Australian Survivor - series review

Brekkie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#1
Thought it best to leave the finale thread to the finale and just share my general views here.

This is the first Survivor series I've watched in full since the UK ended it's two series run back in 2002, although of course it's not a format any reality TV fan is completely unfamilar with, so I wasn't going in completely cold. The US version has never really appealed though - partly because of Jeff Probst, partly because they're Americans, but I knew the Aussies would be far more watchable. I didn't realise just how great a show it would be though.

On the whole it's been a great cast - it's fantastic they weren't afraid to cast the superfans as sometimes it's tempting to go for a cast who don't really know the format in an effort to recreate the purity of earlier seasons, but I think they got the mix spot on. The beauty of Survivor, compared to a popularity contest like Big Brother, is you can appreciate those you don't like when they make moves that you respect - I think many of us changed our opinion of Flick when she flipped on Brooke. Similarly though those doing well can lose viewer support - Lee was probably quite popular for the first half of the series but as he dominated I think we all (except loyal sweepstake supporters of course) wanted him to go. I'm glad though that he made it to the end and the winner had to beat one of the best physical players at least to take the title.

I think we're all in agreement pretty much on the show falling a bit in the middle with Vavals losing streak, whilst I still think the problems there all began with the fake tribal council double swap. Both are somewhat linked to Ten needing to get as many episodes out of the format as possible, but I think they just about got away with it, and airing 2-3 episodes a week was the right strategy. In the end a 55 day series aired over 65 days so it was almost real time, compared to the US version which airs 39 days over 91 days.

Really happy that Ten have recommissioned it and I think the few problems there were with this series are actually a good thing - it really does give them something to work on moving forward. Address them and there is every potential for the next series to be better.


P.S. One last thing, and probably the most important, is how this series has given new life to this place. It's been an absolute pleasure discussing the episodes with you, even if for me that just means joining in about 10 hours after the event.
 

Meglos

HAVE A NECTARINE, GONK
#2
I think it was a brilliant series. Yes, it had flaws, but on the whole it was never less than entertaining. They really did pull out all the stop with the visuals, it was the equal to the best of the US series visually.

The casting was very strong in most regards, with the right mix of "villains" and "good guys", though in the end no one was totally one or the other. There were a few wasted opportunities - I can't for the life of me see why El was there. Possibly her job in the army made them think she would be tough and interesting, but it didn't come across on screen.

Many of the other cast members had potential that was wasted by an early exit. Des would have shaken things up. Kat would have annoyed everyone. Andrew might have made the big moves he talked himself up about. Phoebe would have played hard tril the end. Craig, Conner and Kate were screwed by the early tribe swap, as was Nick, who should have been safe with the numbers, but was deemed untrustworthy for something he didn't really do.

The middle section was painful to watch, with the alliance (wasn't it about nine people at some stage?) led by the "mean girls" picking off all of the likable and strong individual players. Things improved when Jennah-Louise made her move, proving she wasn't merely a silent enabler but someone who was biding her time until she had the opportunity to expose them.

The final quarter of the show dragged due to the couple edit. It was frustrating as a viewer to watch people who had no Survivor knowledge (Lee, El, Sam) plod along on the false premise that they deserved to be there because they were the good guys. Thankfully Kristie shook everything up, though she she left her big move dangerously late, and it really was a miracle that she pulled it off.

In summary, it was an exceptionally good start for the TEN rebranding, and brought a new energy to the forum which was more enjoyable than anything in years. Thanks to everyone who contributed, we have such a great community here. Looking forward to next season!
 

Brekkie

Well-Known Member
Staff member
#3
Just picking up your point about Kat it was interesting how El, Lee and Kristie had nothing but nice things to say about her in the opening of tonights show despite seemingly trying to get her voted off at every tribal until she went. That is though the beauty of this game - the game is the game and on the whole it can stay in the game.
 

timmydownawell

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#4
Nice review @Brekkie and spot on.

