Tuned In

The Morning After: Never Trust Anybody Under 30, or Over 40

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Quick hail-of-bullets-style spoilers for Survivor: Nicaragua coming up:

* For a Survivor installment built around a high-concept gimmick, Survivor: Youngs Vs. Olds is not, so far, terribly interesting for that gimmick. This may be because the producers decided to crowd that gimmick with at least two others.

*The first was casting the most recognizable real-world celebrity Survivor has ever featured, NFL coach Jimmy Johnson. And while the episode may not have confirmed my worst fears—that it would simply become the Jimmy Johnson show—it came close enough, with talk after talk about what it was like to be playing Jimmy Johnson, what it was like to be Jimmy Johnson, &c. Now, I’m not a football fan, so it may be that for someone more steeped in the sport, there’s a “Wow, that’s actually Jimmy Johnson on Survivor” aspect that makes it irresistable; if so, please let me know.

* The other gimmick, the introduction of a “medallion of power,” is more promising, the stupid name not withstanding. Granted, it hasn’t been used yet, but the fact that it looms out there—and the complication that any team using it for advantage in a challenge must give it to the opposition for use in the next challenge—complicates the game nicely. The question: how does the medallion work after a merge?

* As for the generational challenge itself, I had thought it might be more productive. There are often differences in how younger and older people play the game—older people are often targeted early for physical weakness, while the youngest players tend to do themselves in on the mental/social game—but here the two tribes didn’t seem different enough in style to be interesting. There was the occasional line that has generational overtones, as when Brenda criticized the Olds for hanging on to the medallion: “Why are you thinking about tomorrow, the next day, when you’re playing right now?” This is why we have a massive debt, people! Ugh. Kids today. I need my Metamucil.