Movie Stream Cast 76: Mascots (2016) and Survivor: Millennials vs Gen-X with AJ Mass

msc-mascots-aj-mass-survivorOn episode 076 of Movie Stream Cast, Survivor expert and former professional mascot AJ Mass joins Josh to discuss Survivor: Millennials vs Gen-X and Mascots (2016), which is streaming for a subscription on Netflix. Do we need say more? Meet Mr. Met!

STREAMING NEXT: Yoga Hosers (2016)

Follow AJ on Twitter @AJMass
See AJ in Errol Morris’ short film Being Mr. Met (2015)
Buy AJ’s book Yes, It’s Hot in Here: Adventures in the Weird, Woolly World of Sports Mascots on Amazon
Buy AJ’s book How Fantasy Sports Explains the World on Amazon
Listen to AJ’s 13 Archetypes of Survivor Millennials vs Gen X podcast on RHAP
Check out AJ’s (Gen-X Schools Millennial) movie podcast The Hamster Factor
The 100
 fans can check out AJ’s The Dropship: The 100 Podcast


AJ Mass in mascot uniform. Notice the Survivor buff.

We’d like to thank Sharon Rowan for our podcast artwork and Chris Ohran for our music. If you enjoyed the podcast, please don’t forget to follow us on Twitter
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176 thoughts on “Movie Stream Cast 76: Mascots (2016) and Survivor: Millennials vs Gen-X with AJ Mass

  1. Last week’s standings for the MSC community’s Survivor fantasy leagues. You guys go hard! Jenifer tied for 1st place this week! 27 points! What?! A couple more like this and it’s anyone’s game. Dino and Cody going for it as well and Dino holding the #1 overall spot in The Tribe! Wow!


    The Tribe: A Survivor Podcast (Fun Office Pools):

    105 – Dino-Machino (23 this week)
    78 – jeffprobstshairpiece (23 this week)
    78 – icarusarts (13 this week)
    69 – juan_the_one (3 this week)
    57 – JeniferP (27 this week)
    47 – Soccer10 (9 this week)
    39 – Sal Roma (9 this week)

    Dino holding down JSFL too. Damn, son!

    Survivor Fans Podcast (JSFL):

    42 – Dino (full 5 points this week!)
    40 – IcarusArts (full 5 points this week!)
    38 – juan_the_one (3 points this week – with Tay safe and a Jay pick)
    36 – Cody (full 5 points this week!)
    35 – JeniferP (full 5 points this week!)
    33 – Sal Roma (3 points this week – with Tay safe and a Will pick)

    Don’t forget to get your picks in this week. Where are our heads at?

      • Josh’s downfall is that he can’t resist the temptation to split up his points on The Tribe. :-) He obviously had the same “Taylor is doomed” vibe that everybody else was picking up before last week’s episode, but he still decided to divert 10 points to someone (or someones) else, just in case.

        • Not to mention you won the fantasy leagues for the previous season, correct?

          Seems to me the king is simply doing what he does best – showing how much more he knows about Survivor than Josh. Ha

          • Sal, this must be really gnawing at Josh’s nerves. I love it!

            For Kaoh Rong, I really keyed in on edgic and “spoilers” (i.e. analyzing press photos, watching secret scenes and preview videos, etc), which helped me pick out the Michele win (and, largely, gave me the win in the leagues). Josh criticized me for this (*cough*sore loser*cough*). For this season, I decided to watch less of the secret scenes (I rarely watch them now) and avoid all press photos and episode previews (except the “Next time on Survivor” at the end of each episode; I still watch that). I’m going purely based on reading the story, which is the “pure” approach that Josh takes (I think).

            The funny thing is, I’m doing 155,000% better at predicting this season than I did during Kaoh Rong. I’m sure my luck will run out soon, though. I expect this season to finish up close.

            • I’ve been nothing but congratulatory.

              But you’re going down!

              And if I criticized you, which I don’t recall, it’s simply about enjoying the show over analyzing press photos and the like.

              In all honesty, my biggest trouble with predicting Survivor is the same reason I’d be bad at playing Survivor: I go with my heart. Like my Oscar predictions, I can’t help but vote for who I WANT to win over who I think is GOING to win. I’m a lover, not a fighter.

            • I’m somewhere in between Joshie and Dino. I’m all about heart, but I can’t help but feel competitive in situations like these. It’s stupid, but the chemicals secreted in my brain are telling me to tell you that both you fools are going down! 😬

    • I went all in, but bet on the wrong horse. Damnit! Now I have seen catching up to do. I’m hoping Dino bombs much in these way Cody did (sorry Bros). It’s my only chance of catching up at this point.

    • I’m trying to figure out the best strategy for The Tribe for this double-episode week. I have a theory on how the two hours will play out that I’m fairly comfortable with… so, is it better to split the 20 points between the two castaways I see getting booted tonight, or do I just throw all 20 at the one castaway who I “definitely” think will be going?

      I’m leaning towards the latter, but it is an interesting strategic debate.

      • As far as my theory is concerned, I think the first hour will begin with separate factions of the majority alliance gunning for Chris and Jessica, as was hinted in the “Next time on Survivor” from last week. Then, Will throws a wrench in the discussion with the Jay HII revelation. This happens for one of two reasons:

        1) Cooler heads prevail in the majority alliance, and they come together to gun for Jay. However, Will gets wind of this and “warns” the majority alliance of Jay’s HII to curry favor with them and try to make inroads in working with them moving forward.


        2) Will is gunning for Jay because he realizes he’ll be no more than a goat while he’s hidden under Jay’s shadow. This would be his big move in the game and could go a big way towards making inroads with at least part of the majority alliance. The first part of his plan is to blow up Jay’s spot by revealing his HII.

        Either way, I think this leads to the same conclusion for tonight’s two-hour episode.

  2. The thing I love about Christopher Guest movies is that the characters are conceived of so well that, though his ensemble of actors is always spot on, they don’t necessarily need to be. Funny moments would flow out of such characters it seems, even in the hands of those with lesser ability.

