is the best reality TV show of all time. It's the most important (with all due respect to The Real World
), has the best premise, and is the most expertly produced. Almost as importantly, Survivor
is adaptable. It is flexible. From season to season, Mark Burnett and his fellow producers do everything they can to make the show better. Yes, they are experimental, perhaps gimmicky, but it feels like they really care for the integrity of the franchise. Survivor
, unlike other reality shows, isn't scared of switching things up.
You would think that, 14 seasons in, Survivor
would begin feeling stale. However, watching the premiere episode of Survivor: Fiji,
the show was anything but. It was as fresh as ever, and the reason is simple. Survivor's success isn't predicated upon the system, the formula. What makes Survivor
great is the casting. Maybe this seems ridiculous, but it's true.
The framework of Survivor
is the perfect venue for human drama. Lack of food, competition, isolation, boredom...all these things create an optimal arena for conflict. So, if we can all agree on that premise (and I think we can), then it doesn't matter what kind of new twists a new Survivor
season brings. Survivor: Fiji's
“Haves vs. Have-Nots” twist is simply another ingredient in an already delicious meal. The twist works as a distraction for the audience. We might think that the twist is what is keeping Survivor
fresh, but it's Survivor's
freshness comes with each new cast.
will always be great, no matter how many seasons it ultimately produces. And Mark Burnett and CBS can keep selling each new twist as if that is what you should watch the show for, but that's just an advertising facade. Survivor's
premise makes the show inherently great. This season, as evidenced by the great premiere episode on Thursday, is no exception.
-Oscar Dahl, BuddyTV Senior Writer