Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 26, 2000

Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / August 26, 2000

All right, with any luck, this will be my last word on all the “Survivor” hoopla which consumed so much time on the TV so-called “news” programs this week.

I’ve had enough.

I didn’t watch the show. I couldn’t care less about the “good guys” and”bad guys.” I only know who won because it was crammed in my face forthree days. I didn’t care about Richard or Susan or any of the others orcared about who won the grand prize or whether they drink milk. Yes,already the “final four” have made a milk-moustache ad. They’re nowcelebrities and all they did was put up with each other.

From what I understand, most of them had such vile personalities, I suppose that’s some sort of accomplishment, to endure all this without at least one homicide.

It was billed as some sort of remarkable experiment in human relations, placing this group in an unusual situation, under intense scrutiny, with a huge prize for motivation and turn on the cameras to see what happens next.

This fed into the voyeuristic instincts which makes some people slow down as they drive past a traffic accident.

What it was, was not even a decent soap opera, but rather it was a game show. Yippee.I’ve had enough.

Locally, a New Orleans radio station cashed in with a similar promotion, isolating 10 people in a trailer where “Eye of the Tiger,” by the 1980s band, Survivor, was pumped around the clock for 60 hours.

By the end of the experience, the two women remaining were sobbing from the emotional and mental strain, but it was one of them who won the seven-day Caribbean cruise which was the prize.

At least we didn’t have to watch them on TV, hear about them in every news broadcast and TV morning show, debate them over coffee breaks and they won’t be celebrities.

It’s gotten to where television has finally scraped the dregs. There’s nocreativity left. Even these concepts were stolen from similar programs inEurope.

The shows do not reflect “reality,” and they’re simply game shows with more hype than usual. I didn’t watch a single episode, but then I don’twatch soaps, either, which contain about as much reality as these programs did.

I don’t know where the process is for “Big Brother,” but since it came along later, this show has not received the media push that “Survivor” did and I’m glad because I don’t think I could stomach more.

Yet, more of this type of TV programming is said to be on the drawing boards.

I suppose, we can look forward before long to “Gladiators Tonight!” and “The Lions and Martyrs Show” before long, with betting pools in every office on the outcomes. Extreme Football is already planned.Remember, the Roman Empire fell like this. They just didn’t have cable, soit took a little longer.

The barbarians are likely at the gate, and we’re watching TV. Pass theremote.

LEONARD GRAY is a reporter for L’Observateur.

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