    • I didn’t mind the unlikable characters as much as AJ did. I actually loved all of the early marriage scenes with Zach Ward and Sarah Baker. Loved Susan Yeagley in the film. Didn’t care for where things went with Zach and Susan’s characters. Like many of the character arcs, the journeys were just a little underwhelming and I think AJ probably nailed the reason for that. The stakes of the competition were just not high enough for any of the characters.

      • I loved the scenes with Zach Ward and Sarah Baker. Every time they were on camera, it was incredibly awkward, but unlike when you’re seeing a couple argue in public, you’re able to sit back and laugh at it here.

  3. Looks like I have a reason to get around to watching Mascots. Currently watching it on Netflix at the moment. Thus far it feels a good deal like Best in Show and A Mighty Wind, which is always a good thing.

    I love that Guest can keep coming up with such random competitions for these mockumentaries.

    • Yeah, that’s a good point, Sal. I hadn’t thought about how much competition plays a role in his films. It’s obviously on the surface, but it is also this uniting subtext.

      Man, I feel like watching A Mighty Wind now. Guffman is the classic, Best in Show is the popular favorite, but I think A Mighty Wind may actually be his most impressive film. It took a long time to grow on me, but I’m in love with it now.

      • I had to go back through some old comment sections to get some thoughts on Guest movies, but it looks like my rankings went:

        1. Best in Show
        2. A Mighty Wind
        3. Waiting for Guffman

        • Curious where Mascots will ultimately rank for you. Did you see For Your Consideration (which isn’t acyually mockumentary)? And where would you put This is Spinal Tap?

          • I can’t say I’ve seen For Your Consideration. Looking back at the previous MSC thread where I discussed some Guest movies, it looks as if I shifted to Parker Posey 90’s films rather than continue on with Guest movies.

            I’ve seen This is Spinal Tap before, but it’s been so long that I wouldn’t know where to accurate rank or rate it. May need to give that one a rewatch.

          • As for the rankings, I think I’d rank Mascots third. I enjoy the topic more than A Mighty Wind, but AMW had far more emotion and plot progression than Mascots (What really stands out was the relationship between Eugene Levy and I think Catherine O’Hara?)

            1. Best in Show
            2. A Mighty Wind
            3. Mascots
            4. Waiting for Guffman

            • “Wow! Better than Waiting For Guffman! Controversial choice!”

              I seem to recall my problems with Guffman were that it was a bit slow pace compared to the other movies and considering I watched it after Best in Show, it just couldn’t compare in the laughs department since a small time musical doesn’t have the same inherent laughs that a dog shows has.


              The fact that Mort Guffman never showed up may have played a role in the ending not feeling very satisfying for me as well. We didn’t get that proper conclusion that I wanted. Meanwhile, with Mascots, we did ultimately have a winner announced.

            • *******
              It’s about the WAITING, though. Like its namesake Waiting for Godot. Get familiar with the classics, Sal. Come on! It’s in the title!
              No, I hear you. It’s much more subtle than the other films. Kind of like British Office as compared to US Office. It was such a new concept, they weren’t quite as bold. Except for the alien stuff, I guess. You might consider revisiting it, though.

            • “It’s about the WAITING, though. Like its namesake Waiting for Godot. Get familiar with the classics, Sal. Come on! It’s in the title!”

              Is this a bad time to reveal I’ve never even heard of Waiting for Godot?

              It’s not as if I hated Waiting for Guffman though. Looks like I gave it a 7/10 rating. It’s just that compared to the other Guest movies I watched, there wasn’t as much fun.

            • “Waiting for Godot (/ˈɡɒdoʊ/ god-oh) is a play by Samuel Beckett, in which two characters, Vladimir and Estragon, wait for the arrival of someone named Godot who never arrives.” – Wiki

              I’m just remembering that Mattroid, William, and I once did a short mockumentary (for a 24 hour film competition) about LARPers called Battling Godot about some guys getting ready to battle another troupe who never shows up. My Cleanflix co-director was in it too. It actually wasn’t half bad. I want to track that down.

  4. OK, so I haven’t watched “Mascots” yet, but after hearing your review, I’m intrigued enough that I may actually give it a whirl. I do like the sound of the premise.

    (Related tangent: I’ve always believed that mascots are inherently funny — especially those YouTube videos where two mascots are for-real fighting… That rare phenomenon is probably the funniest thing in the world to me.)

    Having said that, I’ve drifted away from Christopher Guest movies. Guest and his troupe are always talented, to be sure, but it’s not really my cup of tea, humor-wise, and for me it’s mostly been more of the same. (I know that’s a very unpopular opinion.) But without question, the best work I’ve seen that he’s worked on would be “This Is Spinal Tap,” which of course, is an amalgam of many other influences, as well.

    Good episode!

    • Thanks, Jay. I don’t think it’s that unpopular an opinion, actually. I don’t know anybody who liked For Your Consideration and A Mighty Wind seems to be pretty polarizing. I don’t really know anyone who doesn’t love Waiting For Guffman or Best in Show, however. I think Guest fans were hoping for a return to form. This film seems to be a bit polarizing as well, from what I’ve seen so far.

    • Anyone who loves “This Is Spinal Tap” should check out “Anvil! The Story of Anvil.” It’s a real documentary, about a real Canadian heavy metal band, but it’s almost like someone wrote, directed, and produced it as an unofficial sequel to “This Is Spinal Tap.” (It even has Robb Reiner in it. Robb the Canadian drummer for Anvil, that is, not Rob the American filmmaker.) The parallels to “Spinal Tap” are uncanny, but the Anvil guys are actual (second-tier) rock stars. It’s both hilarious and weirdly touching.

      • I’ve been wanting to check out Anvil! The Story of Anvil for ages but it’s one of those films that just slips out of my mind whenever I’m looking for something to watch. Thanks for reminding me, Cody. I’ll write it down this time.

        • I love documentaries that cover really passionate, hard-working folks who just can’t seem to get a break. The underdogs of the creative industries. That’s why “American Movie” is a personal favourite.

          • American movie is the better film, stylistically, but Anvil is really strong.

            David, I have THE BEST documentary recommendedation for you based on these criteria, but I’m saving it for an upcoming MPN special.

