Monday, May 26, 2008

2008: Endings and Revivals

May is such a turning point for reality television that I actually felt the need to revive my old blog. Can you believe it. I don't even remember the style in which I wrote my entries. Don't care. There are so many shows that have come to an end in the past few weeks and the summer season is just getting started. Do you remember when summer television was all reruns. Summer season is now incredible. Especially this summer. I can't remember why, but a big part of it includes SYTYCD and THE MOLE.

Who would've ever thought that years of whining and hoping and getting stocked up on Australian and British and fan versions would result in an actual REVIVAL of the best television show that has ever existed. Arrested Development may have been too clever for the general public but apparently The Mole is not. Both a good sign and perhaps bad. Hopefully it won't be dumbed down too much. Australia did a revival and that version was still good.

Can we talk about Survivor: Half-ASS. Of course this means half-All-Star Survivor. Nothing suggesting this was a bad season. Because it was THE BEST season. I know I love Marquesas, Amazon, and Vanuatu, but the more I think about it, the more I realize I have no idea why. I can tell you why I loved Half-ASS. Blindsides became the theme, yet I was still routinely shocked. And let me tell you, years and years of watching reality shows and getting accustomed to particular brands of editing, I am not often shocked. This season, however, when you think they can't pull it off again, they do it.

Parvati. I'm pretty sure I covered her season in this blog way back when. I know I said somewhere that she was my new Morasca. I said she would be an excellent strategic player. And she made a fool of me in her first season. When she came back this season, I was not anticipating much from the strategic department. Boy did she prove me wrong and prove my initial read of her right. Girl knows how to play. This is the best example of learning from your previous mistakes. She came in and actually used her previous reputation to her advantage. It's almost as if she played her first season knowingly setting herself up for this season. I give her a standing ovation for a job well-done.

Now that I look at it, would she have beaten Cirie. I think she might have. If she could convince a jury that Amanda, who had won some challenges and played the most bold acting game with the HII, did not deserve to win over her, she could have convinced them that she outplayed Cirie. The amazing thing is Parvati was both the person everyone thought they'd want to go up against in the finals, and the person everyone had aligned with to go to the finals. She wasn't just the person who was kept around because people thought they could beat her. She actively played every aspect of this game.

In this game, only once before has anyone given up an immunity necklace to someone else, knowingly risking their own position. Do you remember who it was. Jenna Morasca, brilliant mind of Survivor. Players have come and gone who haven't even had the balls to give away a HII when they had the immunity necklace. To give up an immunity necklace with no guarantee behind it is the boldest move possible on Survivor. The only potentially bolder move would be to give up a necklace and a HII. Who would've thought this season would bring another epic move with the immunity necklace. This time, though, there was no Morasca brilliance to it. At least on Eric's part. That plan concocted by the girls, however, was brilliant. I think they made Ami Cusack proud that day.

Can I also say that Ami Cusack has grown tremendously from her last appearance. Not saying she was completely harsh the first time, but the Ami I saw this season was such a more compassionate Ami, that perhaps was her demise.

So I didn't live Parvati through the first half of the season because she was trying to ax my season-favorite, Eliza every single day. Looking back at it though, it was a move she needed to make. Eliza would have been a threat near the end. More so than Yao-Man. They were right when they questioned Cirie's insisting on eliminating him early. However, Eliza on the jury may have made the show even better than it would've been with her still in the game. With so many twists and turns, there was no better commentator than Eliza's animated expressions. And in the end, she recognized Parvati's brilliance and commended it, so I thank her also for a great season.

This season deserves some sort of picture montage of all the brilliant moments. OH let's not forget Tracy, who was such a wonderful strategist and manipulator in the first half of the season. This is perhaps the reason why the entire season was so amazing. Parvati saw less action at the beginning, and picked up where Tracy left off, eliminating strong physical players. It's a shame Tracy's game had so many pre-existing roadblocks the minute she stepped into her tribe. She really set the scene for a season that wrote its own rules. Since it is way too late for me to be awake, perhaps I will continue tomorrow with either a deeper evaluation of Half-ASS or my thoughts on other finales and my anticipation of The Mole: The Best Show Returns.


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