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Black/White (This Time With Asian/Latino!)

August 23, 2006

The Bunim/Murray geniuses have come up with yet another way to “shake up” television with “cutting edge” theater. How? Good old fashioned segregation! Yippee! You’ve probably heard, the next tedious “Survivor” series, “Survivor Cook Island,” will divide the participants by race, each group competing against the other in a Battle Royale. Gawker has a link to the interview Probst did on the “Early Show.” Probst states without a sense of irony, that this decision was meant to rectify the Whiteness of previous casts.

Some are skeptical about whether the show will be watchable (is that even a question? No~!) However, the answer as to why it wont be watchable Kevin gave is interesting.

Actually TV is very PC – just watch how the show unfolds – there will be tension between the tribes, but each tribe will show strengths and weaknessness and everyone will end up with respect for the opposing teams, and then as people are eliminated, they’ll have to start mixing the tribes. At the end it will be a big love fest – each race affirming the others. How nice. There’s really no reason to watch it.

Nah. TV, reality TV especially, craves drama. Without it, no one will watch, even if by now we all know the “reality” is manipulated on reality shows to a greater or lesser degree. For the most part, people of color, especially African-Americans, are called upon to be the clown, the mean old militant, the agitator. If you expect the producers of the show plan on spoiling the expectations of millions by having a Kumbaya moment, you’re mistaken. If anything, the producers will try to drum up some racial animosity if there isn’t anything poppin’. I’m a bit curious to know if contestants were screened based on their opinions of other races.

This show is likely to be as much benefit to our understandings of inter and intra racial interactions as did “Black/White.” The only interesting thing likely to come out of the show is to see how the show is discussed the next morning around the coffee pots, dorms, and cafeterias. Will people segregate themselves to talk about the show within racial groups, or will there be an uneasy mingling? People do get involved in the show, pick favorite contestants, and form alliances as viewers in support of one side or the other. The “Survivor” series is an event which people of varying backgrounds could get together and mull over. Will that change, or remain the same?

Also, follow this discussion about race (the term, not in generalities) at Rachel’s Tavern.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2006 7:06 pm

    My thoughts were that they would request the contestants to throw in quite a few racial slurs just to increase ratings.
    From my standpoint the whole thing is full of its very own pathos not even considering the segregation theme,

  2. February 21, 2007 1:51 am

    The Site is excellent! Great job
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