when all you wanted was a Coke.

    – Josh/Reed – Josh was one of my favorite players. Really likable guy whose elimination was necessary for anyone else to win. Reed is someone who benefited the most from Josh’s elimination though. Pre-merge and merge with Josh was a time when Reed wasn’t memorable in the slightest. He was just a guy in the background. Once Josh was eliminated, Reed was able to step up and become pretty memorable in the second half of the game. It should come as no surprise that he’s a Broadway performer thanks to that epic verbal lashing he did against Missy on the final tribal council. Great duo and I’d like to see either one back for a future season.

    – Jeremy/Val – Despite her short time on the show, Val seemed likable. Her legacy is doing a major boneheaded move by claiming she had two hidden immunities to Rocker, which ended up costing her the game. I liked Jeremy in the early going, but the longer the season went, the more his constant negativity weighed on me.

    – John Rocker/Julie – Prior to watching this season, the only thing I knew about it was from what brief things Josh had spoken about it on past episodes of MPW. Since Josh did talk about Rocker on a couple editions of MPW, I was under the impression he was around a lot longer than he was. Despite his past, Rocker got screwed over. Is he a bigot in real life? Maybe, but at least on the show, he came off as being a normal, likable person. Quitters suck, so I don’t have anything good to say about Julie.

    – Dale/Kelley – At the very start of the show, I had Dale pegged to be my favorite of the season. He reminded me a bit of Bob from Gabon. Sadly, he never found his place on his tribe and it kept him from ever being comfortable. Kelley came off as likable, but they didn’t devote too much time to her. Glad she was brought back for Survivor 31 though.

    – This season featured the most frustrating immunity challenge I’ve ever seen. It was the second to last one where you had to pass three white balls through a metal obstacle course that Keith ended up winning due to having the advantage of being able to practice ahead of time. Had I played that challenge, I probably would have lost my cool and in a fit of rage thrown the balls at Jeff’s head. Screw that game. Ha

    – I felt the season was a bit underwhelming in how often people gave up their rewards for other players and how one reward challenge was stopped in the middle of it once Jeff realized the one alliance wasn’t actually going to play against each other. It makes the challenges seem less important when those that benefit are decided after it’s over. Lame.

    – Overall, it’s not a bad season, but one that feels like one whose sole purpose is to hold you over until the next great season. The Blood vs Water concept is a winner though and I’m sure we haven’t seen the last of it.

    • According to the site, you can only do it the week of the merge. I’m in that boat, too (at least on JSFL; think I played it much smarter on The Tribe), thanks to Jennifer’s losing her mind.

  11. 15 seasons now in the book. Despite having the novelty of being the only season I saw back in the day when it originally aired, Survivor: The Australian Outback ended up being a total bore and beat out Tocantins for weakest season out of the 15.


    – Prior to watching this, I had anticipated having an opposite opinion from Josh. With Josh ranking it as one of the weakest seasons, it seemed impossible. It’s the season with boar hunting, someone being burned, and a giant flood! As it turns out, that’s ALL the season provided. The game play was just not there. At points the likes of Jerri, Elisabeth, and Varner, had some basic game play ideas or at least recognized that this was a game and you need to play it as such, but you never get the sort of awesome game play and strategies that can make Survivor an awesome watch.

    – If there isn’t any game play and the challenges are super weak, what appeal is there in this season? Well, it’s an interesting doc series about sixteen Americans simply trying to survive on their own. It has absolutely nothing to do with the game itself, but the fire burn and flood made for some compelling television. So if you like seeing regular people trying to cope with crazy mother nature, it’s a fun season. If you want to see game play, you’re going to be bored out of your mind.

    – The fact that Jerri is seen as one of the biggest villains in the history of reality television shows how new Survivor was. After seeing someone like Russell Hantz, the idea of someone like Jerri being a villain is laughable. Frankly, watching this season, I didn’t see anything Jerri did as being evil. Sure, she realized this was a game and wasn’t shy about reminding people that there aren’t any rules in Survivor, but how does that make her a villain? It reminds me of one of the first things she said on Heroes vs Villains. While on the villains team, she asked, “I’m a villain?” Frankly, with the way Colby treated her, you could make the case that Colby was the bigger villain in the context of strictly that relationship. Jerri being hailed as a great American TV villain is total BS.

    – The challenges were weak. Most of them were pretty linear and didn’t involve the multiple stages like most modern challenges. You have to give Survivor a pass on this though. It’s really early on and you can’t blame them for sucking at coming up with creative challenges. I will say this, I hated the final immunity challenge. For the final immunity challenge, I want to see some epic battle, not a simple trivia game.

    – I can’t say I agree with Colby failing to win over Tina. I dislike the argument that winning challenges is an easy way to make it to the end and if you don’t win challenges, you somehow had a more impressive journey. From the moment Varner was voted out, Tina had a free pass to the final three. Winning challenges is impressive. It should matter. By winning all of those challenges, Colby ensured that he was always safe, which is even stronger than the best alliance.

