Monday, May 31, 2010

FROM THIS TINY MALAYSIAN FISHING VILLAGE, THESE SIXTEEN AMERICANS ARE BEGINNING THE ADVENTURE OF A LIFETIME: Ten years ago at this moment, Survivor aired for the first time. (Watch it here.) TVTattle has its original coverage up (including David Bianculli's prescient "'Survivor' is the rare sort of TV show, though, that will increase in appeal each week as the stakes get higher, and the word of mouth gets even louder,") and you'll also enjoy Chronological Snobbery's post, which includes a ton of links to topics like "Gervase X" and Sonja Christopher's day-after appearance on The Daily Show, as well as this from his review of episode one:
It's not unlike watching those old black and white silent films from the 1910s, in that you know you are watching something influential and groundbreaking for its time, but its innovations have so much become a part of the culture and improved upon in the mean time that it is almost tedious to watch in its first incarnation.
As a special anniversary treat, Andy Denhart publishes the actual Survivor rules for the first time. It's fascinating.


  1. Eric J9:09 PM

    I remember watching that first episode. I have no idea why I watched, or how I had heard about it, but I was immediately hooked.

    One thing I agree with Bill Simmons on is that they need to up the prize money. On the other hand, I've always been impressed by what people on other shows are willing to do for much less money. (Like my old favorite "Solitary" which I think had a $50,000 prize.)

  2. Heather K9:47 PM

    I remember watching that first episode because my best friend was taking a psych class during summer session to stay on track with her degree after a semester of being really sick.  She was working full time and taking classes and our only hang out time (as besties) was during survivor and into the night, culminating in Loveline with Dr. Drew on MTV.

    She had to watch it for class, and we watched every ep.  And later that summer I taught a satire class where my class of middle schoolers wrote a spoof of it called "Survive the Mall" which seems awfully on the pulse of America for middle schoolers.

  3. D'Arcy9:48 PM

    I missed the first few weeks, but i remember getting into it because my then-fiance (now husband) suggested I watch it.  i remember having friends over to watch the finale, too.  Good times.

  4. Seriously, All-Star can't win $2M? $5M?

  5. The Pathetic Earthling11:39 PM

    Did the Stacey Stillman suit ever resolve itself?

    (Also, part of the creation mythos of ALOTT5MA includes an old email list-serve called QDay, and I think I recall a discussion of Survivor at the casting-call stage.  Am I wrong on that, Adam?)

  6. Joseph J. Finn9:49 AM

    Also, May 31, 1990 was the first airing of Seinfeld.

  7. Marsha1:26 PM

    I didn't start watching until half-way through the first season. I was moving and had cancelled my cable already. All I had to entertain me while packing was whatever TV would come in on the rabbit ears - that was CBS, and survivor. I had no idea what was going on, but boy did they hook me.

  8. bella wilfer2:18 PM

    Should I be embarrassed that I've been fanatically watching the same show for 10 years? 10 years is a long time.  I think Survivor is my most serious long-term relationship. Oh dear.

  9. Marsha3:59 PM

    I'm really glad no one in my family has ever wanted to go on Survivor - I'd never sign that family waiver.