Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Survivor: Worlds Apart - LEGO - Periscope & Horrible Human Behaviour

Last week I had no time to write a recap, so Kai & I attempted a live LEGO recap of episode 9 via the live-streaming app Periscope.  It was, as I expected, a little bit of disaster, but it seemed to go over well with the live viewers who couldn't be placed in the category of Survivors specifically trying to get under my skin.  JK, it even went over well with people who could be placed in that category.  I saved it to my phone, & it looks quite pixelated - I heard from a few that it was a little pixelated in the broadcast - was it like that for everyone?  If you tuned in, please let me know.  Anyway, the video is below if you would like to watch LEGO Will slide down the slide like a dead fish, have Kai give you a tour of our LEGO Minifigure tackle box, & hear Kai attempt to sing Hold Up, Bro.  Download Periscope, because it's super fun.

I just learned from Kai's twitter feed that we will be doing a Periscope this Sunday.  So I guess that's happening.

This week's episode made me nauseous for several reasons, but we'll focus on the biggest one: the continued bullying of Shirin, which crossed the line from constant to excessive to what the fuck is wrong with these people.

I understand that not all viewers love Shirin the way I do, the way the Survivor bloggers/podcasters/tweeters I call my friends do - and to that I say that a lot of people also think Rupert is a strategic mastermind, & think Russell Hantz is a swell guy.  Opinions are great!  Have them.  Share them. Amazingly, you can do that without being cruel, or without personally attacking someone. Novel idea, I know.

The tribe returns from camp after voting Joe out, & the next morning Mike overhears Rodney plotting with Carolyn, Tyler, & Will.  Rodney has flipped on the Blue Collars & that is such a No Collar thing to do.

It's auction time & Trader Jeff's is open for business.  First item remains covered, & Will buys it for $100.  It's a piece of paper, & Will gets excited & everyone else is swearing.  He opens the paper & reads it.  Advantage in the next challenge?  Clue to an idol?  Nope.  Turns out Will bought himself out of the auction & has to leave Trader Jeff's immediately.

Next item is Chicken & Waffles & Shirin bids $300, saying she didn't want to bid on an advantage at the auction so she just wanted to go for it.  Before the advantage comes up, Probst brings out letters from home & Shirin uses her Superfan powers to let everyone know that whatever they're bought at, everyone else can buy at that price.  So Sierra buys her letters for $20 & everyone else is able to do the same.  Not all those who have been holding out for the advantage want to give up an extra $20 that could secure them that prize.  Dan is already in tears, pleads with them to please all do it, & Mike says Of course, after you, bro.  And then after Dan buys his letters, Mike turns & walks away without buying his.  Even Probst seems taken aback by such a bold move.  It was amazing, & I wish he hadn't reneged on it.  Yes, horrible, horrible social move, but it's the kind of move people write songs about to be set to LEGO minifigures.  Carolyn calls bullshit & gets up to return her letters - how is that a thing you can do?  Dislike.  Mike can't take it & buys his letters.

The 3 who held out for the advantage - Carolyn, Dan, & Mike all bid their remaining money - $480, & draw rocks to see who wins it.  Dan pulls the white rock & yells "Yeah, Baby", & Carolyn is confused & thinks she won for a moment.

Back at camp, Will is alone & devastated & sad music plays & this is the last time anybody feels sorry for Will.  Turns out he gets a secret stash of food, & he decides to bring it all back to share with Merica.

Mike immediately starts putting a spin on his Auction move, telling Sierra & Dan that the only reason he almost didn't buy his letter was because Rodney flipped on their alliance.  He then proceeds to call Rodney out in front of everyone, & Rodney handles it masterfully.  Yes.  Rodney throws it back at Mike, expressing disbelief that he's ruining everyone's moments with their letters from home.  Merica starts nodding their heads, & OMG Rodney is kind of more than okay at this game.

Later, Rodney finds a still emotional Dan and strengthens his Wow, can you believe Mike almost didn't let you have this experience? pitch.

The advantage Dan won at the Auction isn't your average advantage in the next Immunity Challenge.  It's an extra vote at a Tribal Council.

Mike and Jenn agree that there was probably more to Will's stash that he kept to himself, because no good deed goes unpunished in Survivor.  Tyler tells Will that Shirin, Mike, & Jenn are spreading rumours that there's more food, so Will grabs Rodney, shows him the empty box, they bring back the empty box, & then Will goes on a tirade against Shirin, as Mike & Jenn aren't around.

Does he have every right to be outraged that his generous act is now being met with suspicion, & that his character & trustworthiness are now being questioned?  Of course.  Should he realize it's only fair that this came up, since sneakiness and duplicity are parts of playing this game?  Probably.  But Will's reaction is far beyond the spectrum of reason.  So far beyond that it's nauseating.  So far beyond that I CAN'T EVEN. FOR, LIKE, THE 4th TIME THIS SEASON.  WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE.

