BRISTOL, Connecticut, U.S.A. — What does “Survivor” have to do with survival?
Absolutely nothing. Its basic premise is the stranding of two tribes in a remote place, presumably well away from society as we know it.
But we really don’t know that there isn’t a McDonalds right around the corner. Even what we do know tells us that this thing has nothing to do with physical survival.
Every episode features some type of challenge. These challenges never had anything to do with the actual day-to-day kind of things any group of people would need to deal with to survive.
Take the javelin throwing challenge from the first season, for instance. Tribe members were eating fish and rats. The challenge asked them to do something that would do them no good if they were trying to catch rats.
Then there is the stupidity of the Tribal Council. What kind of social outcast seeking revenge thought that one up? In any real situation, any tribe anywhere, you see people trying to protect their own.
Every person who is capable of helping your society, your tribe, is an asset. Throwing people out of a society, even a temporary one, is senseless. Doing so goes against normal human feelings and impulses.
People seek to make friends, not get rid of them.
The artificial exclusions and inclusions that result from this mixed-up concept are on a level with high school cliques. This is “Survivor, Return To High School.”
Do you remember that kid in your class that no one liked? He would have wanted to strand all the popular kids on an island somewhere, to make them eat rats and bugs.
I’m sure we’d all like to think people mature after high school. This show is really just showing us that they haven’t.
Besides taking people back to the immaturity of high school, these shows exploit emotion. That is something we shouldn’t encourage.
Sure we all have emotions, and they can be powerful at times. But it doesn’t feel right to me to create artificial situations which toy with people’s emotions just for a camera.
If you want to go back to high school, if you enjoy that sort of breakdown of human society into its worst parts, by all means watch.
If you like poking fun at people’s feelings, if that makes you feel bigger, then by all means watch.
As for me, my life has enough emotional strife: I’m still in high school.
Sarah Jordan is a Reporter for Youth Journalism International.