Saturday, August 26, 2006

Survivor 13 Goes Hollywood

CBS's hit reality show Survivor has been credited with bringing the reality television crazy to network primetime. Hailed, for bringing fresh unseen faces of everyday America into our common everyday world.

Since then, we've seen other reality shows follow this pattern of casting the unknown from across the United States, who strangely because a part of our pop-ethos.

YET...in the upcoming season of Survivor 13 of the 20 cast members are from California, certainly not the cross section of American life. And even more striking, 9 of those people are from Los Angeles and it's surrounding area (Venice & Marina Del Rey). (source)

In addition, Survivor: Cook Islands stars Sundra Oakley and Jonathan Penner (both pictured right) each have decent list of past acting credits on imdb.com, both having roles on different different franchises of CSI.

How many more of these "real-life Survivor characters" are "want to make in big in Hollywood characters?"

In 2000, the concept of unknowns exposed to entire world was an enchanting concept for television viewers, perhaps today the Unknown is overexposed?

Maybe the casting department for Survivor is having a hard time finding attractive able bodied people across the US who are willing to travel overseas for 39 days at a time?*

Perhaps it was hard to find 5 Asian-Americans/Hispanics/African-Americans/Whites that they felt would round out the contestants the way that they wanted to? Or maybe it was just too much work?

It's hard to tell.

*Normal seasons have 16 contestants on an island for 39 days. Will this season with 20 contestants, leave Jeff Probst and his crew on the island for more than 39 days of filming?

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6 comments:

Jim said...

I've never really "gotten" the whole fascination with reality programming anyway.

Well, other than "Trading Spaces" and its ilk.

tooners said...

Me either... I don't get the fascination w/ all of it. I don't watch this stuff... but I did watch The Amazing Race... but was that considered reality TV?

We don't get the new seasons of this stuff here, but I heard on one of the news channels that there's a lot of controversy surrounding this because they don't feel it's right that they split up each ethnic group into teams.

LunarWorld said...

I would say that many of the former Survivor contestants have fallen into the "want to be famous/break into Hollywood" ilk. As are many game show contestants... how many (now) celebrities were on The Dating Game in the 70's?

Although it does make the "reality" part of the program a little suspect, there have been rumors of manipulations by the producers for years. Not to mention the editing that is done to create a story... in fact, there's little "reality" in reality TV any more. It's more like unscripted television with untrained actors.

Jon said...

Real or not, I have to admit that when I get the chance to watch tv, I end up watching more reality programming than most scripted series. My wife and I caught the tail end of the Emmys last night and realized we had seen many more of the 'reality' award category than the comedy or drama.

In some ways, reality shows are much more accessible and are really the 'game shows' of today. Sitcoms can just be boring with the same old formulas and dramas, unless you're committed to watching EVERY episode, can sometimes make you feel left out since so many try to build from episode to episode now. (I am a fan of CSI when I get the chance to see it, though...)

People like people. With a survivor or such, even though it may not be 'real', it's less scripted, which gives you a glimpse into other people's lives - good or bad. I still can't get into something like Big Brother or Real World, but Survivor or Amazing Race can be kinda interesting.

That said, if I had time or TiVo, I'd be interested in a number of NBC's upcoming NON-reality shows. They seem to have a good line up for this next season...

Wasp Jerky said...

Haven't seen Survivor since its second or third season. Not really sure why they keep doing the same shows season after season. Shoot me in the head.

betmo said...

i really can't see why survivor is still around. are they getting government subsidies of some sort? worst show ever.

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