If you don’t want to hear any details about the newest season of Survivor, now would be the time to avert your gaze. Honestly, Survivor has been top of mind for me ever since I watched the premiere of season 41, so I felt like it only made sense for me to write about it here. I need to do a serious brainstorming session and figure out what I should write about for the weeks to come, though, for sure.
If you want to see my actual reaction to the premiere and immediate thoughts afterword, be sure to check out the video I just posted today on the Tarqaron YouTube channel. Or, if you want to take a step back, check out the video I did with my friend Rusty where we talked about everything we knew before the season began, including a full cast assessment and draft! I’ve got a lot on my plate so I’m sure it will be overwhelming at times, but my plan is to do a video for every episode of 41, in addition to going through Survivor: Palau with my friend Alec concurrently (starting in a few days)! So for all you Survivor fans, there will be no shortage of Survivor love on all of the things I’m creating.
The reason that 41 is such a monumental season is because of the show having the longest break between seasons that its ever had, courtesy of COVID-19. If you followed any of the pre-season articles/interviews, you would know that they went into Survivor 41 with the full intention of doing something significantly different and marking a new era in the show. Whereas traditionally fans had always been the ones to retroactively define the different eras of Survivor in their own terms, this would be the first time where the showrunners themselves would declare a new era before it even began. In all the pre-season talk, Jeff Probst emphasized how they were ramping up the “danger” in the show by making changes like decreasing the amount of days from 39 to 26 to make for a grueling pace and only offering meager supplies and very minimal rewards. Players would have to fight for everything they got; nothing would come easy.
While I was concerned by talk of things like potential “controversial twists,” I was here for the ramped-up pace and miniscule supplies, and was optimistic about what a “new era” could do for the show’s health and longevity. I am happy to say that the premiere really sold me on this new direction for Survivor. Everything from the lively cast to the awesome changes in cinematography really breathed a whole new life into Survivor. It felt like I was watching a different show entirely at times. But at the same time, it retained so much of what I love about Survivor and it was honestly just really refreshing to not only see Survivor again but to see so many people (including Jeff) thrilled to be there and interacting with each other. A combination of COVID and a break from Survivor made every interaction that much sweeter throughout the whole premiere. Though I am definitely someone who loves to think and talk about the strategy of Survivor, the human/social element has become more and more important to me over the past couple of years especially, and on that level it was great to see a bunch of smiling faces on my screen.
And in terms of the strategy aspect, I felt like the premiere also delivered in that regard, and I suspect there will be no shortage of exciting gameplay throughout the rest of the season. Even the new twists/advantages that have been shown and teased don’t seem too unreasonable so far, and this idea of everyone’s votes constantly being vulnerable could make for some interesting shenanigans down the line potentially. The Survivor 41 cast seems so solid, not only in that they are entertaining to watch, but also in that they are all so excited to be there and as a result are there to play. All of them are fans if not super fans, and if you combine that with this new break-neck pace, then I think we are in for quite a fun ride. No one will go quietly.
I just wanted to express overall how excited I am for the season and new direction as a whole, as well as how impressed I was with this first episode specifically. Maybe I’m just a sucker for some new Survivor love at this point, but almost everything really landed for me in this premiere, from peeling back the curtain and showing more of the behind-the-scenes crew to the epic slow-mo shots. I’m here for it all!
Now, that doesn’t mean they couldn’t blow it with some controversial twists toward the endgame, but for now I am just excited for what is to come. If you want to hear my thoughts on the specific happenings of each episode throughout Survivor 41, make sure to check out the Tarqaron YouTube channel and continue to stay tuned!