Thursday, February 25, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, episode 2 (or: "One Voice... as long as it is a man's")

Here's our live chat recap of last week's Survivor.

(In which, once again, it becomes a discussion of the institutionalized sexism of Survivor at the end. This is not a rare discussion. It is more observational than militant rant-y, though.)

me: hola
Shanna: hola
me: yes!
Shanna: ok! ready when you are

[previously: Jeff describes the “Heroes” and “Villains”]
me: Honor and Integrity my ass, Jeff. [re: Heroes, of course]
There was ruthless cunning and backstabbing on both sides, dude. You can't win without it.
The villains were just more obnoxious, generally.
Shanna: Yeah, as shown three seconds later when JT is making multiple alliances.
Which, you know, is part of the game.
me: right. and that was how JT won the first time around!!
Shanna: Yeah!
me: Jeff always rewrites the story during the recaps.
Shanna: And Coach made "gallant" advances towards Jerri? That's what that was?
me: Likeability has nothing to do with backstabbing, really.
"Gallant" .... yeah. "dorky" maybe
Shanna: I thought they were dorky, totally
me: and you know what? the tribe voted out Sugar not because she was solely responsible for teh challenge loss but because she was annoying!

[back at Camp Villain]
me: Jerry and "Coach" bonding
he totally seems more "normal" right now
when he's not posing and crap
Shanna: It's pretty bad if people who have been there before and know how bad it can get are complaining a lot by day 4
me: well, because "villains" are apparently lazy and do no cooperate
Shanna: Why are they creating and recreating and recreating the shelter?
me: because they are stupid
ooh, foreshadowing [about Boston Rob working so hard he will drop dead or something]
Shanna: Hmm, foreshadowing, Courtney?
me: LOL
I love their bickering
triumphant heroes!! [the music reminds us how heroic it is at the Heroes camp]
Shanna: (I am trying to write more complete sentences, for the GOOD OF THE INTERNET!)
me: ha! don't worry about that.
Shanna: Yeah, triumphant heroes who had to go to tribal first!
me: the internet can suck it
Shanna: not exactly that triumphant
me: for serious
ooh, Rupert is conniving against Steph!
according to Jeff.
who makes up the survivor narrative after the fact
lol. I love how Steph just looked crazy batting bugs away for second.
I'm kind of glad Steph is calling it out that Rupert is playing up the good guy bit
Shanna: Yeah, it is going to be easy for the villains to live up to their stereotype... the heroes, not so much. unless they all wind up going home before the merge! i mean, to be a winner in survivor, you have to do SOME of the villain things
me: right
Shanna: otherwise you most likely won't make it

[Villain Camp, Boston Rob is trying to get his tribe to work together]
me: boston Rob, you know there are no diplomats allowed on the VILLAINS tribe!!
dun dun dunnnn
dramatic camera trickery! [as Rob collapses, which we don’t really see, there is a fakey “Rob’s POV” shot]
Shanna: so, he just collapsed in the jungle?
me: so they would make it seem....
Shanna: oh man, you know it is bad if the person says "get help"
me: this is ridiculous
Shanna: i mean, they never want help
me: no kidding.
but WTH? Jerri is all "please open your eyes!"
Shanna: wtf!
me: hmmm
Shanna: man, what could have happened to him
me: Jeff looked like he was going to cry! [as they preview what is to come after the commercial]
me: Jeff does not want to see Rob suffer!
Shanna: wait, no commercial?
me: no, it was a commercial, but before that they showed a little preview with Jeff and the medics... did you see that part? [there were some technical difficulties with our recordings]
Shanna: all i saw was them flashing the light in his eyes, jeff saying "can you hear me" and then it went to a "up next" thing and rob couldn't drink properly and he said "i think.... it's getting the best of me"
me: ok. yeah. that part.
Shanna: did Jeff say "i don't want to see you suffer"?
i don't think i saw that
me: no. I made that part up.
Shanna: ahhhhh
confusion on MY part
me: because jeff looked so upset!
me: so, he's not dying, like the dudes from last season? that's good.
but I don't think being unconscious is a good sign
aww, he's apologizing to Jeff. He's not being a good villain.
Shanna: What??
He's like, I love and respect it too much!
me: lol
ha. he came to the conclusion I did. he's got to just own being on the villain tribe. I still don't think he's as much a villain as some of those other dickheads
He and Jeff should hug it out.
aww, the other dudes ARE hugging him. there is a lot of villain love.
maybe they will appreciate him more now.
Shanna: yeah, he was just kind of cocky, not really villainous
me: and, you know, considering how useful and strategic he is, he's one of the few who at least sort of deserves to be a little cocky

