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Old 02-13-2020, 09:52 PM   #1
TMC
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Join Date: Jan 09, 2001
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Default In Survivor: Winners at War, it doesn't feel like Jeff Probst is shoving a theme down

https://tv.avclub.com/winners-go-to-...tar-1841653719

Last week, Survivor showed a 20-year anniversary retrospective highlighting "great" moments that, in retrospect, reveal the fault lines in the show’s format, says Myles McNutt. "Individually, these moments were frustrating, but brought together they are a damning case against how Survivor has muddied its gameplay and sacrificed something in the process; and yet, to the producers, they’re 'great moments.'" The retrospective coming on the heels of the very problematic Season 39 didn't offer much hope for Season 40. Yet the Survivor: Winners at War premiere made you forget Survivor's past problems, says McNutt. "Every one of the show’s All-Stars seasons has a certain thrill attached to it, but the components here are operating on a different level immediately," he says. "I think the central reason is that unlike most seasons, it doesn’t feel like Jeff Probst is shoving a theme down our throat: the winners theme speaks for itself, and there is less of an effort to try to force returning players into either a tribal theme (like Heroes vs. Villains) or an individual theme (the wonky Game Changers). Each person won a different game, for different reasons, and comes into Winners at War with a different set of goals. Not everyone’s built-in narrative is equally interesting (see: Ben, although we’ll get to that later), but there is enough variety that there’s a degree of sensory overload. But because the game mostly eschews traditional introductions, the premiere felt like it had the space to give us the stories we needed, and to reinvest us in a fairly wide variety of players in just a two-hour window."

ALSO:

Survivor: Winners at War debuts up 6% over last season's premiere

About 6.7 million total viewers watched the Season 40 premiere of the long-running CBS reality show.

Survivor: Winners at War is the show's first all-star season where everybody is playing at a high level

"There was subtle gameplay, loud gameplay, and everything in between—but very little bad gameplay," says Riley McAtee of the Season 40 premiere. "There’s just nothing else like this: Winners at War is like the NBA All-Star Game, only if the All-Star Game could include past legends and all the players actually cared. Even the quick exits of Natalie and Amber had little to do with their skill at the game. They played like former winners, but this season—quickly shaping up to be the most challenging season of Survivor ever—everyone’s a winner. And someone had to go home first."

Last edited by TMC; 02-14-2020 at 02:40 AM.
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