            • I’m curious about this recommendation. I’m a huge fan of American Movie and as a metal fan, I have been wanting to watch Anvil. Seems like it was made for me.

            • Juan, you will LOVE Anvil! The Story of Anvil.

              I’ve actually talked about the other recommendation before on MPW on a mini-review, but I revisited it during my down time after surgery and it knocked me off my feet. Could have been the drugs…

        • The funny thing about the guys in “Anvil!” is that they aren’t necessarily just semi-clueless strivers. They were a legitimately big deal for a while in the hair metal realm, until time kind of passed them by. It’s sort of the story of rock gods who were at the pinnacle of their industry and then became semi-clueless strivers after that. Such a fun ride.

          Also, “Anvil!” resulted in my single most favorite piece of movie swag ever (and I’ve had some doozies come across my desk). I first saw it at the Sundance Film Festival, and after the screening they were passing out pin-on buttons with a quote (used in the film) from Steve Kudlow, the lead singer: “Family’s important shit, man.” Just awesome. I still have a couple.

      • My only memories of Anvil (Since I haven’t watched it yet) is watching a lot of the IFC Channel around when it first debuted and seeing commercials for Anvil constantly. With this just being 2008, I wasn’t very familiar with mockumenaties, so I was left really confused as to how this wacky band was not only a real thing, but apparently something that could have been huge. Ha

  5. After listening to the Mascots portion of the podcast, I’ve come to a conclusion what was Mascots’ biggest problem for me. While watching the movie, I found myself laughing frequently. It was a fun watch. Yet, listening to the podcast, Josh and AJ kept bringing up issues that I couldn’t argue with. This is especially true with all of the characters that were introduced and then nothing was really done with the characters.

    So for me, Mascots is a movie with all of the laughs there, but then there isn’t any substance behind those laughs. I’d compare it to a stand up comedy act.

    To that though, I think a mockumentary heavier on just gags and not character development, might actually be good for general audiences that aren’t typically a fan of this sort of sub-genre.

    • We were a little put off at the first because I thought (and I told my husband) that this was a Netflix original SERIES. We kept expecting it to get over after 30-45 minutes and it kept going on and on. We were wondering; WHAT is going on?

      So. That might’ve made it a little weird for us. But overall, I’m glad that for fans of Mocumentaries in general and Christopher Guest in particular, there is a growing body of work to compare and appreciate.

      • Had it been a series, what little we got to see of Corky St. Clair and the minor characters would have made sense since there’s other episodes for them to be focused on.

        Even though it’s not a long movie, I can see where it’d feel as if it’s dragging on if you’re just expecting a normal single episode length. I’d say the same applies to any movies that are longer than an hour and a half that you’re not previously aware of.

  6. I love all things mockumentary from This is Spinal Tap to The Office (all versions), and I think Christopher Guest is a great director and an amazing character actor.

    Mascots is no exception. What a perfect world to set a mockumentary in. Just by the very nature of what the characters do for a living, it is inherently interesting, odd, and funny.

    Is it a perfect movie? Not in my opinion. Is it my favorite Christopher Guest movie or does it even make my top three favorite Christopher Guest movies? No, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoyed every minute of it, because I did.

    As probably most of this community knows, I love mockumentaries so much that I decided to make that style of filmmaking my professional focus. I’m about to graduate college and decided to make my graduating capstone project a faux doc television pilot called The Villa, set in a hotel and inspired by 20 years of crazy true events told to me by my sister, who has worked at a hotel since she was 14.

    Thanks to everyone who contributed to our crowdfunding for The Villa. This community has been an awesome support. We just completed principal photography on the pilot, but donations are still needed, helpful and welcome for post production. Anything really does help.

  7. I’m a fan of Christopher Guest’s style, and love how his movies seem to flow along so gently, only to hit you over the head with some hilarious moment or observation. Best is Show is always a fun watch (Fred Willard’s commentary during the competition never fails to crack me up), but my favorite is definitely Waiting for Guffman, which is hilarious and, at times, even kinda sad..

    • I’m pretty sure that the filmmaking team that created the “Pitch Perfect” movies about the world of competitive a cappella singing had Fred Willard’s “Best in Show” performance in mind when they wrote the roles played by Elizabeth Banks and John Michael Higgins. I know Christopher Guest didn’t invent the mockumentary form, but I think he’s been a pretty strong influence on it over many years.

      • I mean, John Michael Higgins is in Guest’s troupe, so that def makes sense.

        If Guest didn’t invent mockumentaries, he’s in the conversation. I’d need to research the history of Spinal Tap. I’d say he invented the style we are familiar with adopted by The Office, etc. before that we just had a couple of horror films, right? Was there anything before The Legend of Boggy Creek and Cannibal Holocaust? I can’t imagine he or Reiner were referencing those. Guessing they were inspired by a real doc. Guffman is more like Gates of Heaven. The only earlier thing I can think of would be World War II propaganda news reels. So, I’m fine saying he invented it.

          • Yeah, those are some very interesting examples and I’m sure several of those were films that Reiner and Guest were familiar with. I still think Guest’s films are the beginning of what we have now with The Office and Parks and Recreation … and The Villa. :) The Gods Must Be Crazy they are not. And A Hard Day’s Night is a million miles away from this Is Spinal Tap in style and tone. I think the Mel Brooks and Woody Allen films are probably the the closest examples. Really interesting examples, though.

  8. Thanks for the Survivor coverage! And I redeemed myself this week! (27 points – a PR for me) Josh, your suggestion to get some picks in earlier in the week rather than waiting for Tuesday has been the best advice I’ve gotten for awhile!

    • Jenifer, this is a bit off-topic for here, but I wanted to keep this message away from Jason’s eyes.

      With the MPW Summit (as Jason calls it, haha) coming up on next week’s MPW, I’m trying to get as many people as possible to send in voicemails to Jason supporting the new method I suggested. Since your latest comment over there suggests you seem to agree with it, I was hoping you’d be willing to send in a quick VM to Jason before we record on Monday. Since he always complains about never getting any voicemail for MPW, I just thought it would be funny if he ended up getting a bunch of VMs saying essentially the same thing for this. I’m pretty sure Jody has sent him a voicemail, but he’s the only person I know of at the moment.