[Challenge time!]
Shanna: yeah
i remember this challenge [moving giant blocks on a course and then assembling them in a puzzle/staircase]
me: yeah, me too.
Shanna: so, no reward challenge
oh, ok
this IS reward
and immunity
me: hmmm
Courtney's all "woo hoo, I'm sitting out!"
Shanna: pause!
ok. paused
Shanna: ok, where are you, what just happened?
john is switching to another recording
because this one is terrible
me: Rupert was whining about sitting out because of his broken toe and they are about to start the challenge.
Shanna: i heard rupert say "i don't think i can run as fast" and then it jumped ahead a bunch.
me: ok.
Shanna: so that's basically where you are
me: like right there is where I am, yeah
me: ooh, I like when we hear them strategize about the challenge
Shanna: go heroes go!
me: is "strategize" a word? it keeps looking wrong and gets the spell check squiggle
Shanna: i feel like i have to root for heroes, even though i like a few of the "villians" too
me: yeah.
me too
I think currently my favorites are villains, though, but I still want to root for the heroes
Shanna: strategize... yeah, i get the squiggle too, but says it is a word
me: heh. ok.
I like how coach and jerri were totally paired up, too. like this is a thing.
oh shit. Parv got nailed in the face
Shanna: ow, that box SLAMMED parvati in the face
she recovered quickly though
me: I bet she doesn't whine about her busted face like rupert and his toe
Shanna: might bruise though!
me: heh. I love how they all are ripping on Rupert and his toe, too
Shanna: amanda, smashed between the boxes!
they are getting beat up!
me: no kidding
don't drop the boxes on people!
Shanna: man, they suck at this
me: Jeff is so disappointed with the heroes
Shanna: ow!
dang, so much pain
me: go Rob. [hoisting a giant block up on his back basically by himself]
Shanna: this doesn't seem like it should be so hard to figure out. i mean, lifting, yes, that is hard
but dudes
me: I Love this [the Heroes are bickering]
Shanna: why can't you figure out the word "HEROES"
me: we never get to see the fighting [during challenges, to this degree anyway]
you know it has to happen more, but we never see it.
Shanna: yeah
[Heroes lose, James is all pissed off about how they didn’t all just silently follow JT, who they had sort of appointed leader for the challenge since he’d done it before]
me: James likes to be a follower. sometimes that's good. someone has to follow. but come on.
Shanna: true
how is Steph the problem if she was the only one who Survived her tribe?
[back at Heroes Camp, James is plotting against Steph, justifying it by the fact that on her first season she was the only one left on her Tribe]
Shanna: um, james, most of the time they don't let it go that far. they did it that one season, but they don't usually let it get down to one - they shake it up somehow
and yeah, i agree, she is not the problem if she survived
me: he just is threatened by strong women
Shanna: yeah
i wish they would lose rupert too
he is annoying
they keep saying he is a fan favorite, but i don't believe it!
me: no kidding.
Shanna: he is whiny and not cute and cheerful like he was at the beginning of his season
me: they said that before and bah whatever. srsly
me: I mean, sometimes they should butt out of the puzzle solving and follow someone. but sometimes others have another perspective that is better than the "leader" during a challenge. you can't ignore that.
Shanna: man, james is having a FIT [now he’s literally yelling at Steph at camp for their challenge loss]
me: um, James? you've only lost twice. that's not a lot so far. [He says he’s never lost so much in his life]
that was an anti-pep talk
Shanna: yeah, he is not exactly losing constantly. and i imagine they must have lose SOME challenges in his season
me: look at how they all have to hold their tongues so they don’t come across as non-heroic meanies.

