For as long as I've known Tommy Smokes, he's gone on and on and on about Survivor. Now, being as I am 8 years his senior, I remember when Survivor debuted way, wayyyy back in the day. It was the Summer of the year 2000, right after Y2K shut down our computers and the alien overlords invaded.
Survivor season 1 was a cultural phenomenon. It was must-watch TV every week, the hottest topic on the streets. This was before Twitter and DVR and texting and all of that- you had to sit your ass in front of the TV and watch the show or you'd be left out. And EVERYONE watched it. I remember watching it, and I remember when naked Richard Hatch won, and I remember them eating rats, but I don't remember much else. I was 11 years old, after all.
I think I watched a couple of the early seasons, and then I got too busy playing sports and doing drugs and fucking girls and being awesome and all that stuff I totally did as a teenager.
So flash forward to last week. We get the week off between Christmas and New Years. I mean I still work but in theory we have the week of between Christmas and New Years. So there I was scrolling Netflix and what do I see but "Survivor". And I go "okay, should we see what Tommy won't ever shut up about?". But Netflix only has 2 seasons of Survivor on the platform- 20 and 28. I can't remember exactly what it was, but I remembered seeing something about 28 being the best season to watch. So I gave it a go. And well, as it turns out, Tommy was right. Survivor isn't just a dumb reality show. Nay, season 28 of Survivor was one of the most exhilarating seasons of TV I've watched since Breaking Bad. Seriously.
My perception of what I thought Survivor was and what it actually turned out to be could not have been more different. I thought Survivor was just a reality show. Bunch of people living on an island arguing with each other, playing games and doing challenges for food, and then voting each other off. It's nothing like that. It's a game of lying, manipulation, back-stabbing, emotions, mind games, game theory, blindsiding people, and next-level strategy. I was blown away. It's closer to chess than it is to a reality show like The Bachelor.
So I started at S28, and then using Tommy's guide, I started at S7 on Hulu. And I started BINGING. I mean I binged like I've never binged before. I also downloaded a Chrome extension so I could watch at 1.2 speed (I find normal speed to be too slow to watch shows at, 1.2 or even 1.3 makes binging a lot quicker and the shows drag a lot less, I highly recommend it). I watched a season per day last week. I ripped through 7, 8, 10, 12, 13, in a week, and finished 14 last night. But here's the thing: 10 and 14 aren't even on Tommy's list and they were two of my favorite seasons, so now I'm going to completely disregard the list and watch every season straight through. They are so good, they do a great job casting them, you start rooting for players, but you totally get completely immersed in the show and forget you're watching "reality TV" because they do such a good job with it.
And the cool thing is, the further you get in the show, the more and more complicated the game becomes. The more manipulative the players become. And then they always have a couple players who STILL don't get that it's a game, and think "swearing on your kids" or some bullshit like that actually matters inside of the game. None of that matters! It's a game! The emotional players are so frustrating, I cannot believe they still exist, but they make it more entertaining for sure.
So credit to Tommy, he has been right this whole time. Also I sort of want to apply for the show and get on just to cuck him now. Kidding but not.
So if you need something to binge, Survivor is the one. You can follow the guide, or go straight through, it's your choice. Apparently the earlier seasons I don't remember/skipped the game play isn't very good, so starting at S7 isn't the worst plan. And for real, download the Chrome extension to watch at 1.2 speed, you'll never watch TV any other way again.