      It’s totally cool if you don’t… I’m just trying to stack the deck! :)

  9. Really enjoying this episode. AJ is a great guess and has intrigued me regarding the subject of mascots which is something I’d never have thought possible! I guess we don’t really have much of a sports Mascot culture in the UK and I’m not really a sporty guy anyway but just listening to the discussion made me super curious about how people get into the Mascot business and what the nitty, gritty realities of it are.

    And I always listen to The Know It Alls but haven’t checked out the archetypes podcasts though I plan on changing that because coming at Survivor from that angle is really fascinating.

  10. Since AJ briefly mentioned watching the latest season of Black Mirror on Netflix, I just want to throw out another praise post for the episode, “Shut Up and Dance”. It’s everything I love about Black Mirror. A giant mystery that only slowly gets revealed, a sense of dread always being there, an ending that just makes you feel sick about the world.

    As far as I’m concerned, at it’s best, Black Mirror should always leave you feeling as if a piece of you have died after watching any episode.

      • Typically, an overwhelming feeling of self despair isn’t what I seek for in watching a TV series, but at least in the case of Black Mirror, it just means it’s THAT effective.

        As great as the show is, there’s been times where I had to take a little break to watch cat videos or something in between episodes to remember the joy in life. Haha

      • Is that in the works? (did I miss you mention this?)

        If so, when is it planned? I would definitely try to watch through the series beforehand.

        • Yes, but there are at least 3-4 shows coming first.

          They have:

          -Arrival – LIVE!
          -Sci-fi Surveillance and the end of privacy – with THX 1138
          -Rogue One: A Star Wars Story – LIVE!
          -Best of the Worst: Sci-fi Villains – with I Am Your Father

        • “Ok, well that certainly changes things.

          The two main reasons I had to watch Survivor in order were to see how the game evolved, both strategically and from a show/edit perspective, and to avoid those unintentional spoilers (that’s also why I waited to listen to all of the RHAP off-season podcasts). Sounds like I don’t really need to worry about either of those points with Black Mirror, so I’m in on watching them in your recommended order.”

          While I wasn’t overly impressed with it, I’ll also throw out a recommendation for “Playtest” in season 3. It’s the closest episode to being full fledged horror. Being a horror fan, that episode or perhaps “White Bear” (Which happened to be the first episode I ever watched) may be the best in terms of getting you into the style of Black Mirror without feeling too different from watching a normal horror short.

    • Well, that makes me want to go out and watch it…

      Seriously, though, I really want to get around to watching this.

      • If you haven’t seen any of the series before, don’t be afraid to skip around. The episodes are always self contained stories and there really isn’t benefit to watching them in order beyond allowing Netflix to automatically play the next episode.

        I’d recommend the following episodes:

        – Shut Up and Dance
        – Men Against Fire
        – Nosedive
        – Fifteen Million Merits
        – White Bear

        • As someone who had to watch all 32 seasons of Survivor in order, this notion sort of makes me head feel like it’s going to explode.

          That said, I have heard this mentioned about Black Mirror several times before, so maybe I’ll challenge the fiber of my very being and take your recommendation.


          • Let me put it this way, unlike with Survivor, you can watch any episode of Black Mirror without fear of it unintentionally spoiling a previous episode.

            You can certainly go in order though. The first two seasons in particularly are quite short, so it won’t take long to be able to see the newest ones.

            • Ok, well that certainly changes things.

              The two main reasons I had to watch Survivor in order were to see how the game evolved, both strategically and from a show/edit perspective, and to avoid those unintentional spoilers (that’s also why I waited to listen to all of the RHAP off-season podcasts). Sounds like I don’t really need to worry about either of those points with Black Mirror, so I’m in on watching them in your recommended order.

    • Considering there’s so much talk of both Black Mirror and reality TV shows around these parts I’ll have to drop a recommendation for the “Dead Set” miniseries. It’s written by Charlie Brooker who is a super smart and funny chap and the guy who created and writes “Black Mirror”. I vaguely remember the show being mentioned in an old episode of Horror Movie Podcast and Josh dismissing it based on the concept (the zombie apocalypse happening creating a seige narrative in the Big Brother house) but I have no doubt it’s far smarter than it sounds considering the critical acclaim it received and the fact that it’s a Brooker brainchild. I haven’t actually seen it myself but it’s high on my list and i’ve only heard good things.

      • Dead Set is on my to-do list. Kyle Bishop was the one praising it on HMP. The hardest thing is overcoming my anti Big Brother bias as a Survivor super-duper.

          • I am shouting.

            ^Clue reference^

            You’re saying I’m biting Adam’s stye? I thought he officially brought it into the lexicon. I’m a quoter. I need to get over that.

            Okay, I’ll come up with my own thing.

            • No, quoting is 155,000% allowed, if you ask me.

              I was actually referencing RHAP podcasts where they’ve questioned whether or not you can call yourself a super-duper fan. I think it first came up on a Wiggle Room episode.

            • Ah. I must have missed that. Well, the answer to that is YES, for me. I still need to come up wit my own catch-phrase, though. You know, for when I’m on the island.

              If we were on the show together, would you trust me? You could completely trust me, but I’m not sure I’d trust you. I would seriously be the most trustworthy alliance member ever. Unless I thought you were crossing me, then I’d be super-duper vindictive. Hopefully more like Natalie than Taylor.

              I’d get destroyed on a Fans vs Favorites season. I’d never vote out a Fishbach, Penner, Cesternino, Boston Rob, Coach, Phillip … as a fan, I’d want their games to go as long as possible. It would also ensure we were on a good season. Even someone I dislike, like Russell, I’d want to see play-

              ****RED-I SPOILERS****
              -longer than he did last time. Boston Rob could tell me up front that I was his Grant and I’d roll with it until the Final 5 before I started watching my back. He’d vote me out much earlier, though. I’d be his Matt.