[Villain Camp]
ooh, villain chickens
Shanna: oooh, Russell is threatened by Boston Rob
me: why is he chasing it with a spear
well, he got it. ? [there are “wild” chickens, and Russell literally chases them with a spear, and he comes back with a chicken, but we don’t actually see him capture/kill the chicken…]
Shanna: yeah. but, fish ARE "real food" [and he was saying how before they only had fish which wasn’t “real” food]
i mean, chicken is good
me: yeah
Shanna: but fish is too

[Heroes Camp]
ugh, James, get off this "steph is terrible" thing
it is not her fault
me: James is totally going after Steph. wtf. like it is her fault. also, she did a second Surivvor and did better, right?
Shanna: damn, shut up about it
yeah, she did
me: he needs to stfu
Shanna: oooh, JT is sad to lose his two-timing alliances!
it is not your fault for not pushing harder to be in the challenge. well, you didn't push, for one,and also IT DIDN'T MATTER
[Amanda is suggested as someone to boot]
Shanna: so, wait, why does amanda have to go? just because she's the least "strong" person on the other alliance who they think they can't convert?
i mean, not that she has to go, just that that is who tom said should go instead of steph
me: I think because she has a lot of alliance buddies and stuff? I didn't really get that either.
I think she should go because I never really liked her. heh.
Shanna: yeah, i guess there is probably more reason that they are just not showing us because it's not that important
i don't mind her
i mean, at this point i am more annoyed with rupert or james
me: and even though Steph got cocky her second season, I don’t think she deserves to be targeted right now so they should vote out someone else! and Amanda is boring to me.
Shanna: but they would never get rid of james
yeah. steph has really not done anything yet to deserve this
me: I'd rather it be stupid James or Rupert to go, both of whom I've never understood the total love for them
Shanna: james just has a thing against her
Shanna: i remember james getting super annoying the first time around too
me: right. like at first, I liked James. and the world fell in love with him, too. but then everyone else ignored how annoying and sexist he was!
Shanna: yeah, exactly
me: Candace is on the bottom of either alliance because she is kind of a nobody in this season
Shanna: i love how there are clear, fairly even sides already
i mean, it's like a week in
not even
me: yeah
it is hard to root for anyone in particular on this tribe... I usually root for the thinkers, and they are all doing a pretty good job of not being idiots about all this
Shanna: yeah
me: ooh, suspense!
Shanna: i like cirie's practicality [teaming up with Candace, who assumed Cirie was tight with former tribemates James and Amanda, but Cirie points out that Amanda had to betray her in the end…]
me: no kidding. that is part of what makes her awesome
Shanna: "as long as it's not one of us", i basically don't give a fuck

