Survivor: HHH is rolling along strong through 2 episodes, with a very standard, relaxed game progressing. I love having 3 tribes of new players because you get a lot of emphasis on smaller social interactions with players having to know and understand everyone in their tribe to survive the first few days. It’s very easy to hide and be manipulative when there are 10 people around or when you know the game already, but when you have to find a way to survive on the beach with only five other people to rely on, the social dynamics that make the game great are highlighted. I think these tribes are playing interesting, albeit different games so far, and the television show has been great because it feels very genuine. Now I’ll give some of my thoughts on the episode, and who/what’s caught my eye thus far thru 2 episodes:
- Who’s hot:
- I wouldn’t say a whole lot changed in my opinions from episode 1 to 2, but some of my opinions were solidified. Ryan and Ali both continue to impress me with their abilities to make allies easily at their respective tribes. It’s great game-play in a season like this with 6 person tribes to just take things easy and be friendly and helpful at first, because the real game won’t start until there are only two tribes. Letting others hurt their chances at first is the way to go, and I think those two in particular are showing us how to play it cool in the early game. I was a bit down on Chrissy and even to an extent Ben last week, but I will say those two appear to be the brains of their tribe, and going forward if they can stay together and use their people skills to outmaneuver people subtly, they make be on the upswing if things progress well.
- Who’s not:
- Besides Simone having a generally bad run on Survivor, it doesn’t seem as if Patrick is impressing people too much either. The guy seems to have a lot of energy out there or at least more than his other famished tribemates, but if he wants to last a bit longer he’s going to have to read into the social cues and blend in a little more with the crowd. One would hope that with Simone gone, Ali would sort of pull him aside and get him inline, but even so, if he can’t do it himself then he just isn’t playing right out there. Joe is also solidifying my negative opinion of him when he had to get Cole to help him with the immunity idol search. Joe is far too shady to be trusted and I’m not sure he understands that he comes off a bit sketchy. Sharing this information without having a solid bond on top of the information could back-fire big time, and I’m sort of looking forward to that happening next week.
- Things I’m interested in going forward:
- Besides seeing Cole and Roark potentially overturn Joe’s game, there will be a lot of interesting stories to watch if the tribes stay in this alignment for an episode or two longer. I think it will be interesting to see how the older tribe members manage going forward, considering how young this cast seems overall (even the players in their 30’s seem like they’re 20-somethings honestly). Lauren seems to be the one getting the most negative edit of all the players in her tribe, so I’d like to see if she can manage to survive further than Patrick, or if she’ll become the odd one out with the young crowd. I spoke about Chrissy before, and even though she’s doing better, it’s still yet to be seen whether or not she’ll survive a few more votes, and Mike is also someone who it could go either way with at this point. I’m sure the show is seeking a younger audience and is casting more young people these days for the camera, but I do wonder whether or not the skewed age range on this season is going to play into the boot order.
- Player of the Week
- This one is tough this week, but I may have to go with Cole here. He lucked into some information, and is using it to subtly play sides. He could go with Joe and keep his tribe strong knowing he has the idol, or he could blindside him and make a case as an alliance leader going forward. I think he ended up in the best position at the episodes end, so he gets the honors this episode.
- Moment of the Week
- I think my favorite moment was Simone’s experience segment in the beginning of the episode. It was sort of ridiculous to hear her talking about going to the bathroom in the ocean and how she’s not very into the wilderness, especially because she signed up for this, but it was all kind of interesting too. It explained her non-existent edit in the first episode and foreshadowed her exit really well. I like reading the edits of the episode, so I appreciated the heavy foreshadowing and general snark from the producers in showing us why they didn’t show her before and why she won’t be around later anyway.