            • Huh, that’s a really good question. I never considered that scenario before.

              I will say this – if I was on the jury and you were a finalist, you’d most likely get my vote. Probably.

        • Knowing Brooker he won’t be playing the Big Brother angle straight, there will be a big satirical edge. Definitely seems like a show that could be enjoyed by the biggest critics of Big Brother as well as fans of reality TV and zombies.

      • I watched the first episode of Dead Set today. It was okay I suppose. Hardly anything about it impressed me much or had Booker’s dark as hell style like in Black Mirror. It is the first episode though, so it could easily improve into being something more than just being something to throw on in the background.

  11. Where is everyone at with their Survivor power rankings (with regard to who can actually win)? Who is drawing dead? Who still has a shot?

    Based on the edit, I’d say David is the clear winner for me right now.

    I think Jay has a serious shot.

    I’d say it would Adam can’t win with this edit, though it breaks my heart.

    I don’t think anyone else has been visible enough to win.

    Zeke and Ken are borderline and could still be in the mix, but I think Chris, Jessica, and Bret are out.

    I think Sunday and Hannah could be losing finalists.

    Will is next to go. Is that everyone? If I forgot anyone, they are screwed.

    • I’m with you on David and not only because he’s my pick on JSFL. Zeke would be a close second and Ken a third. Speaking of Ken, he’s been increasingly invisible while Hannah has been getting more and more screen time. I don’t think she has a shot at winning… ever, but I think she’s the ultimate goat this season and will probably make it to the end and get no votes.

        • Purple Zeke? I don’t think that’s been the case at all. He’s maybe had fewer confessionals than he did early on, but they are definitely still there. Plus, they’ve shown him around camp a lot, especially in strategy discussions.

          At least that’s how I remember it, but I haven’t been re-watching the last few episodes.

          • I agree with anyone saying that Zeke is playing the best game and he’s probably my 3rd favorite on the season right now (those Jay and Adam mom stories tug at my heartstrings), but he has been nearly as quiet as Ken for the past 3 episodes. For two outside the game reasons…

            1. In pre-season, Jeff named Zeke as one of a handful of things that excited him about the season. Only player singled out.

            2. Zeke is coming back for Season 34. However, so is Michaela.

            …I think Zeke is going to be around for awhile or at least making a big splash, but otherwise, I’d put him in the outsider-shot range with Ken and Chris. That is only based on how damn quiet he has been lately. Socially, he’s doing REALLY well and I’d love to be wrong.

            • Well, that’s outside stuff. I’m going based purely on reading the story that’s presented on the show.

              On a side note, watching so much Survivor has affected how I watch reality TV competition shows in general. My wife and I are big fans of Chopped, and now I can fairly accurately call the two finalists within the first five minutes of the show without even paying attention to the food they cook.

              I don’t know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

            • Of course I absolutely LOVE documentary based reality TV. It’s maybe my favorite content out there. But Survivor has ruined me for competition reality shows. Like AJ said on this episode about Project Runway or like Dino is saying about Chopped, other shows just don’t have the finesse of Survivor.

            • Dino said: “Well, that’s outside stuff. I’m going based purely on reading the story that’s presented on the show.”

              Based on the show, Zeke has been very quiet for the last three episodes. He’s playing well, though.

            • I hear what you’re saying, but I guess I’ve just seen it differently. I don’t think he’s necessarily been quiet in the game. Quiet enough to not be an obvious threat/target, but still present on the show.

    • I’m still at the same place I’ve been for a few weeks, now. I see Zeke, David and Ken as being the only possible winners, with Zeke being the clear front-runner for me. Zeke is a respectable performer in challenges, has been shown to be a solid contributor to camp life, has also been shown to be playing a strategically sound game, and has built several strong relationships with all different groups of castaways. All that said, he also doesn’t seem to be in danger of going home anytime soon. I don’t really see anyone challenging him for the win.

      David has shown to be leading a lot of the strategy discussions, and his growth in the game seems to be very good. But I don’t think he would get the votes in the end.

      Ken has faded a bit over the last few episodes, so he maybe now only has an outside shot. I would promote Chris, who has built some new relationships and shown some strategic play lately, to the Ken-outside-shot-level.

      Everyone else is drawing dead at this point. Hannah is the perfect goat, and I could see Jessica being carried to the end, too.

    • I think Jay and Adam are totally still alive, actually. (Cue Jay and Adam both being voted out tonight.) Jay, Adam and David have been taking up most of the oxygen in the room, and those three also seem like the savviest individual operators. (I say this in spite of Adam’s repeated blunders and Jay’s seeming shortage of alliance partners, as well as the present Gen-X majority/semblance of solidarity. At this point, Adam and Jay would both have to rely on the Mike Holloway model of hustling like crazy.) The three of them also all have idols, and seem savvy enough to sniff out potential blindsides. I’d say that Zeke is clearly still lurking, though, and I agree with Dino that Chris is at least on equal footing with Ken. Bret’s gotten enough airtime that I could see him easily surviving long enough to be a “happy to be here” finalist.

      It bears reminding about Adam that the most obvious use for his reward steal is to take whatever immunity challenge advantage eventually comes up in one of the reward challenges. Provided that he can hang in there for a few more episodes, it’s almost like having a second immunity idol in your pocket. I know he’s on the bottom at the moment, but a lot of the alliances in play still feel malleable.

      The first two jurors feel like solid Jay votes, and I think Will eventually falls into that camp as well. I also think that Jay might suddenly have a bit of breathing room a) because the other players will shift into “eliminate less obvious and more easily bootable threats” mode (cue more squealing from Sunday about Jessica, supported by a classic “We can get rid of Jay any time, and we can use his vote until then” argument), b) because he has an idol, and c) because he could certainly win an immunity challenge or two. Actually, I think if Jay gets to final three and looks good doing it, then he’s a shoo-in. If he gets to final three but it’s not pretty, then he’s less likely to draw any of the Gen-X votes he’d need to stick the landing.

      Hannah does seem like a clear-cut runner-up at this point, but it also wouldn’t surprise me to see her flame out. Sometimes you get a lot of editorial bandwidth just before you the trapdoor opens up beneath your feet, sort of like what just went down with Taylor and, before him, Michaela.