    – That being said, while no one said it, I do have to wonder if Colby didn’t win because he won so much during the game. Winning a car and winning a chance to spend the night with those ranchers while the rest of the gang dealt with the aftermath of the flood couldn’t have made everyone feel as if Colby experienced everything that the rest of the gang experienced. In a season with so little game play, Colby winning so many challenges should have won him the game. In fairness to Tina, she did play a good social game where she never made any enemies. However, again, there wasn’t much strategy so it’s pretty easy to go through the season without ruffling any feathers.

    Overall, despite season 2 being at Survivor’s absolute peak of popularity, it’s totally skipable if strategy and interesting challenges are important to you. It is partially interesting seeing such an early season to see how much Survivor has changed and refined itself. That walk at the end of the seasons where they pay tribute to the other castaways sucked on this episode. Yet, once they added some dialogue with the survivors saying a few things about them and we get one last confessional video from the castaway, it becomes one of the highlights near the end of any season.


    Well…that sure was something.

    I did absolutely awful in my picks this week.

    Four weeks in and I’ve already lost two overall picks over at The Tribe. However, if you want to know who is getting eliminated in week six, just ask who my next overall pick is going to be. Thus far, the even weeks have been brutal for me. My first overall pick, Jennifer, was eliminated. Now in week four, my second overall pick, Caleb, was med-evac.

    The scene during and immediately after the reward challenge was one of the craziest moments in Survivor challenge history. I had a feeling it would be the scene for the big med-evac, but the visual of one person going down after another was a horror show.

    I was left wondering why those bags were so difficult to find in the sand? It didn’t look as if the bags were buried too deep. Was it just the heat getting to everyone and quickly slowing them down?

    As if these leagues aren’t difficult enough, now we’re getting new tribes next week and the chaos continues to grow.

    • What’s your nick on The Tribe, Sal? I’m juan_the_one. Doing ok, but Josh is beating me and Gator ain’t about that grrr!

        • I bit it in the leagues this week. My only hope is to go big on some random contestant, like Julia or Anna.

          Anna’s a professional poker player, so I’ll go all-in on her this week.

          • I had the opposite approach for week 5. For The Tribe, I spread out my 20 points more than any other week, hoping to just luck into gaining a few points. Once the new tribes are sorted out, I’d feel more comfortable in going big on one player.

    • I’m having a really hard time deciding on my picks for next week. Probably overthinking it :/

      • I don’t think you’re overthinking things. Without knowing how it’s going to go down, next week’s elimination could go a million different ways.

        On the surface, someone from the brawn would be the easiest to eliminate since they’re going to be a minority in the new tribes, but all three of them are good physical players. Is it smart to get rid of them just yet?

        Gun to my head, I think someone from the brains will be the next to go. They seem more divided than the other tribes so it’d be easy for someone like Peter to join up with a bigger alliance to get rid of someone else from the former brains.

        • The thing that makes it difficult for me to decide is that the show concentrates on certain characters a lot more than others. I have no idea what any of the beauty tribe members are about other than Tai. For instance, I can’t stand Nick and he doesn’t seem like he’s offering anything to the show, so to me that makes him a standout as a top pick for elimination. Then there’s the emotional aspect of the show that slowly reveals character’s motivations, thoughts, and feelings that make me root for some one week and then boo for them the next. I hated Alecia(?) initially, but the last two episodes she just became super likable to me. I was rooting for her during this last episode. And I know I probably shouldn’t get my feelings involved when deciding on my picks, but I can’t help it. This is only my third season of Survivor so perhaps I have a lot to learn and what may be obvious choices for the seasoned fan may not be as obvious to me.

          Sigh… I hate Josh for getting me into this… lovable bastard!

          • Without trying to sound too Josh-like, I do think listening to some of the podcasts, especially exit interviews, can help get a better idea of what’s going on, but isn’t being shown.

          • I definitely feel like my preference/distaste for the characters this season has been a bit more up and down than usual. Though I Liked Peter and Liz in the episode but by number 3 their arrogance totally soured me on them. And I thoroughly disliked Debbie at first but, while still somewhat annoying, she seems to be proving far more self-aware and insightful than it first seemed. I also didn’t like Caleb much at first but he quickly grew on me. Alecia I still found pretty irritating these last few episodes but I felt a lot of empathy towards her having to deal with Jason and Scott’s condescending attempts to belittle her. I’ve consistently hated Jason the whole season but Scott can f*** off now too. They’re bullies.

          • Josh, you can’t fool me. I know that’s you hacking Sal’s account. What are some good Survivor podcasts again?

