Thursday, September 14, 2006

Survivor: Race Wars

What could cause the NY City Council and the NAACP to be up in arms over racial issues and even demand the withdrawal of a TV program? It’s Survivor: Cook Islands, where the producers divided the teams by race and ethnicity. Yes, this is the biggest problem facing minorities in America, a reality show. My guess is that most of these grandstanding pols and activists have never seen the show, but that isn’t going to stop them from shooting their mouths off. Jeff Probst was interviewed by Joe Scarborough last night and said the reason they tried this is that they get very few non-white applicants to be on the show and that lack of diversity in the cast has caused low ratings among blacks and Latinos. They hope that this will give them a rooting interest and that by expanding the audience among young minorities, they will also get more applicants from those groups. Once again, this demonstrates that the only color that matters in Hollywood is green.
But many of us have been left out of this grand experiment. Why don’t I get a Jewish team to root for? Seriously, all white people aren’t alike. What do I have in common with a truck driver from Alabama, or hunting guide from Montana? I’m sure the producers thought about the concept, but envisaged nothing but trouble from Team Hebrew.
(Note: the following contains many ethnic stereotypes – if this offends you, stop reading now. Really. Stop. Don’t even read the first sentence. I’m not kidding.)

Day One: Team Hebrew tries to hire locals to build their shelter. When the producers tell them it’s against the rules, they demand to see the rule – in writing – or they will sue. Unfortunately, having nothing that passes for currency, and finding the natives unwilling to accept a promissory note, the team is forced to build their own shelter.

Day Two: After 24 hours of bickering over the design and location of the shelter, construction begins.

Day Three: Construction on the shelter finally ends with a new appreciation for the use of tools.

First Reward Challenge: When they find that running and jumping are involved, they threaten to sue because the black and Latino teams have an advantage, which they need to overcome with a head start. The Asian team agrees with them, but will not join in the suit, instead promising to work longer and harder to catch up. Half the white team threatens to kick the crap out of the Jewish team if they don’t stop whining. A protest is filed, which the producers agree to consider at a later date.

First Immunity Challenge: When half the team refuses to participate in the eating of bugs and insects because they aren’t kosher (the other half threatens to sue if the first half is made to eat them), the challenge is switched to walking across a patch of hot sand filled with broken seashells in bare feet, The Jewish team’s mothers plotz when they see this.

Day Five: Several of the team members are constipated from the constant diet of rice. Two of the team members threaten to sue if fresh fruit is not provided. They settle for laxatives.

Second Reward Challenge: A puzzle-solving challenge results in a fierce battle between the Jewish team and the Asian team. Things get heated as they taunt each other with their SAT scores. The Jewish team offers to split the reward if the Asian team agrees to join them in their next legal challenge. A compromise is reached and everyone is happy except the producers.

Second Immunity Challenge: Start of swimming challenge is delayed because the team ate less than half an hour ago and refuses to go in the ocean that soon after eating.

Day Seven: Jeff Probst has a nervous breakdown and the teams are split up and re-organized.

Now wouldn’t that be a fun show to watch?


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