Will calls Shirin "a greedy ass", & says she sits & eats all day.  Shirin's eyebrows raise & she asks him if he really has to speak to her like that.  YES I DO, he basically screams back at her.  And the fucking horns of Isengard rise & fall in the background.  Mike shows up & tries to get Shirin out of there.  Not before Will tells Shirin that nobody likes her (lolokay <3 <3 <3) & that nobody back home is missing her.  We all have loved ones that love & care for us - you have nothing.  WTF.  Like, for real what the fuck.  What in the actual fuck.

In Shirin's confessional, she comments that after growing up with constant verbal abuse, she gets worked up about it, but it's remarkable how cool & calm she seems to be.  One might even marvel at how collective she is.  Shirin points out that not one person aside from Mike said anything at all.  Pretty gross.

Kind-of-side-note: I'm in the middle of reading The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, & I immediately recalled The Bystander Effect while watching this.  The Bystander Effect basically shows that the larger the number of bystanders to an event resulting in distress or injury is, the less likely it is that help will be given.  In other words, when in a group where someone needs help, human instinct is to assume that if the others don't step up, it's probably not as big a deal as we think it is, because if it were, someone else *would* have stepped up & helped.  So we stay silent, & so does everyone else.  Pretty disturbing.  Maybe if Tyler had been the only one present while Will was yelling at Shirin, he would have said something.  Maybe Sierra would have, if she had been the sole witness.  I still can't get my head around the fact that this is happening with cameras all around.  Like, can you really forget that the cameras are there?  Really?  Yes, I know, I haven't experienced what anyone out there has experienced.  You don't have to send me messages stating that.  But I have experience being a human being.  And that's all one should need to *not* personally attack someone in this way.  I know I've said it before, & some of you have heard it many times, but really, just don't be a dick.  It's literally all anyone needs to do.  Just don't be a dick.  Don't.  Don't be one.

At the Immunity Challenge, Will asks to sit out of the Challenge in exchange for his letter from home. Probst says Sure, but only if nobody objects.  For a moment, everyone is silent & my redheaded temper is unsatisfied & I think I'm going to have to tweet something about Shirin being a better person than all of us.  But then...

And I'm happy!  Shirin's not a better person than all of us - SHE *IS* ALL OF US.

I mean, yes, she is better than me, because Shirin didn't make it personal & just said He bought himself out of the Auction & the game's the game.  I probably would not have been so civil.  Shirin's badass handraising doesn't get Isengard horns, because that's for the bad guys.  She gets Morricone because she's the fucking good guy in the spaghetti western this season is turning out to be.  CLEAN UP THE TOWN, SHERIFF SHIRIN.

The Immunity Challenge is pretty much an egg race with balls, & Mike wins.  (But imagine Vince in that challenge, dead last because he recognizes these balls as truth-seeking balls and is trying to use them to clear all of the negative energy out of the tribe.)

Rodney's bummed because he can't immediately build on the animosity towards Mike, but Will's pumped.

Mike, Shirin & Jenn agree to vote for Carolyn, but it will only work if Mike can convince Dan to vote with him.

Mike gives Dan a very impassioned speech about who has developed trust with him since Day 1, & seems to give Dan a lot to think about.  He's very upset that he's a swing vote, which doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  Tyler approaches him & calmly lets him know that his alliance was questioning him because he spent so long talking to Mike, & Dan completely overreacts.  He snaps at Tyler & everyone else with a childish kind of viciousness.  Enough of the game.  If I go with them, that's my choice.

At Tribal Council, Will gets right into what he calls "an incident".  Shirin makes it clear that Will didn't just explode over being questioned over the food, but turned it into a personal attack, which Will denies at every step.  It's appalling.  "He started talking about how I have no family, how I'm a loser, how more people in this game like him than like me in my entire life..."

"...that I have no soul, that he needs to pray for me..."

Shirin is extremely emotional, but does Will even acknowledge that someone is visibly upset, let alone that it's because of his actions?  Nope.  As Shirin is sharing the history of abuse that tore her family apart, Will continuously interrupts her to defend himself, saying he didn't verbally assault her, he just called her out, & when she gets called out, she "plays the victim".  He said it with the air quotes.  Yes, really.  Twice, actually. Shirin then notes that everyone was standing around just watching this happen like it was entertainment, & I'm so glad she did that.

Time to vote, votes are read, & Jenn is voted out.  Jenn leaves the Tribal Council area immediately.

