BIRTHDAYS AND WHY SURVIVOR PHILS. MIGHT NOT WORK FOR US
I’ve never really had a more blissful birthday than the day I turned 23. It’s not so much the idea of having to celebrate it simply. It’s because I felt that I’ve become a much more different person (for the better?), as inspired by my sheer desire to change the moment I turned a year older.
PS: To all the people who sent their birthday greetings before, during and after my birthday, I could never fully express my appreciation for all of you. Some of you even surprised me. That alone makes the day even more special than I ever thought it would be. Merci.
While I was rummaging the Internet for some Survivor Gabon updates, the country’s own version of the reality TV show come to mind (BTW, when will it officially air? Anyone?) Now, I’m not exactly all flaps about the local version even though I’m a super fan of the American show. But I think that there are factors why Survivor Philippines might fail to be as fun and as exciting as its predecessor.
Here are my matter-of-fact reasons:
1. Pinoys are ultra sensitive.
Survivor is about outwitting, outplaying and outlasting fellow castaways in the game. Yes, it’s also about magically making the most of life in a deserted island, since there’ll be no food or any other form of luxury out there. For this part, I think Pinoys can stand the test of time. We are, after all, one of the most tried and tested nationalities in the world.
But the other side of the game is what I am cynic about. The game is basically screwing each other in the end to win. Dealing with strangers is one thing. Betraying them is another.
Judging by the common Pinoy’s emotional threshold, I don’t think most of them can handle a game like Survivor, especially when emotions usually run high in the latter part of the show. Of course, friendships naturally form in the process and we as a people usually give utmost importance to that. We’d dodge a bullet for a friend, even give up a lot of money for them. Too much righteousness , gullibility and trust can be the boon of any Filipino survivor, IMHO. Moreover, most Pinoys take high regard of utang na loob and palabra de honor so it’s gonna be hard to overcome all these moral standards, and get by in the wilderness at the same time.
Lying, cheating and stabbing each other in the back are a norm in Survivor. The Pinoy moral compass shall be seriously conflicted. I don’t think Pinoys can understand the phrase, “it’s all part of the game” when they prioritize maintaining friendships along the way. And once you lied in the game, even if it’s the smartest thing to do strategy-wise, you’ll be branded a liar forever in Philippine society. And that’ll be harder to overcome.
Hey, I still hope I’m wrong about this.
2. Majority of Pinoys still squirm at the sight of nudity.
Part of the game is having a strategy to take yourself at least in the Final Four. So, everyone should be good at people dynamics and politics as a whole. Most men and women, who have the resources to be “visually stimulating,” usually do certain things to flaunt them so these resources can work to their advantage. The American castaways definitely succeeded in that (especially when there’s peanut butter and chocolate at stake. LOL) and even condoned such acts because it’s entertaining. For them, that is. However, in our local version, a little implication of any nudity or sexual display would leave MTRCB people and other conservatists up on their heels.
And then we’ll say, “here we go again…”
3. Too much drama.
I’m sure Filipinos would play the “poverty” card given that most people (including their American counterparts) all play to win the pot money. I don’t have anything against that. I just hope that it wouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of the show, focusing on people’s needs as to who deserves to win rather than analyzing each other’s gameplay to make it to the top.
Like any Survivor installments, the show should focus on the game itself. How strangers, from different walks of life, survive with each other, create relationships and eventually fight with each other to claim the million bucks.A little drama won’t hurt, but please, not all the time!
Heck, even ex-NFL quarterbacks, a rocket scientist, an astronaut, a marketing executive and a swimsuit model survived without getting voted out early just because they are a little bit better on the financial side.
Or, a hearing-impaired contestant and people with prosthetic legs made it further than any other “normal” people in the game. Not because they are at a disadvantage so they’re playing the sympathy card, but because they either aligned with the right people or performed well in challenges.
Hence, all is fair in love, war and Survivor.
4. An episode a day keeps the audience away.
What’s good about weekly Survivor servings is that there’s room for anticipation. Airing Survivor Philippines on a daily basis (obviously) only means GMA 7 is a ratings monger and I don’t know if they could really draw the line between what is good and what sells. Goodluck!
5. Love stories in Pinoy reality TV are blech.
Oh. Please. No more love angles.
6. Jeff Probst = Survivor.
I have nothing against Paolo Bediones. But there’s only one Survivor host in my book. No one can smell controversy and tribal conflicts better than Probst. He can turn things around if he wants to.
If it were any other shows, Paolo might do justice. But this is not the Miss Universe beauty pageant or some cheesy game show after all.
The only advantage Pinoys have in Survivor is that they can EAT anything. Grubs, worms, spiders, you name it. Nobody can stand in the way of a hungry Pinoy, that’s for sure.