Survivor
Boys vs. Girls

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Battle of the Sexists

Rattling sounds and scenery bring us to the back of a boating local, clearly hiding his face in order not to be associated with this show. The sneaky eyes of a crocodile pop above the water line, belonging to a crocodile clearly attempting to do the same. We see a large paddleboat, and Peachy voice-overs that the group is heading up a river in northern Brazil in 103-degree weather. He claims, as always, that "sixteen Americans are about to begin the adventure of a lifetime" on this, the sixth season of Survivor. Peachy then appears with new, unusually perky ears; he either got a haircut or an earlift. He explains that they are approaching the world's largest tropical rainforest -- the Amazon. It spans two and a half million miles, is responsible for 15% of the world's oxygen, and is the world's largest freshwater source. A cuddly animal makes its way into the water, and then a not-so-cuddly animal does the same. We see treetops as Peachy voice-overs that the area is usually a "flooded forest" covered by sixty feet of water, but when the river subsides, it reveals dangers like cayman crocodiles, who attack fish accompanied by booming sound effects; piranhas; and "the world's most feared snake, the Anaconda." And here I thought the world's most feared snake was Brian Heidik. Peachy announces that "torrential thunderstorms" will soon flood the forest, "rocking this jungle." Peachy insists that this is the "ultimate challenge," and points out that these sixteen strangers will now be forced to work together to create a new society. And that whole "new society" shtick is getting old. When they elect a king, we can talk. A shot of a large, swimming cat is edited to look like it's nearby, but it's not. Two brightly colored birds attack each other, while sixteen brightly colored Survivors look perplexed. Peachy manages to maintain or even increase his enthusiasm from prior seasons with the usual proclamation, "Thirty-nine days, sixteen people, one Survivor!"

There's nothing particularly distinctive about the new credits, except for the remarkable number of birds contained therein: Running birds. Flying birds. Running birds getting ready to fly. There are also an assortment of cuddly and not-so-cuddly animals. The most noteworthy part of the credits is how much new competitor Deena resembles the General from Survivor Marquesas.

We see another shot of the paddleboat, trailing two baby boats behind it. A greasy animal cautiously makes its way down a branch, and as greasy as it appears, it's difficult to determine whether this creature falls into the cuddly or not-so-cuddly category. Peachy announces that the S16 have traveled a long way, and will now find out who their new tribemates will be. As Peachy calls out their names, they should each climb down the boat ladder and get into the yellow boat. He says the "get into the yellow boat" part very, very slowly. Jeanne, a forty-one-year-old marketing director from Massachusetts is first, and she has some difficulties getting down the rope ladder. Neleh-like, twenty-four-year-old gym teacher from Missouri Heidi follows, and many a male mouth drops open on the paddleboat. Joanna, a thirty-one-year-old guidance counselor from South Carolina; Jenna, a twenty-one-year-old "swimsuit model" from Pittsburgh; and twenty-four-year-old children's adventure guide Christy, from Colorado, are next. On the boat, Roger looks perplexed. In the season's first interview, Heidi tells us that when Peachy called the fifth girl, she knew instantly that it would be an all-female tribe. Twenty-five-year-old Californian and deputy district attorney Deena; forty-six-year-old Missourian homemaker Janet; and kinky-haired twenty-three-year-old Shawna, who works in retail sales in California, finish out the tribe. Peachy announces that once they're all on board, they can introduce themselves and "celebrate" their new tribe. The girls hug, and Janet nearly appears to tip the boat as she wobbles toward the front. In an interview, Deena tells us that she was "absolutely just overjoyed" about the female constituency of the tribe. She fêtes the "all-chick thing" because they can "let [their] hair down," and "pee in front of each other." She says they're on an equal playing field because they're all the same sex.

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Survivor

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