One good thing came out of this episode:

#TEAMSHIRIN <3 <3 <3

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Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Survivor: Worlds Apart - LEGO - Love You, Merica

Merica (*shudder*) just voted off Kelly, & Rodney takes Will aside once they get back to camp.

Mike's like Great job playing the idol & fucking up my plans.

Despite having an enormous chunk of salami & fresh fruit around the camp - presumably left over from the merge feast - it's not enough food for Rodney.  He tells Shirin to put another scoop of rice on the fire, & is annoyed that "Joe & his stooges" have been running the food ship ever since they merged.  Personally, I wouldn't consider anyone who follows Joe around "a stooge".  I would consider them a human being.  With eyeballs.  SORRY VINCE, IT'S TRUE.  Rodney is trying to keep his anger under control, though with his very own 3Cs.

The Reward Challenge involves untying bags of puzzles from balance beams.  The first 3 to finish move on to a puzzle portion.  First to finish gets to zip-line through the rainforest to a "pizza picnic".  Hi Jeff, everyone in the world just calls that a pizza party, inside or outside.  A Pizza Picnic is as much a thing as No Collar is a thing, which is not at all.  STOP TRYING TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. 

Nobody is shocked that Joe wins.  Individual Immunity is a double-edged sword, of course, as Joe now has to choose who shares his reward.  He chooses Tyler, Will, & Carolyn.  Probst says Pick one more, just for fun.  Rodney says I'm the most staahving, & Joe says, You're also eating the most, bro, & Rodney says, Whatever, bro, I'm just keeping it real.  I'm fine - if you don't pick me, I'll just go back to camp & think about Joaquin.

Shirin clears her throat.

Joe picks Shirin, who jumps up & down & runs over to Joe, who calmly tells Jeff, "That's why.  Right there."  Joe makes dreams come true.  SORRY VINCE, IT'S TRUE.

After Shirin almost zip-lines into a tree because she was too busy grinning to brake, they all settle down for pizza & cinnamon buns & pop.  Joe notices something in Carolyn's bottle.

He knows it's a clue, but how to get it before she notices it?

Carolyn leaps at the opportunity to give Joe the rest of her soda, & who can blame her?  SORRY VINCE, IT'S TRUE.  Joe chugs the remaining pop, & the clue.  When he removes it from his mouth, Tyler sees, & Joe knows he has to share it with him.

The next morning, Joe takes Tyler away fromt the camp to wash dishes & idol hunt.  Mike, who knew a clue would be at the reward, follows them, going so far as to watch them from the trees.

Soon everyone knows Joe has a clue, & suddenly nobody knows where Joe is, so everyone's looking for Joe/the idol.  Mike puts on a show, telling everyone Joe found the idol, & he does a much more subtle job with his acting than when he threw the memory challenge.  Joe's like Fuck.

Dan is speaking condescendingly to a woman again, & this time it's to Shirin, & I CAN'T EVEN.

He basically tells her she's stupid for siding with the lower numbers & Shirin's like I have plans, you don't understand my game, & underneath all her words you can hear FUCK YOU, ASSHOLE.

Then, THEN...

Then, THEN, THEN, as if that wasn't offensive enough for us, he says Shirin is annoying, so...

What a dick, right? 

(You can reach Dan at @chxdigme.  Seriously.)

BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE.  Dan then tells Shirin she's got no game left, she'll be first to go if Joe wins Immunity again, she sucks, what a loser, blah blah blah.  But he's not done being a complete asshole yet, BECAUSE THEN, 


Meanwhile, Mike's eating termites, still looking for the idol, having an emotional moment.  He gets full-on montage music while he hunts for the idol, with inspirational messages skywritten across the sky, so it's no surprise when he finds the idol.

The Immunity Challenge is a series of slide puzzles.  First to finish wins Immunity.  Probst says Hey Shirin, this is *just* a puzzle.  Are you going to kill this challenge or what?  Shirin then goes FULL ADORABLE & says it depends on if she can supress her fandom, as she's still geeking out about being on Survivor.  On Day 22.  How does anyone not adore this woman?  Shirin says she has to contain her excitement, like holding in a bomb.

The strictly-puzzles challenge begins.

Everyone but Hali & Rodney are on the last puzzle, about which Probst says "You will know when you have it."  Mmmm, not so much if you're Dan, who incorrectly thinks he's right twice.  Clearly he's a fan who focused on basic math, but not basic spelling.
Joe, of course, wins, making him undefeated in individual Immunity wins.
Rodney is annoyed that Joe can't be voted out yet again.  All he does is win challenges.

Despite Dan trying to convince his alliance to get rid of Shirin, Mike is still running the show until Rodney finds a ship to take over, & Mike wants one of the other No Collars gone.