One last thing, and probably the most important, is how this series has given new life to this place. It's been an absolute pleasure discussing the episodes with you
I touched on this in one of the other threads. It's been great to have a show to bring us together and get excited about. Great enthusiasm from all who contributed. Was definitely fun.
 
#5
I was so pleasantly surprised by this season. It exceeded all of my expectations, and for once, I backed a player who actually won! The production was outstanding, the challenges were for the most part well-designed, Jonathan came into his own as a worthy host, and there were a lot of memorable players, going back as far as Evan.

All hail Queen Kristie.
 

Mr Stickyfingers

an old fart that rants at times...
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#10
Really happy that Ten have recommissioned it and I think the few problems there were with this series are actually a good thing - it really does give them something to work on moving forward. Address them and there is every potential for the next series to be better.

P.S. One last thing, and probably the most important, is how this series has given new life to this place. It's been an absolute pleasure discussing the episodes with you, even if for me that just means joining in about 10 hours after the event.
Nice review @Brekkie and spot on.

I touched on this in one of the other threads. It's been great to have a show to bring us together and get excited about. Great enthusiasm from all who contributed. Was definitely fun.
...both of you are so spot on about the 'camaraderie' that this show gave to all of us during it's run... it brought so many of us together after such a hullaballoo earlier in the year with all of those bans etc... these forums needed something like this show to do that for us... and hasn't it done it well?... the atmosphere within the threads of this show hearkened back to when Big Brother was in full force when I first joined the website in 2012... it was such a great vibe at that time for me at least... this show recaptured that for me...it had that same kind of vibe (hence my flurry of so many Photoshops :shy::redface::sorry:) lol!... but yeah!... what a fantastic show and what a fantastic effect upon us all... well done Channel 10!...
...cheers.
 

Rose711

Australian Survivor- Best Survivor Ever
Awesome site donor
#13
I'm very attached to this forum and would gladly watch and discuss any Australian or other show you guys want. I would even watch The Block for you, if that is the show you picked.

I'm a huge fan of the show and admit I was extremely frustrated with the production flubs that marred the late pre - merge. I've watched a lot of Survivor and I've never seen anyone play as well as Phoebe, under pressure, for a series of tribal councils. For her play alone, this season was great. The photography was fantastic. JLP was a solid host in a tough and almost thankless role being compared to Jeff. The cast was overall pretty good, but I think the extreme length of the season pushed some of them into passivity. Favorites include: Kristie, Phoebe, Flick, Craig and Sue and Des for being characters.

I admit that if Lee or El had won, and it came down to Lee stumbling in a grueling immunity challenge, I would not have such a great feeling about the season right now. I hope I never have to hear about mateship again. It was a huge cultural struggle for me to follow and to understand how Australians might view what I was seeing.

At the end of the day, the hypocrisy of Lee was exposed and that was delicious. I'm really proud of the jury, they did their job well and were not too bitter. That Kyrstie won by so many votes was a huge message about what the jurors valued.

At the same time, taking away the hypocrisy of Lee, which I truly think was based on his complete ignorance of the game, he deserves credit. He formed alliances and saved his girl in the tribe swap, he kept people on his side for the whole game and fought incredibly hard. He was a completely deserving finalist.

All in all, great job Australia. I think the entire world of English speaking Survivor fans stood up and took notice of the show. Not only did Rob and Stephen podcast about it, the show was mentioned and covered in other well known American Survivor podcasts. I think the length of the season dissuaded more podcasts from covering it weekly. Being covered by these podcasts is just an indication of the impact the show has had. As far as I know, none of these podcasts have covered or even mentioned any other countries Survivor. The buzz around the show is very positive and I know people are looking forward to next season!!! I expect next season to be even more competitive- with fewer people like Sam who know nothing about the show and just want to be actors.
 
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timmydownawell

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#15
I'm very attached to this forum and would gladly watch and discuss any Australian or other show you guys want. I would even watch The Block for you, if that is the show you picked.
Let's not go completely crazy!

