Survivor has come a long way since its early days of “outwit, outplay, outlast”. The recently completed Season 23 featured a winning tribe that played for “honor” “honesty” and “integrity” and was often seen praying to God.
One character in particular, Brandon, brought the theme of God front and center as he personally wrestled his demons (and family reputation – his uncle, Russell, was one of the biggest “villains” in Survivor history) to play the game of Survivor without lying, cheating and conniving: To prove one can be loyal and honest and make it to the end.
Another fan favorite, Ozzy, conquered everyone who passed through Redemption Island and while he didn’t win the game, he ultimately won the popular (fan) vote. In the finale reunion show, he summed it up this way: “We’ve been talking about God a lot. And this is where I find God… I absolutely am in awe of the world we live in… it’s the closest I’ve ever felt that I’ve ever been able to have a conversation with God.” And why didn’t he, then, win the million dollars? Because Ozzy knows that had he won the million, he probably would just kick back on an island somewhere and not have to work ever again — and his best work is yet to come (fortunately, the $100,000 “fan favorite” money is just enough to help support him while he makes a difference!).
The best reality shows teach us about personal and social dynamics, and that’s why the good ones are favorites of RebootTheMedia.
What’s next in the transformation of this game? Next season ups the allegory further with Survivor: One World — where two tribes will compete against each other while living together on the same island where “they’ll have to decide whether to share their resources or leave the other tribe to fend for themselves.”
Sounds like lot like the world we live in now.