Look Closer: Survivor Africa

Episode Report Card
Joanna: F | Grade It Now!
Clips Show or Freak Show?

The African bush. A Survivor truck. Just Peachy. What do these three items have in common? They're all things you see in the first twenty seconds of Look Closer: Survivor Africa. They're also all things you've seen before and will see again ad nauseam in this episode. In a voice-over, Peachy tells us that, twenty-one days ago, sixteen Americans began "the adventure of a lifetime." At this point, I contemplate not even bothering to write a recap, but to just cut and paste pieces of past recaps into one document and turn it in and hope no one notices. I also become fairly confident that Just Peachy did not actually do any work for this "special" -- instead, the editors just spliced together past voice-overs to seem like fresh narrative. Not that anyone would notice. And not that it was particularly fresh the first time around. In short, for 95% of this episode, we're neither seeing nor hearing new clips: it's a tedious and multi-sensory assault on our collective sanity.

In any case, they've been abandoned; they will battle each other; they will face new twists in the game. The pre-credit segment is obviously intended to make us feel really in-the-know. We know that the truck driver yelled at them to move faster. We know that the water is cruddy and that Clarence is a bean-stealer. We know that the tribes were switched up for Mark Burnett's personal entertainment. And somewhere in that montage of things we already know, a zebra bites another zebra's butt. Peachy then promises that this "special episode" will have both "highlights" and "never-before-seen footage" of the S16, and that we'll "take a closer look at the adventure that has gotten them this far." We then are positively tantalized with brief snippets of fresh footage that will be repeated and contextualized later in this show. Well, as "contextualized" as things ever get on Survivor. Kelly talks about "Clarence and his war paint," and reveals that Clarence thinks he's the "tribe's warrior." Frank engages in a bizarre activity with a pair of deer antlers, and Brandon and Tom have a conversation about sexual orientation. Well, Brandon has a conversation about sexual orientation, and Tom has a conversation about dykes and fags. Sambutwo does a blindfolded challenge which we've never seen before. And be aware, just about all of the new clips you will see in this preview have just been aired in this pre-credit teaser. So, let's welcome back Diane, Jessie, Carl, Linda, Silas, Lindsey, and Clarence, whom we've missed in alternating doses and move forward -- or more appropriately, backwards and sideways -- with the show.

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