Unlikable characters and reality TV

Survivor has started up again, and they’ve stripped down a few of the gimmicks. No more Redemption Island, no more returning players. Just a fresh batch and a little twist with the camps being close to each other. I didn’t love or hate the Redemption Island thing, and I did hate bringing back players constantly, so in theory this is exactly what I’ve been asking for.

In theory! But the casting director, or whatever role that would be in a reality TV show, filled this season with unlikable people. Almost every single person fulfills some kind of terrible gender stereotype, which is only accented by the conceit that the camps are separated by sex. You have the meat-head dude-bros and a crazy old man on the male side, and you have women acting catty and weak-willed on the female side. Neither is doing a service to their gender.

Then you have Colton in the middle, a proudly out gay man who feels uncomfortable in the men’s camp. I can sympathize, but it’s still a game. His forays to the women’s camp are probably sincere, but he just comes off as whiny and prissy. So there’s another stereotype down.

I know part of the point of reality TV is that you never know how people will act, so I can’t really blame the Survivor crew for this group being such a bunch of duds. Still, you’d think that among this many contestants, at least one of them would be a nice foil for the audience. Monica and Leif are okay, I guess? I’m really reaching here. Maybe the most likable person was Kourtney Moon (yes seriously), who broke her hand and left after about five minutes. She might have been just as terrible as the rest of them, but at least with ignorance I can pretend that someone on the show had redeeming qualities.

Amazing Race started on Sunday too, and I’m not really clicking with any of the couples on that show. That’s really the greater shame, since Amazing Race tends to have nice dynamic personalities and we see them interacting with someone they already know and (presumably) care about. This is why Jeff Cannata needs to get on that show.

That said, comic books!

Superman #6 – Man, was this issue ever rough. So much talking, so much expository dialogue, so constantly on-the-nose. The art was still decent, I suppose, but it has no personality. It’s just serviceable, which is really the problem of the entire comic. They’re changing up creative teams for issue #7, and I have to think that seeing this story arc played a role in that. I might give #7 a chance — and that’s a big might that depends on how heavy the week is otherwise.

Flash #6 – I realized today that I’m of two minds about Flash. I love the art, the paneling, the characters, and the dialogue; but for whatever reason, I just don’t care about the story. The dialogue delivers that story well, don’t get me wrong, but it’s just not that interesting. I thought that was because I didn’t care about Mob Rule, but this week they brought in Captain Cold and I still didn’t care. Regardless, it’s staying on my list.

Ultimate Spider-Man #7 – This time I knew about the art change, so it was a little less jarring. It still looks wonky in spots, but the writing in this issue was as strong as ever. Miles had a few fun awkward moments with his family, a nice action scene, and we got further in the larger plot of Prowler very quickly catching onto him. Great all around, even if I still miss the old art.

Batman & Robin #6 – This is coming a bit late, since my comic shop had its copies damaged. Great all around, from the art to the writing to the overarching plot. The arc isn’t quite resolved yet, but the biggest driving question has been resolved in a really clever classic Batman reversal. That might let some of the wind out of the sails for the final resolution, which I presume comes next issue. But as an issue in itself, absolutely fantastic. Also, the front cover is a flat-out filthy lie. Comic covers usually exaggerate in some way, but this one has nothing to do whatsoever with the content. Sort of an odd choice.

  • I remain mostly uninterested in Kid Icarus: Uprising, but the weapon customization sounds pretty cool. If it gets good reviews, I might jump on it.
  • I have to wonder what pulling this app did to its advertising tie in with Act of Valor. The movie is coming out this week, and they pulled the app this week. That can’t be good.
  • I haven’t played the first Amnesia, but the concept for its semi-sequel sounds appropriately spooky.
  • I’m on board with a Simpsons F2P game. Some people have said it’s already out, at least in some areas, so I’m checking periodically. Speaking of which, where’s my Dominion app?
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