      1) Adam, Jay
      2) David
      3) Zeke
      4) Ken, Chris

      1) Bret, Sunday
      2) Hannah
      3) Zeke, David, Adam
      4) Ken, Chris
      5) Jay

      1) Ken, Chris
      2) Hannah
      3) Bret, Sunday
      4) Jay, Zeke
      5) David, Adam

      1) Will

      • We have never seen a Survivor winner get as negative an edit as Adam with the possible exceptions of…


        Mike Holloway
        Tony Vlachos


        His tightest alliance members are saying they want to vote him out for being an a*hole. Other than the above mentioned, I’ve never heard that about a winner on Survivor.

        • Yeah, I really find it hard to imagine a scenario where Adam can win. Very well-argued, Cody, but I don’t think Adam has Mike Holloway upside. Nobody really disliked Mike that season. Sure, there was his auction misstep, but that was definitely blown out of proportion because he was on an island by himself that season. Adam is getting negative vibes from people actually in an alliance with him because of his erratic and suspect behavior.

          Is it possible that he somehow has the Survivor smarts to maneuver his way to the finale? Yes, it’s possible. But I don’t think he would get the votes in the end.

      • I do agree with Dino. Very strong arguments, Cody.

        The reason I don’t think Chris is on equal footing with Ken is that he was nearly invisible before the swap when so much voting was happening at his camp. Same with Bret. They should have been in those eps a lot if we were meant to see them as winners. Bret is awesome! Super funny, IMO. Chris is smart and a beast. I just feel like they’d have been all over those eps (like Ken and David were) if they had a chance.

        I hope Jay can win and I like that argument. The biggest thing Jay has going against him is statistic. I remember hearing somewhere that 80% (maybe more) of Survivor winners have voted correctly at the first vote after the merge. They voted with the group. Sometimes an idol blew that up, but the winner knew what was going on. Jay has been on the outs since the merge and that rarely, if ever, happens. Still, he’s got the votes. Michele, Taylor, Will, Bret, Sunday and Zeke are all easy votes for Jay to get if they are on the jury.

        And I agree with what you are saying about Hannah. Her and Sunday are either no-vote getting finalists or they aren’t long for this world.

      • Adam definitely doesn’t have the edit in his favor at the moment, but I feel like there’s still time for that to change. I also think the production team has gotten a little more sneaky with the overall edit in recent years. They’ve frequently and deliberately messed with expectations for years on smaller editing chores, like putting together a “next time on ‘Survivor’ ” clip, or setting up Tribal Council during an episode. It’s harder to do that on the level of an entire season, of course, but I think things have been trending that way in recent seasons. As Josh points out, Tony and Mike, two of the most popular recent winners, both got plenty of shade from editing team before eventually emerging with the customary winner’s glow.

        Another interesting undercurrent: I’m trying to remember the last time that a season of “Survivor” was this much of a sausage-fest at this stage of the game. It seems like, more often, there’s either a fairly even post-merge mix, or the ladies are in the majority. Right now, though, there are 11 contestants left and just three (!) are women. That feels like a hugely inordinate number of dudes, with respect to overall trends. One possible effect is that alliances won’t mean as much beneath the surface, with a lot of chest beating out in the open. My impression has always been that women on the show seem to generally be more carefully about picking alliance partners and sticking with them, while men on the show are more likely to have multiple alliances and betray supposed partners more easily.

        • Strong point by Dino that nobody seems to like Adam very much. If he made it to final three, he’d have to be the clear strongest player left, without even a hint of coat-tailing. It would probably also help his cause if were the lone Millennial bracketed by a couple of weak Gen-Xers, like maybe Ken/Sunday, or Bret/Jessica, or Bret/Ken. That might get him a little Millennial love, as well as get som Gen-Xers on his side who are mad about being outsmarted by lesser cohorts. (Funny: I just now realized that I completely left Jessica off of all my lists. I guess that means she’s the clear No. 2 on my JURY MEMBER WALKING list.)

          Also, I think David could play a strong kingmaking role (akin to Spencer on Tony’s season) if he were to end up on the jury. Not saying that he’d argue in favor of Adam necessarily (though do I think he and Adam are kindred spirits in a lot of ways), but if David’s not in the final three, then I could see him having a strong, persuasive voice among the jurors.

          • Cody said: “If [Adam] made it to final three, he’d have to be the clear strongest player left, without even a hint of coat-tailing.”

            Allow me to refer you to Kaoh Rong’s Michele and Aubry.

            You could end up being right, but I just feel like Adam is disliked in the game too much to win. And I don’t think Tony or Mike are analogous situations. Tony may have been somewhat disliked or feared in his season, but he was controlling the majority alliance the entire season. Mike was the exact opposite – he was completely on his own most of the season because he was seen as such a threat, but still respected and well-liked. Adam is neither of those.

            And I know some may argue that Mike was not liked, but the “enemy” tag he had was a product of being the guy the majority felt they had to eliminate but just couldn’t. That’s very different from Adam’s situation, where he isn’t even really trusted by his own alliance.

  12. Speaking of recommendations, how about a special episode where you watch an episode or two of all of the Netflix original series that have been dropping every other day? It seems like every time I log in, there’s a new series. It’s crazy and overwhelming. I’m sure there have to be other good shows other than the typical Marvel shows and House of Cards that you see on every list out there.

    • I’m trying to get this TV critic on the show who watches EVERYTHING. It’s disgusting. I don’t know how he does it. But he’d be the perfect guy to help us with that list. I agree, there is a mountain. I’ll tell you an easy recommendation, though. Season 1 of Bloodlines. Do it!

      • Is this critic’s name Sal? Because the amount of stuff Sal watched is obscene.

        Yeah, I’ve been meaning to check that out. It really does look amazing from the trailers and from what I ve heard and read.

        • I’m blanking on his name at the moment. That’s why I didn’t say it. Haha. I think it’s Myles McNutt. He used to be on the /filmcast back in the early days.

