The Survivor Race

For those of you who lost touch, SURVIVOR: COOK ISLANDS premiered this past week. The 13th season of the show is getting press for dividing it’s contestants by race and ethnicity. A friend of mine was assigned to watch the show for a class, and I decided to tag along for the viewing. The verdict: the show is entertaining and funny but slightly awkward to watch. Deemed a “social experiment” like none other, it stays true to reality TV form though. The real gems of the show come from the conflict comes from the personalities producers put on the island. It really doesn’t have much to do with race other than the fact that there are a few racial jokes inserted here and there. The show is contrived and not really that accurate of a social experiment, if it is one at all. It’d be a lot better if they just casted a more diverse group all together.

Survivor is engaging, though. They’ve made it sufficiently different since the first few seasons for people to come back to watching it. But the racial division probably isn’t necessary. It’s more a gimmick to bring back the viewers. I probably will not continue to watch but then again I may feel like rooting for Asians or the Whites and turn it on…
Jeff Yang has a fascinating Asian American perspective on it all.