[Tribal Council]
me: oh, JT, you know they are not holding you responsible for this. [he pretends that, as the pseudo leader, he is accountable for the loss]
Shanna: blah blah blah "one voice"
oh james
me: one voice = apple this time
Shanna: damn, he is an ASS
me: James is an idiot
Shanna: "it's not about you, no matter how much you want it to be" [James to Steph when she tries to defend herself against him]
me: does he believe she is jinxed or something? [then he blames it all on her, bringing up being last on her tribe her first season, and basically saying it IS all about her]
this is exactly how he did it last time, too.
Shanna: ok, dude, YOU are the one who made it about her
me: attacking and then denying
Shanna: thank you, Colby [he stands up for Steph!]
me: NICE
I love this.
Shanna: this is awesome
me: THANK YOU, TOM, FOR CALLING HIM OUT [Tom defends her, too]
He [James] is a bully.
Shanna: dang
it would be the best thing ever to lose james tonight
i mean, for awesomeness
me: no kidding
Shanna: not for physical challenges,
but who cares!
me: but they didn't even mention him, and so it is not happening
Shanna: they are fine with the initial physical stuff so far
they die on puzzles
which don't require MUSCLES
[the threats of previous affiliations/alliances are discussed]
me: this is the thing, too... even those who played together have had to betray each other, even though they worked well together.
Shanna: yeah
me: there is only one winner each season... so....
Shanna: they are not all besties just because they had a season together
me: I was just about to say that exactly!
it bothers me that they are targeting amanda as an alternative, though, instead of one of these loser dudes, like James (who is a bully) and Rupert (who is useless and whiny)
Shanna: haha
me: it is this institutionalized sexism again
Shanna: yeah
i hate that rupert didn't even come up
me: why are the options always women at the beginning? unless there is something egregious
Shanna: yeah
me: god I can't even stand to look at James
Shanna: yeah, he is only going to get worse
me: it is totally unfair he gets away with being that way and it is down to Steph and Amanda for no good reasons!!
Shanna: i hope it's amanda just so he doesn't get his way
Booo [but it is Steph voted out]
me: blerg
I wished it was Amanda just so James doesn't win this one, too.
Shanna: oh my f-ing god
James [Steph addresses the Tribe, and James attacks her again!]
me: I wish Steph was all "FUCK YOU"
Shanna: is
me: I guess at least this time around you could argue that Steph and Amanda are targeted because they both made it far TWICE, so they are threats. unlike other season where it feels like women are the default early boots
but, yeah,
like, I'm glad Colby and Tom stuck up for Steph, but also, I hate that they had to.
and I know it isn't exactly this, but the caretaker men had to defend her, and that is so uncool that that was necessary
it would have been cooler if a woman stood up for her, too
you know?
Shanna: yeah, totally - it does suck that no women stood up for her. although i guess they all voted against her
me: even so, it was mostly strategic, and not personal... if I were one of them, I'd hope I'd have said something, because him attacking her had nothing to really do with the vote [I’m hoping maybe they did, but it wasn’t shown]
Shanna: yeah
me: if I were on Survivor, I wonder if I'd be able to not get myself in trouble calling that shit out. I would not be long for the game, I think (well, for that and a thousand other reasons)
but I totally would probably come across as the crazy feminist lady
Shanna: yeah, but you know there'd be a big contingent of women watching that would be rooting for that!
me: I kind of wonder why we don't see more of that
you see hints of it every once in a while, I think more so in earlier seasons.... but it never really comes out
I'm just remembering how angry James made us in the past, too. how he totally spoke to women in ways he would not speak to men.
I bet we could go back and read the chats from his earlier seasons and see that
and I bet in real life, he's one of those guys who comes across as polite to women, because he's raised to treat them a certain way generically, like holding doors and saying "ma'am" and stuff, but in situations where they challenge him, he is condescending and rude, and then you reinterpret his previous politeness as patronizing
Shanna: totally
i'd say that sums up his whole relationship with women
me: I am afraid for next episode, where they show everyone kind of ganging up against him for being so out of control and "brutish" I think was the word used.
not only does it seem like he's going to be even more of an asshole, I'm afraid of the possible racist readings of it, even if it is totally based on his behavior.
Shanna: yeah
me: I don't think it will go unnoticed how this season does not represent minorities well. even the selections from the "race wars" [Cook Islands, when they started out divided by race] (heh) season are white!
Shanna: heh
me: according to wikipedia, they did ask Yau-Man back but he declined. also, evil Corrine from the Gabon season had to turn down the offer because of work, and crazy Shane was replaced by stupid Russell from last season!
Shanna: ahh
nice to know that russell wasn't in their original plan
well, i guess, how could he be
but still
me: well, I guess they left the option to swap out someone from Samoa at the time

Thus, we end our discussion of episode 2 of Heroes vs. Villains! (Pretty anti-climactic, huh?)

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