A ship's bow cuts through the ocean, accompanied by underwater shots of rushing water, fishing nets, and dolphins; one of the dolphins may or may not be bleeding. I didn't see it, but my friend did, and I wouldn't put it past Mark Burnett to throw in a hemorrhaging dolphin just for the hell of it. Or maybe -- good and noble creatures that they are -- dolphins spontaneously hemorrhage in the presence of the villainy that is the people who make Survivor. Or maybe they got hold of some Mountain Dew. In any case, Just Peachy trots out and tells us that he is on board the "fishing trawler" Amaryllis, which is making its way through the waters of the South Pacific. He drama-queens that "deep inside the hull of this ship," sixteen Americans are about to be abandoned in the Marquesas Islands, "the heart of Tahiti's mystical island." Also deep inside the hull of the ship is a fisherman stringing up some big dead fish. A shot of the new S16 reveals that they are alternately nauseated, bored, concentrating, sweaty, and -- in the case of Sarah -- puking. A progressively more haggard-looking Peachy explains that this new season of Survivor will take place thousands of miles from the nearest continent, on an island that will be the S16's home for the next thirty-nine days. The game will be different this time because the competitors will be given "no food; absolutely no rations." Instead, each tribe will leave the boat with "only the barest of essentials": two machetes, two cooking pots, two empty water containers, one frying pan, one fillet knife, and one magnifying glass. They will then be forced to depend on the resources of the land and their own skills to survive. At this point, please insert random sound bits from past seasons consisting of phrases like "new society," "learn to adapt," and "in the end one will remain" to summarize Peachy's repetitive blathering. As the dolphins -- drama queens too, apparently -- leap grandly in tandem with the music, we see headshots of the new S16. Then Peachy poses majestically on the bow of the boat with the S16 surrounding him, posed in equally ridiculous ways. Peachy expounds for the umpteenth time the premise of this show: "Thirty nine days, sixteen people, one Survivor." He leaves out the part about "millions of annoyed viewing-audience members."
The credits are decidedly less violent than those of the third season. No zebras get bloodily devoured, but some Brady Bunch-esque idols appear. The Marquesas Islands are stunningly beautiful, and yet the horizon still must quickly race to maintain our sub-par attention spans.