        • Pfft, I don’t know how you can even bring up my binge watching habits anymore after Dino’s insane binge of watching every season of Survivor in a matter of a few months.

          It’s crazy how many Netflix original series there currently are. It seems as if for every popular show like Orange is the New Black or The Strangers, that does receive a lot of attention, there’s 4-6 lesser shows that fly under the radar. Every time I browse Netflix, I’ve overwhelmed by the sheer quantity of Netflix original choices.

          While the original series tends to be good, I’ve found the Netflix Original comedy specials to be hit or miss lately. The two latest ones I’ve watched – Colin Quinn New York Story and David Cross Making America Great Again, followed a show long theme that became repetitive and dull after awhile.

  13. Just a couple of days ago I was saying that I felt Adam would be one of those players who’ll likely putter out in his first season but potentially come back as a returning player and do a much better job. He’s obviously smart and super passionate about the game but I feel like sometimes that level of awe and excitement can cripple the super-fans on their first time through, they often play a little too hard and try to craft a narrative with big moves which inevitably lead to a downfall. I’m still rooting for him though.

  14. ********SURVIVOR 33.10 LIVE POSTING WITH SPOILERS*******

    Well, Dino already said on Twitter that this episode was crazy and that his fantasy game was blown up. I figure if that’s true for him, it’s probably trur for all of us because it seemed pretty straight-forward.

    I’m only 4 minutes into this episode and it’s already going a direction I didn’t expect with both game and characters. This should be fun.

    • ******AFTER RECAP*****

      The Hannah/Ken scene was cute and sad.

      I can’t believe that Will is smart enough to jump ship on Jay. Already surprised. I thought Jay was in kind of a good spot.

    • ******1st REWARD CHALLENGE******

      Floating pizza reward. Reminds me of the floating barbecue in Caramoan. That was a way better reward. Survivor pizza is supposed to be nasty.

      David. Oh, my gosh. I am on the verge of crying. And that’s a great edit moment. Winner, winner pizza dinner.

      That bamboo pole is an injury waiting to happen. Yep.

      Man, they’re all going to have Bobby Jon chest wounds.

      David ends up being a liability on the puzzle instead. Terrible irony. Maybe he’s not as safe as I thought. Eeek.

    • ******DURING 1st REWARD******

      Okay, wow! That is a MUCH better floater than Caramoan. And that chicken looks delicious. They should leave that reward floater like they did in Guatemala and they could swim out there and chill whenever they want.

      Wow, Bret’s looking hot! Slim and tan. I need to get on that Survivor diet.

      Adam. Oh, my gosh. On the verge of tears again.

      And David. Holy cow. This is really good for him or really bad. Awesome scene either way. What a great Survivor moment. Ken is looking good here too. Between this and hannah, he’s a TRUE Survivor hero.

      Wow, they are noticing that Zeke is playing hard? Holy! David going for Chris? Looks like my fantasy game is blown up too. Now I can just enjoy the show. This could get WILD!

      That was so smart of Will to abandon Jay. Now he’s not a threat for 5 more votes.

    • ******1st IMMUNITY CHALLENGE******

      Already?! That was fast. We’re going to have a lot of scrambling after the challenge, I guess. Sweeeeeeetness.

      Man this is a strangely difficult challenge. I’d screw this up fast. My arms would spasm after holding it that long, for sure. I’d have to flex.

      Come on, Jess! Damn it.

      David and Zeke both seem like they don’t need immunity. Zeke WANTS it so bad. And he’s so close…woah. That was surprising.

      Nice job, buddy. I wonder if people will start seeing him as a threat after that speech. It didn’t seem like it. It would be hard to see past the nervous nettie they’ve been living with, I bet.

    • ******1st SCRAMBLE******

      Man, I hope Jay can hold onto that idol.

      GREAT play by Zeke to pit the Gen-Xers against each other! He is so unassuming that he makes it look easy. Wow. He did that without getting ANY of it on him.

      And holy crap we are ALREADY going to tribal?! I guess Jessica is going home. No way did Chris get enough air time to go.

      • Zeke is playing HARD! But I think David’s game is a lot more subtle and I think that will give him the advantage, don’t you think?

    • ******1st TRIBAL COUNCIL*******

      Oh, my gosh. #trustcluster is such a stupid term. Instant Survivor cult joke. That will NEVER go away.

      Jay is SO out of the loop. I wonder if he is that convinced that he is going home.

      Why is Jessica talking about the cracks outloud?

      Oh, man. I think David is on the wrong side of this for sure. Jess is a goner, right?

      • Trust cluster is such a dumb term. Building blocks was bad enough and now we have trust clusters? Why? It irks me to no avail.

    • ******VOTES AND IDOLS******

      Oh my gosh! Jay?! He’s got brass balls, I’ll give him that.

      Chris and Jess. Yikes.

      Jay, Tay and Miche are loving it.

      Whaaaaaaat?! Holy sh*t! They really underserved Chris in the confessional department. He must be a boring interview. That’s a bummer. I really like Hulk.

      Betrayed and he shouts out they guy who back-stabbed him with their bro-talk. Crazy.

    • ******AFTER THE VOTE******

      Wow, Zeke gets Bret right away?! He’s either charming AF or Bret is playing great too. Bret is REALLY good at playing from the bottom, actually.

      I can’t believe Bret is going straight to Zeke.

      I really don’t want to see Zeke vs David. Love them both. Let’s get back to Jess and Will. Haha. I tweeted at David and Zeke preseason that they (and Mari) were my favorites and I think they both “liked” it. I don’t know what that means. I guess, when I eventually saw them together, I thought it meant they were game buddies.

    • ****** 2nd REWARD CHALLENGE******

      So curious who Hannah will go with. Zeke is the better choice for her, right?

      This challenge location! Amazing. #fijirepresent

      Man, I want some fried chicken so bad now.

      These rock draws are so weird. David chose the white rock. People are going to HATE that. So, maybe David has been getting the Fishbach edit and it going home tonight.

      I would DESTROY this challenge. Grew up making up break dance moves to Michael Jackson in my living room and taught myself “the worm”. I could make it the whole way so easily. Ha! All of their pants are falling down.

