Monday, May 10, 2004

a sharp intake of monday

we had dinner with a friend last night, so i had to tape the big 3 hour SURVIVOR finale... but then i didn't want to come to work monday and have it all spoiled for me (though it was fairly obvious what the outcome was going to be), so i decided to stay up way past my bedtime and watch the long, drawn-out ending. i was just going to watch it till i found out who won, but then i needed to keep watching till i found out what their precious friggin "twist" was. they teased you with it so much, i was expecting host jeff probst to announce that he was a ghost, or that one of the survivors was about to be publicly hanged, or that mark burnett is the leader of an alien colonizing expedition and that the human race was a commercial break away from utter enslavement.

suffice it to say, the twist is that Malice is totally sleep deprived and clocked in at work 10 minutes late this bitter monday mourning...

SURVIVOR. for all of you non-watchers (and i know that's most of you), i swear this is my last Survivor related entry, at least until Thursday or Friday... and then i'll hang it up till the new season starts, or until i can't hold it in any longer...

watching the finale, i was thinking about why i find the show both brilliant and excruciating, sometimes alternately, sometimes simultaneously. a few years ago, i was a member of this asian american performance group. (let's call it "peeling".) i was in it for a bit over a year. there were some highs and there were some unfathomable lows. i don't think there were ever any malicious intentions on behalf of the people organizing the group or trying to keep it together (myself included), but you know what they say about the road to hell...

anyway, after the run of any show we executed, we'd have what was called a "check-out". everyone who participated would gather round in a circle and we'd go around and *decompress*. this would take on varying formats, depending on who was leading the check out process, but usually it was some variation on "what did you like about how this show went down?, what did you *not* like...?" with the really bad shows, it was like prying open pandora's box.

watching the SURVIVOR tribal councils is like watching really tense "check-outs" each week. each check-out leading to the finale getting progressively rougher until you are literally in an arena filled to capacity with rabid SURVIVOR (and presumably WWF) fanatics, cheering and booing their favorite and their hated *characters*, screaming for blood and sex and unattainable catharsis. jeff probst poking and prodding the "players" till the audience/producers get something close to what they need. it is gut-wrenching, particularly knowing that these "characters" that the audience loathes and adores are real people who have been edited and otherwise manipulated into good/evil characters by the showmakers. what a queasy night of sleep i had.

congratulations to Shii Ann (in the unlikely event she's reading this) for winning the car. [but what do you do with a car when you live in nyc? i always imagined if i ever won a car, i'd sell it for the money.]

the end came like clockwork. any drama was further defused by the live marriage proposal before the final vote count. what's the point of counting? it would have been a lot more interesting if they had broken up before this live finale. couldn't the producers have made this happen? for my enjoyment?

(i'll save you the time expense of watching this thursday: rupert's going to get the bonus $1mill.)

sorry for the lengthy post. i think i got most of it out of my system. congratulations to those who read through it all. to those who didn't? get in the ring...!


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