Shirin tells Jenn, Hali, & Sierra about the conversation she had with Dan, & Hali says something that makes me start liking Hali.

The girls say Wait a minute, we all think Dan's the worst?  Why don't we just get rid of him?

At Tribal Council, Tyler says that a chainsaw never split Merica into 2 distinct tribes, it just blurred the lines even more & yes, I wish I had a Beetlejuice minifig so I could make a Robin Thicke meme.  Mike says they're all gamers.

You know who would have been the best at tickling somebody's ear?

We were robbed, I tell you.

Dan says "Flippers never win", & Shirin says Excuse me, but Tony flipped all the motherfucking time & he won epically, so suck it.  A flag raises behind Hali, fireworks go off above her, & Will hums Merica's anthem, Livin' on a Prayer.

Time to vote, votes are read, & history means nothing as Hali is voted out.

With that said, Hali leaves the Tribal Council area immediately.

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Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Survivor Worlds Apart - LEGO - Merica, Fuck No

The New Escameca tribe returns to camp after Tribal Council, & Rodney is missing his bro Joaquin.  Mike explains to Rodney that they felt Joaquin was the one pulling Rodney in & not the other way around. Rodney is like Hell No.

New Nagarote reads Tree Mail which basically screams "MERGE TIME" like a Weasley letter arriving at Hogwarts, & Will's like Mmmm, I don't know.  I think it's just a reward.

The tribes merge - much to Will's surprise - & they feast & everyone tries to take credit for making Joaqney happen while Rodney holds back his tears.

They head back to the chosen camp & find that nothing is left & they must start from scratch.  Mike immediately gathers wood, & reconnects with Kelly.  Joe fills his No Collars in on everyone from New Nagarote.  Jenn asks if Rodney is smart.

Rodney is smarter than his soundbites, though, & so begins his journey of vengeance against those who voted out his bro Joaquin.  His plan is to gather up Will, Kelly, & Carolyn to play with the Blues until they aren't needed.  Carolyn is still the closest with Tyler, & they know they have to keep their tight alliance a secret, as nothing panics these people more than a pair.

Dan gets stung by a jellyfish.  Jenn tells him to put his foot in hot water & somewhere Max rips a bunch of kale to shreds in frustration (& then hand massages in olive oil & balsamic vinegar because lolololol at Max wasting kale).  I mean, we're all agreed that Dan's feet have to be more gross than Max's feet, right?  Shirin offers to pee on Dan's foot & <3 <3 <3.

Then they pick a merge name & I CAN'T EVEN.  The only redeeming quality about the tribe name Merica is that it's slightly easier to swallow than the #Dirty30 hashtag this cast (& every lush 29 year old planning a birthday party) is intent on trying to make happen.

Hali goes on about her love for the Constitution for an absurdly long time - the Constitution MUST be her Number 1 passion.  I'm petitioning for a National Treasure 3, where Nicolas Cage tries to take the Constitution away from Hali.

"I'm going to steal the Constitution."

The Immunity Challenge is the hold-on-to-the-pole one, & Jenn gets a bee sting "in a sensitive area", Rodney holds onto his pole like it's Joaquin, & Probst doesn't disappoint either.

Joe is amazebuns in this challenge & never drops from the top spot on his pole & wins Immunity.  Somewhere, Vince lights some incense, sits in silence, & searches for the truth of what Joe has that he doesn't.  Man bun?  Check.  Abs?  Check.  Ability to resist smelling the hair of ladies around him?  Che...oh, there it is.  Once again, I'd be remiss if I didn't remind everyone that we were robbed when Vince was voted out.

Back at camp, the Blue Collars decide to vote for Jenn, but they tell Will to vote for Hali, so they'll know whether they can trust him or not.  Shitty deal for Will.

The No Collars decide to vote out Kelly, & Shirin is on board with that.  Mike talks to Tyler, who is well aware that the White Collars are swing votes.  Or, "swingers", as he puts it.

Jenn tells Hali they need to find out which of them will be targeted, because she has an idol to play.  Hali says, "How did you get it?"  This is a future criminal defense attorney & she asked this question in the middle of a game that has idols literally everywhere for anyone to find.  Great job, MERICA.

At Tribal Council, the vote is still very much up in the air.

Time to vote, Probst asks if anyone wants to play an idol, & Jenn plays hers, for herself.  She doesn't even seize the opportunity to say Hold Up, Bro, as a double Survivor callback, though.  And she calls herself a Survivor fan.  The Blue Collar alliance looks crestfallen, & it's clear that Jenn made the right call once the votes are read, as Will's vote for Hali is the only one not for Jenn.  The No Collar alliance stuck with their decision to vote out Kelly, & out Kelly goes.

Kelly leaves the Tribal Council area immediately.

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