            David, for me Alecia was the typical dumb blonde with the heart of gold. She was incompetent and annoying at times, yes, but she showed good spirit, heart, and determination. That’s all I could ask of any player in the game. I would’ve rather had Jason voted off. He’s officially an asshole in my book. Kyle is a bit too tough, but his confessionary about his daughter kept me from hating him. I hope the show continues to humanize him because I have high hopes for him. And he’s my overall pick haha. Debbie really surprised me as well. She seemed totally in control of the situation. I’m keeping my eye on her for now. I still have mixed feelings about Peter. If he somehow manages to tone down his arrogance and connect with people (if he makes it to the merge), then he has potential to go far. I fear for Tai. I think he’s an easy target because his likability is a double edged sword. Look at what happened with Joe. He went far, but just too dangerous to keep around.

            • The only Survivor podcasts that I listen to are from Survivor Know It All/Rob Has a Podcast. It’s hosted by Rob Cesternino from Amazon and All Stars. Stephen Fishbach from Tocantins is a frequent guest along with plenty of other people from the show’s past.

              They run several shows throughout the week including the initial recap show, exit interviews with the latest castaway to be voted off, more recap, there’s voicemails with listeners asking questions, Josh Wiggler is there to give you “On this day in Survivor History” and loads more.

              I’m curious to see how Jason comes across after the tribe swaps. Will he continue to come across as a jerk or will it just be revealed that there was just something about Alecia that brought out the worst in him?

              Tai’s going to have a difficult time winning, but I think it’s safe to say that he has a great chance to come back in the future. Other than Caleb, Tai has the best chance to be cast again. We’ll see how Tai can do when he needs to have some actual strategy now that there’s a greater chance that he’ll be heading to tribal council now. I feel confident Tai’s heading to the merge though.

          • If there wasn’t some sort of tribal mix-up in the cards for the coming week, then I’d have Nick as the front-runner to get eliminated. With Caleb gone, I think Beauty would struggle in challenges. The three girls would definitely target one of the guys, and I’d wager Nick would be the guy. Early on, I remember the girls saying they would need to get one of the guys on their side, and Tai was their most likely candidate at the time. I feel like that’s only stronger now that Caleb is gone (Tai would never have turned on his sweetie).

            But, throw that whole theory out the window.

    • I have one simple question I want to get out of the way upfront: if Peter is an ER doctor, why the ***stop-it-bear*** wasn’t he helping the fallen contestants during medicpocalypse? My only thought is that it’s forbidden by Survivor rules, because that would have been a brilliant long-term strategy move on his part.

      • Nice. That honestly never crossed my mind. Damn that really breaks the spell for me. It seems like something Jeff would point out on his play-by-play.

      • As chaotic of a scene as it was, it seemed as if the medical team mostly had things covered. For someone like Peter, you might be better off letting the pros in this situation do their job rather than your exhausted self. If something like this happened back on the brains camp, I could see Peter stepping up until the medical team could arrive.

        • Perhaps… but Brains had finished the challenge well before the shit hit the fan, so I’m guessing he was probably mostly recovered at that point.

          A lot of what you said makes sense. Still, I think it was a glorious strategic opportunity missed for my pick to win it all. (yes, I’m sticking by my guy)

  13. Hello, my name is Dino, and I am a Survivor addict.

    As much as I hate to admit it, I have become a bit hooked on Survivor. I am not proud of this, and I do feel a slight tinge of shame when saying it. Truthfully, as a piece of media, Survivor is not very good. It’s actually pretty horrible. It’s cheesy and highly exploitative, and I feel really dirty and ashamed when watching it.

    Episode 4 is a prime example of just how cheesy and slimy Survivor actually is, with Jeff giving his trademark awful and tasteless play-by-play during medicpocalypse. Especially knowing what we know now, that Caleb’s condition really was quite serious at the time, but Jeff still didn’t stop bothering the head medic for PxP updates on what he was doing. It really doesn’t get any worse on the exploitation scale than that, and it certainly shines a light on how slimy and heartless Jeff Probst and the Survivor show runners really are.

    In that sense, Survivor is like a horribly addicting drug – you know it’s abjectly bad and, probably, harmful to you(r soul), but you just can’t kick the habit. Survivor is like heroin or nicotine. Or soda.

    That said, I am hooked. And, what’s worse… I’ve dragged my wife into the lifestyle, and now she’s hooked, too. Our Wednesday evenings have turned into Survivor hate-watching sessions (and it’s glorious).

    p.s. Thanks, Josh. Thanks a lot.

    • Btw, not sure if I mentioned this on here before or not, but I actually auditioned for Survivor. Waaaaaay back when I watched it in the early days; I was in college at the time, and still wanted to make acting my profession (though, in hindsight, Survivor probably isn’t the best way to break into the biz). I think it was after season 2, or thereabouts. I had actually forgotten about it, but my wife reminded me last night (she recorded my audition).

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