Instead of writing this entry about the final episode, I’d like to write about the sexual harassment charges that developed around Dan this season. There are many fans who hated this season because of all the emotional difficulties about whether Dan was dealt with appropriately. Watching Dan made these viewers uncomfortable and they didn’t like seeing other players in real emotional distress.
I sympathize with viewers who have been sexually harassed themselves and thus don’t want to watch events like this. Or perhaps viewers who haven’t been sexually harassed themselves, but feel so strongly about the issue that it’s hard to watch within the context of a “game”. However, I thought this season was interesting. No, it wasn’t “fun”, but good television is not always fun television.
When I watch a documentary about a tragedy, of course I don’t want people to go through those horrible events. But not watching the documentary doesn’t make the tragedy go away. Similarly, the events of this season happened. Simply not showing the episodes would not have made those events go away. Considering this, I was very interested in how the situation would develop within the context of a “reality” show that normally tries hard to not be too real.
Exploring historical events, thinking about them, watching them, wrestling with them, and coming to opinions about them – these are vital parts of living with other humans. Apparently that vitality can be experienced on a reality game show just as much as a hard journalistic documentary. We shouldn’t avert our eyes.
And as for this week’s episode, I have to ask: Why in god’s name do people come on Survivor without practicing making fire at all? Have none of these people ever actually watched the show? And why would they never practice in the whole time they’re on the island? None of these people deserved to win…