Next Weeks Episode title~
Survivor: All-Stars Episode Titles:
"... I've Been Bamboozled ! "
A article from http://www.suntimes.com/output/roeper/cst-nws-roep19.html
Reality TV, for once, is actually realistic
February 19, 2004
BY RICHARD ROEPER SUN-TIMES COLUMNIST Advertisement
We pin the label of "Reality TV" on everything from "The Real World" to "Fear Factor," even though there's no real-life situation in which seven dysfunctional exhibitionists move into a camera-filled, $1 million home for two months, or individuals are strapped into casket-like enclosures as dozens of rats scamper over face and body.
The same goes for "Survivor." It's a cleverly conceived, beautifully edited piece of non-fiction programming, but it's not reality. What you're watching is a really good game show with a really big prize.
However, there are times when genuine reality intrudes on the faux-reality of non-fiction TV, as when the producers of "The Real World: Hawaii" had to counsel Ruthie on her binge drinking, or when a housemate on "Big Brother" was informed that her cousin was missing after the attacks on the World Trade Center.
There was a heartbreaking dose of reality on last Thursday's "Survivor" -- and the producers somehow managed to exploit every inch of the sadness while also presenting some of the most honest and emotional TV in recent memory.
Survivors include a daughter
Last week's episode centered on the alarmingly thin Jenna Morasca, the winner of "Survivor: Amazon," who seemed depressed and detached. We were reminded that Jenna's mom was coping with breast cancer back in Pennsylvania, and it was clear that Jenna was having second thoughts about participating in the "All-Star Survivor" in Panama. Her teammates voiced their support, but also let her know the moping was getting old. With a stunningly insensitive choice of words, Kathy told Jenna: "This is real. It's becoming a bit of a cancer eating away at us. . . .We need more positive attitudes right now. We ... know what you're going through, but let's just wait and see what happens."
Before the start of the immunity challenge, the 22-year-old Morasca broke down and said: "Due to someone who's very ill at home right now that's getting worse, I need to pull myself out of the game and be there. . . . I love this game so much, but my priority is my family, and it just doesn't make any sense for me to be here any more, so I need to take myself out of the game."
"So are you talking about your mom?" said Jeff Probst.
"Yeah, yeah. She's not any better, and things have gotten a little worse, quickly."
"You're talking as though you're getting information, updates, on your mom in the last nine days," said the agitated Probst.
(SPOILER ALERT! The alt.tv.survivor newsgroup has been humming with rumors that someone who works on the show was fired after providing Jenna with information about her mother's condition. This disgruntled employee is supposedly the author of a list that purports to give the exact order of elimination, all the way to the finals. So far the list is three for three -- including the reason Jenna would leave the game.)
Jenna denied she'd been fed information and said she was going on a "vibe . . . a feeling that she needs me there."
Probst asked a few contestants for reaction.
"I think family's the most important thing in the world," said Alicia. "There's nothing you can ever put above family. I wouldn't have come out to begin with ... ever."
Big Tom said: "Before I left, I told my family ... if they all got killed in a car wreck, don't call me. I'll be there when this is over. I made that decision for Big Tom. A lot of people are different than Big Tom."
True. For instance, they'd probably stop participating in a game show to attend a memorial service for their entire family.
The long way home
Other contestants were more understanding. Amber wiped away tears and asked if she could give Jenna a hug. "Boston Rob" said, "I don't think it's right to even question her motives."
As the Enya-esque soundtrack milked every moment, Jenna hugged everybody goodbye and headed to the boat that would take her on the first leg of the long journey home. The credits told us that Jenna made it home to be with her mother, who died eight days later. I would have laughed at the shameless manipulation of it all if I hadn't been choking back the tears. How could you not feel for this poor kid?
Of course, in the real-real world, Jenna's mother, Carla, died long before last Thursday's show aired. Carla Morasca, 48, of Bridgeville, Pa., died Nov. 19, 2003.
It's easy to say Jenna never should have left her mother -- but Carla had been battling cancer for nearly a decade. Anyone with a loved one who has battled a prolonged illness will tell you that it's an impossible task to balance your time with your loved one with the rest of your life. Whenever you're tending to one need, you feel as if you're unfairly ignoring the other. There's never enough of you.
"Survivor" goes back to being a game show tonight. For one week, though, it delved into territory a lot deeper and more thought-provoking than some stupid immunity idol.