The Jack & Jill Episode of Survivor Should Be Studied by Scholars

Stephanie Weber
11 min readNov 13, 2020

Survivor is one of the greatest reality shows of all time, next to Tool Academy, 90 Day Fiance, and that one season of The Real World called The Real World: Skeletons in which they brought back random people from the housemates’ past (almost all of them were exes except for one girl whose petty frenemies came and told her to be more “namaste”). It’s no surprise that Survivor is definitively the best as it essentially reinvented reality TV and paved the way for much more audacious shows like Big Brother, Temptation Island and, of course, Joe Millionaire. It even sounds stupid or redundant to state plainly and unequivocally that Survivor is so good. And yet I am doing it right now, in November 2020, because I watched Survivor for the first time EVER this year.

Did you guys know this show is good?

Watching eleven seasons of a reality show in a few months is a crazy feat, but due to the Coronavirus pandemic it’s just my way of describing September.

Seriously. Good stuff here.

We started our Survivor journey in my own personal tribe (my apartment consisting of my boyfriend and my two cats) by watching two of the best seasons, as suggested by a friend. After all, there are forty fucking seasons of this thing. It’s daunting to start chipping away at Survivor, especially when you consider the first several seasons weren’t even in HD (yuck). Our first two seasons were Heroes VS. Villains which brought back several Survivor all stars in the form of a “good tribe” and a “bad tribe” and Cagayan which divided the tribes into nerds, hot people, and athletes (amazing season). Then after watching other fan favorite seasons Caramoan, Millennials VS. Gen X, Micronesia and even David VS. Goliath, we found ourselves watching Survivor: South Pacific.

I am shocked that Survivor: South Pacific is not talked about more. In fact, it should be studied by anthropologists and sociologists (I do not know the difference between these two, but I think one has to do with like…bones?…and what bones say about civilizations???…and the other is like staring at the Amish for an extended period of time idk, academics, do not @ me)…

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Stephanie Weber

Stephanie is a writer and comedian whose work has been featured on Reductress, Slate, The Weekly Humorist, The AV Club, Mental Floss, Atlas Obscura and more.