I hate to admit this but I've not been a Survivor fan. To me the idea of watching contestants match wits (and I use the term "wits" in the most optimistic of ways) while trying to survive on a beautiful island just isn't as exciting as it could be. Here's my plug for having a Survivor: Alaska Edition (are you out there CBS??)
1. I’m tired of the tropics. Figi, China Sea, Panama, it’s just one beautiful beach after another. Nothing but sand, sand, sand and palm trees with an occasional glorious sunset. The venues are starting to run together and I’m beginning to suspect the show isn’t held on an island at all but in a very large New Zealand back lot with Oompa Loompas as key grips. Let’s have some real mountains and mud flats for a change. All the talk of ANWR in the news and the time is ripe for a little down-to-earth living off the land and a chance for the rest of the world to see what Alaska's really like.
2. Anyone can survive the tropics--just ask Tom Hanks—but it takes a real survivor to make it through cold, wind, rain, bears, moose, glaciers and killer whales. Survivor in Tahiti is just one step away from a country club.
3. The tiki torches and thatched lean-tos are growing tiresome, it’s starting to feel more like The Tiki Room at Disneyland than a legitimate survival adventure.
4. I want some new gear for the participants. I’d like to see them try to wear those tube tops in the snow—or else they’d have to come up with a way to make them out of Gortex and to make the bandannas out of those silver space blankets. Maybe with some fur edging . . .
5. In fact the show could do with a little hypothermia. Now THAT would be something. Of course, there’s enough sad attempts to generate heat as it is . . . on second thought maybe you wouldn’t want the cast huddling together any more than they already are, it would just be over the top with salaciousness.
6. But Survivor in Alaska would mean some Serious Survival. None of this collecting fallen coconuts and spear fishing little fish off the reef. Let’s see somebody catch a salmon with their bare hands in a glacial stream and harvest dandelions and low-bush cranberries for dinner. Maybe even skin a caribou. I’d watch that.
7. I’d like to see some immunity challenges that are more challenging. Fighting a polar bear. Yea, that would be worthy of prime time. Put the tribes together with a couple of polar bears and see who would win immunity. I’m guessing it’ll be the bear.
8. But an episode in Alaska would mean action from the very start. In fact, if they held it here and had everyone jump off the boat and swim for shore at the beginning, only about 50% would make it to shore before they either froze or were carried away by the 25-foot tides. Talk about your drama. It would be more like Titanic and less like Gilligan’s Island meets Falcon Crest.
9. Survivor Alaska would be extra cool because the tribe names would be too hard to pronounce. Just picture the Kwigillingok Tribe facing off against the Tuntutuliak Tribe. I’d like to see a network exec wrap their tongue around those words.
10. A vote for Survivor Alaska would mean a vote for seeing hair dressers from San Bernardino, baristas from Seattle and bond traders from East Hampton eating fish ice cream and muk tuk. Fish ice cream—and this is for real—is a traditional Native Alaskan dish of whipped caribou fat mixed with berries, fish and sugar and muk tuk is raw whale blubber—sometimes fermented and also quite traditional. I think. I’ve never got close enough to verify this information. But wouldn’t that be entertaining?
11. Survivor Alaska would open the doors for all kinds of other interesting venues. Just think, they could follow it up with a Survivor Baghdad, a Survivor Sudan or even Survivor Bangladesh. I hear it’s harder to stay alive there than in The Caymans.
12. Survivor Alaska would also mean you could have regular people as contestants, not glamour girls trying for their big break into acting. With all the clothes they’d have to wear you’d hardly be able to tell if they were thin or fat, ugly or pretty. In fact, a little meat on the bones would probably be a benefit—better insulation.
13. Forget voting someone off the island, I want to see someone get voted off the ice floe.
Have you entered this month's Write-Away Contest? The theme is traditions.
Technorati tags: Thursday Thirteen, Alaska, Survivor, CBS