      Love this snake puzzle. Wasn’t this the one that Penner won when they were trying to vote him out in the Philippines? I should memorize this one.

      Man, has Bret been on EVERY SINGLE reward?

      Zeke and David together? That could be interesting.

      Nice move by Adam to hold onto that advantage. I hope it plays off in game advantages.

    • ******REWARD******

      Why is David walking away? He should stay right there.

      Woah?! Bret is a gay Boston cop? That’s awesome. NEVER saw that coming. He really is a different generation. It’s crazy how things have changed in such a short amount of time.

      See, Bret is full of surprises. I wish we’d got more of him and Chris in the edit. Survivor is so good at casting, you just know that even the lame characters are probably interesting if they stayed around long enough to be. I think Rachel was maybe the only dud this season.

    • *******2nd IMMUNITY CHALLENGE******

      The old Survivor slide puzzle. That’s defintely one to learn. What a boring challenge. Is it the worst one of the season?

      I wonder why Jeff isn’t saying who is in the lead. Doesn’t want to give away a “you’re getting warmer.”

      If Jay knows how to do slide puzzles, he’s set. Yep, Jeff. Haha

      Niiiiice, bro. Didn’t even need it. He’ll hold that idol for awhile.

      Okay, maybe they can no just go after Will. If David fakes a Zeke vote then blidsides Will. That would be nice. I so want David and Zeke to stay. Crap. That’s not happening. Who else could go? Okay, based on the edit:

      1. David
      2. Zeke
      3. Bret
      4. Jess
      5. Hannah

      I think that’s it. So sad.

    • ******2nd SCRAMBLE******

      Ken is a damn hero. And a bad player. I love him. Okay? I said it.

      Hannah is BLOWING this. She may be voting herself out. Ouch!

      Jay. That’s how you spell it? Hahaha

      Adam. I love this.

      Ooooh. Hannah is smart enough to realize it’s her?! I have totally underestimated her. This is amazing. Holy! I hope David plays that idol on Hannah!

    • ******2nd TRIBAL COUNCIL******

      Yeah, there is no reason for David to play the idol on himself.

      Jeff is looking even more young and handsome than normal. Did he get a facelift?

      WTF is going on?! Who is attacking David? Bret, for sure. Why is he so pissed? Is Zeke attacking him too? WTF?! This is CRAZY!

      I think Bret might actually just be drunk. Haha. I hope David plays it on Hannah!!! WTF Bret?! Why is he so mad? I wonder if he knows they are screwed and he’s upset. I wonder if he’s the target!

      Taylor getting attacked by a beetle was nice.

      • ******VOTES AND IDOLS*****

        Play it!!! Holy sh*********t!

        Noooo! Poor Hannah. Do they have the numbers?!

        Did Adam lie? No.

        Okay, so either Jay flips or they are going to rocks. Or Jessica? Oh, no! Poor Hannah. This sh*t is bananas, B A N A N A S!

        Good on you, Jessica. Going to ROCKS! Wait, no. Wait, yes! It’s only Bret or Jessica, now. Black rock? Jeff, it’s PURPLE rock you jerk! Bone up on your Survivor history. I need continuity. Don’t you know there is a Purple Rock Podcast dedicated to your stupid show?! Lame.

        Jessica. Holy! Brutal. Who will she give the legacy advantage to? Only one choice, right? Not David. Especially now. Ken, baby. Yep. Dang.

        Great episode. So insane. Better find that idol, David.

      • I’m so glad Jess is gone. I couldn’t stand those eyes anymore. I’m sorry, but she has the most annoying facial expressions.

        • More annoying than Aubry’s?! Haha. You really get keyed in on those. And another woman is gone!!! No wonder Hannah thinks she has a shot with Ken! Haha.

          • Actually, yes. I ended up liking Aubry. Jess… I don’t think I can ever like her.


  15. It is time to vote for the

    “Survivor Hall of Fame” Class of 2016!

    If you are not familiar, YES, Survivor has its own official Hall of Fame! It was started back in 2010 and has grown into one of the coolest fan-driven activities out there. That’s because 50% of the vote each year as to who gets inducted is determined by fan vote. The other 50% of the vote is determined by the Hall of Fame “Executive Voting Committee,” which includes Host and Producer Jeff Probst, other Survivor producers, current members of the Survivor Hall of Fame, and just a SELECT handful of press members…in which I am proud to say that I am a part of! The Hall was created with full approval and backing of Survivor producers and CBS, and is curated by XFinityTV’s Gordon Holmes. Voting for the Survivor Hall of Fame is now open, and there are THREE main ways to vote:

    Twitter – Tweet your three picks to @SurvivorHall
    Email – Send your three picks to
    Facebook – Leave your three picks as a comment on the “Survivor” Hall of Fame Facebook page
    But do so quick, as voting ends this Friday, Dec 2nd.

    • Josh, that’s awesome that you’ve wiggled your way into the select media group.

      I’m going to think about my three picks today and send them over.

          • I’ve narrowed it down to 18 after a first pass, and broken them down into four “main” categories:

            – Strong winners
            – Winners who are strong characters
            – Smart non-winning players
            – Characters

            Man, this is tough. I want badly to include someone like Bob Crowley, who is a strong winner and was an innovative player as the first to make a really good fake idol… but how do I put him above someone like Penner?

            • Likewise, how can you put a strong winner like Mike Holloway, who only played once, above some other strong players/characters who were on multiple seasons?!

              This is too much stress. #pullingahannah

            • Ok, I have two slots decided. My final vote is between Mike Holloway, Tony Vlachos and Jeremy Collins. Thoughts?

    • Oh man, that’s rough. I wonder if he even had a chance to see her. Do you know how long it takes from the time the show wraps ’til the castaways actually go back home?

      • **************************
        It can be over a week, depending on the location. I know Cambodia was in the middle of nowhere. I don’t think he got to see her. I wonder if he even got to talk to her. I would guess not.

    • That’s so sad. Cancer runs in my family, especially my dad’s side, and I’m a bit paranoid about one of us getting it at some point :(

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