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Standard operating procedure here is for us to watch Whose Line Is It Anyway? on Thursday nights, after Friends. However, our ABC affiliate decided to air the current incarnation of Billy Graham, so for some unknown reason I watched the second half of last night’s Survivor episode. Why on earth are people still watching this stuff? To me it all looks the same: a bunch of narcissistic TV-star wannabes wandering around some godforsaken place, scrounging for water, complaining about one another, babbling into the camera about how “[Person X] isn’t doing squat to help the team/tribe/group”. They then gather for some kind of inane contest — last night’s involved eating fish that was allowed to go rancid, making me wonder if the contestants had to sign a waiver pledging not to sue CBS if they ended up with food poisoning — after which the losers head to an equally inane ritual with torches, a bonfire, and that Wonder-Bread host quizzing them about how things have gone wrong for them, how they’ll get back together as a team, et cetera. Then we get the montage of people writing names on fake parchment while dramatic music plays, and then Mr. Wonder-Bread reads the votes in an order preselected to heighten the drama, and then the ceremonial extinguishing of the torch, blah blah blah blah….I never cared for Survivor in its first incarnation, with its celebration of sneakiness and smarm in the name of “playing the game”, but at least it was something I hadn’t seen before. Now, having watched exactly one episode of the Australian version, not a single minute of the African version, and only thirty minutes of this incarnation, I can honestly say: It’s time for Survivor to go. Would the last one to leave the island please turn out the lights?

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