Thursday nights are a trying experience for those who wish to stay home and watch television. Should they watch a show about people who live in an imaginary world where everyone is good looking; or should they watch a show about real people brought down to one of their most basic instincts, survival? In more simple terms, people debate over whether to watch Friends or Survivor.
“Survivor” seems to be the chosen show as seen with the ratings. According to last week’s prime time Nielsen Ratings, Survivor beat Friends, with the show being viewed in about 17.5 million homes. Between 14.2 and 14.5 million homes watched Friends.
It could be that people enjoy watching real people in real situations. As Joe Soler, a graduate urban education student said, “It’s the same as the Jerry Springer phenomenon. Because we don’t behave like that, and do what those people do, it makes us feel good about ourselves.” Soler watches Charmed instead. “[Survivor] just doesn’t interest me. I don’t like seeing people living out to be greedy. Especially when it’s real.”
Temple students don’t seem to be in the majority about liking this reality based show. Ellen Rebstock, a junior studying secondary education English said she watched last season’s Survivor, but doesn’t think she will watch this one.
“It seems different and unoriginal,” she said. “It’s not for the fun of the game, but for selfish reasons now.”
Alinda Ruhinda, a junior journalism student prefers watching Friends on Thursday nights. “[Survivor] doesn’t appeal to me.”
Despite Temple students not having much of a penchant for it, Survivor does have a lot of appeal. Survivor was first shown last summer, as an attempt by CBS to catch up with the virtual reality shows that seemed to have followed after ABC’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” Its success caught on as fast as a bush-fire (no pun intended), and television programming during the summer gained a new appeal.
Set in the Australian Outback this season, the contestants are placed in two groups-Ogakor and Kucha-who compete against each other to win immunity. With immunity in hand, a team won’t have to vote a member out of their group. The member who survives the voting and the Outback, returns home with a million dollars.
Richard Hatch, also known as the fat naked guy, walked away with the cool million last year, after outwitting, outlasting and outplaying the other members with his strategic alliances and Machiavellian moves.
The rest of the Survivor cast has gone onto their fifteen minutes of fame. Colleen Haskell, the cute college student stars in a commercial for a lip protection product and was a guest-host on CBS’ pre-game show for Super Bowl XXXV. Greg Buis, who was usually seen talking in coconut phones, has been signed up by a modeling agency. Hatch was also on People magazine’s Most Intriguing People 2000 list.
At least there is hope for Kel Gleason (the intelligence officer who was voted out by the Ogakor tribe two shows ago) with his exotic looks, he may end up being the winner by grabbing a modeling contract that may come his way.