SIXTEEN AMERICANS, MAROONED: To go back and watch the first season of Survivor, as I've been doing with Lucy over the past few weeks, is to watch a radically different show. You may recall that it's much more about the survival/"building a new civilization" stuff than the more overtly strategy-focused show we watch now, but it's more than that.
Some examples: the challenges are all framed as more jaunty competition than meaningful battle, with Probst not even shouting "[X] ... wins immunity!" at the end but more of a quiet congratulatory handshake thereafter. (Heck, Probst doesn't hector the competitors during the challenges at all, there's no come on! dig in!) There's barely any strategy talk shown at camp between the immunity challenge and tribal council, and tribal council isn't the Probst-led interrogation it is today but more of a group therapy session. (Throughout the whole thing, Probst is much more Buddy than Boss.) There's less misdirection as to who's going home because there's barely any direction as to strategy in the first place, though there's frequent Probst voiceovers on the walk to tribal council (itself described as arduous) as to possible at-risk castaways. Indeed, the whole method by which the game's going to be decided isn't even introduced until the ninth episode, when Greg (the second post-merger elimination) is announced as the first member of the jury. It's that different. (Also, Rudy's less lovable the second time, and more of a crotchety dick.)
So here's my question: what season do I show Lucy next? I feel like Australia is good enough (Skupin, Colby, Jerri, beef jerky) to be worth watching, but after that I don't feel like every season is essential. Marquesas, maybe (Boston Rob, purple rock, peeing); Amazon, probably; but I think only Pearl Islands is a pre-All Stars one must-see, with Africa and Thailand being utterly skippable. Thoughts? I'll go tally the votes.