New Zealand has its own inaugural season of Survivor coming up. It's not likely to air in Australia, so I don't know how many people here will watch it. But it could be good for a laugh. Air date has not yet been confirmed, and it may even be held off until next year at this rate, seeing as it's practically November already.
 

Mr Stickyfingers

an old fart that rants at times...
Awesome site donor
#16
I hope I never have to hear about mateship again. It was a huge cultural struggle for me to follow and to understand how Australians might view what I was seeing.
...haha!... sometimes I forget that their are such cultural differences between the USA and Australia... that 'mateship' thing is firmly instilled in most Australians I have to say... when my parents emmigrated to Australia dragging us kids kicking and screaming behind them because we didn't want to come here I found it very hard as a 14 year old to get used to Aussies being like that... in fact... when the Aussie kids kept shit-stirring me I used to beat them up... it's only when one of them eventually took me aside and whispered to me that when Aussies pick on you it's because they actually 'LIKE' you!... hahaha!... I was shocked to say the least... he said that if they didn't pick on you they hated you... it took me a while to get used to that...

... in the East End slums of London where I lived at the time... if anyone shit-stirred you you'd 'nut them'!... (beat the crap out of them) so when they did it here of course... it meant a totally different thing lol!... Rose711... these Aussies are a funny lot but you can't help but love them lol!...

...actually... Aussies call us English immigrants 'Pom's or 'Pommies'... (after the convicts that colonised here in the first place... Prisoners Of Mother England methinks!)... and my sweet darling wife is English too... we've both been here for going on 50 and 60 years respectively and we like to call ourselves 'Possies'... (pommy-aussies)... lol!... as I said... the Aussies are a funny lot but we love them anyway!... so I do understand as to why that 'mateship' thing throws you at times l0l!... cheers.
 

timmydownawell

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#17
Also I think being on Survivor would be a bit like going on a really cool camping adventure where you might even win $500,000, so there's all the excitement and camaraderie you would expect. It's just the Aussie way to bond with the people you're with. Maybe Americans are just more reserved? Or competitive?

I wish I could find the scene from Channel Nine's Survivor from 2002, where (I think it was) Katie had the mother of all meltdowns at final 3(?) when her alliance turned on her at the final crucial stage. She absolutely lost it. It was actually difficult to watch. That whole season used to be on Youtube but I can only find a couple of episodes now.
 

Meglos

HAVE A NECTARINE, GONK
#18
Also I think being on Survivor would be a bit like going on a really cool camping adventure where you might even win $500,000, so there's all the excitement and camaraderie you would expect. It's just the Aussie way to bond with the people you're with. Maybe Americans are just more reserved? Or competitive?

I wish I could find the scene from Channel Nine's Survivor from 2002, where (I think it was) Katie had the mother of all meltdowns at final 3(?) when her alliance turned on her at the final crucial stage. She absolutely lost it. It was actually difficult to watch. That whole season used to be on Youtube but I can only find a couple of episodes now.
I remember that! Katie melted down so dramatically that it actually seemed like the series would come to a dead stop there and then! It was so unlike anything that would happen in the US version, where if an individual had a meltdown (like Janu who voted herself out) it was glossed over fairly quickly.
 

timmydownawell

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#19
I remember that! Katie melted down so dramatically that it actually seemed like the series would come to a dead stop there and then!
Found it! Skip to about 35:30 for the action..


I think that Youtube account has the whole season, if anyone's interested in Nine's woeful, contractually obligated season.
 

Meglos

HAVE A NECTARINE, GONK
#20
Found it! Skip to about 35:30 for the action..


I think that Youtube account has the whole season, if anyone's interested in Nine's woeful, contractually obligated season.
Thanks! It was pretty woeful. Craig was the only one I really liked. Rob and Katie were good villains I guess, but came across as horrible people. Joel was dreadful too. I have no recollection of that host at all.
 
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