YOU WANNA KNOW WHAT YOU'RE PLAYING FOR? THE RIGHT TO BE PUNISHED FOR WINNING, THAT'S WHAT: A couple of quick thoughts on some more of the Thursday TV:
First, utterly infuriating Survivor. I'm all for rule changes that surprise the contestants and stave off Pagongings -- Paradise Hotel was one of the greatest reality shows, in large part because the producers changed the rules just to screw with the contestants heads -- but the gimmick in last night's episode, where each team chose two members from the other to join their tribe, was just bad. There was one strategic implication to the switch, and how it played out depended upon whether both tribes, the stronger tribe, the weaker tribe, or neither tribe figured it out. Of those four possibilities, none could make the game or the show more interesting, and three would make it less interesting, in the following ways: (1) accelerated Pagonging (strong team figures it out); (2) a standstill involving mutual efforts to lose immunity (both teams figure it out); and (3) punishment of the strongest players from the strongest team, with no possibility of redemption (weaker team figures it out). As a viewer who tends to like the most athletic, competent, and good-natured players, I think the worst possible result was (3), and that's what we got. I hope the other team realizes what's happening before the next immunity challenge and the show is repaid for its stupidity with the equivalent of a sit-down strike.
Second, a spoonful of 30 Rock sugar certainly makes the bitter Survivor medicine go down smoother. As usual, too many great gags to repeat, but I'll mention my favorite: Jack Donaghy mentioning that his cousin Tim fixes NBA games.