If you have any gripes about reality TV, blame Survivor. In 2000, the show popularized the genre that turned “real people” into television stars. The concept behind Survivor was revolutionary: take a group of unknown amateurs, drop them onto a deserted island and offer $1 million to whoever is able to both mentally and physically best all competitors. It was obvious that the concept was a viable one: the first-season finale garnered 51.7 million viewers. So CBS, of course, repeated it, twice a year, for 10 years. But 20 seasons later, the concept that once felt so original and fresh now seems stale. After all, once you’ve seen Amber and Rob get engaged, been confronted with naked Richard and witnessed Team Pagong noshing on a rat, what else is there? Besides, haven’t they run out of deserted islands by now?
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