One World a Letdown So Far

To be fair, this season of Survivor has a lot to live up to. The brilliance and poignancy of last season’s Good vs. Evil (or whatever they really called it) is gonna be hard to top. Battle lines were drawn with audience members, but I am (and was) quite firmly in the “religion is cool in a reality show context” camp.

I loved Brandon, I loved Coach, I even loved the eventual winner. It was all wonderful for me, almost from the first frame.

This season, dubbed, “One World,” um, not so much. In fact, almost exactly the opposite for me. The beginning of last season, sure we had a bunchy of new people, but we also had Coach’s smiling face. And Ozzy’s. And Cochran’s. And people we’d come to know and love.

“One World”? Um…  The people are uninspiring.

Then there’s the game. There is no more Redemption Island, which could be good or bad, we shall see. There are more immunity idols. OK. Good news! If you find one, you can’t necessarily keep it, which makes it more interesting.

What I had hoped for with One World is more of the promise of last season: people learning how to work together. They took steps toward that by having both teams share one beach. The teams are also divided into Men and Women. Not sure how that’s going to play out, except that so far, both sides seem really selfish and out for themselves.

It’s quite jarring to watch, after last season’s moments of peace and beauty.

Also, there was no “virtual living room” tonight. People were stupid, doing stupid, selfish things. Not sure how much more of it I’m going to watch. It’s certainly not Must Watch TV like last season was.


It’s Not Complicated: “Complicated” uncomplex, boring

Of all the movies floating around this Oscar season, “It’s Complicated” is one of the least complex. Here’s the plot: Meryl Streep’s character spends the movie deciding whether or not she’s still in love with her ex-husband (Alec Baldwin). She may or may not end up with him in the end.

That’s pretty much it. Oh, sure there are a few wrinkles. He’s married to a younger woman. She’s seeing an architect. There is the extent of the “complications.”

Her sounding board/Greek chorus comes in threes: a couple of times it’s her three children, a couple of times it’s her three women friends. Neither is a device that works effectively.

This is due, in part, to the fact that the writer of the movie, Nancy Meyers, is also the director. In her defense, we do get lavish shots of the California landscape and chocolate cake.

But, as a movie, it’s really slow going. John Krasinski is practically wasted in a lame bit of comedy.

The real downfall, other than the insipid script that goes nowhere, is the casting of Steve Martin, who is like a wet fish opposite Meryl Streep’s luminosity. Mind you, I’d just about pay to see Meryl Streep read the phone book. She is gorgeous and stunning in nearly every scene (and is in nearly every scene).

But like the pastries that they consume after smoking a joint, it leaves you hungry for more afterwards. Plenty of other great movies around right now. Give this one a pass.