Best Season of Survivor?
September 21, 2015 4:46 PM   Subscribe

I want to start watching Survivor again having quit at Season 16. Which season do you recommend I should watch?

I used to watch Survivor religiously but gave up when Parvati won in season 16. I was tired of returning contestants and the pretty but vapid people being cast. I also got sick of Jeff.

Recently I saw the FPP about Survivor 31 and I thought it might be fun to see if I can get into it again. I've been watching The Amazing Race Canada 3 at the gym and I'm loving it so Survivor might be just the thing but which season? Are there any stand outs? Are there any stinkers that I should avoid?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: Survivor 20: Heroes vs. Villains or Survivor: Cagayan (28) are the two best seasons, IMHO, in recent years. HvV is all returning players of course, and Cagayan is all new players.

Samoa (19) is also a great but extremely underrated season.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 4:48 PM on September 21, 2015

Best answer: ah damn. I just started watching survivor during the middle of Caramoan, and I have since gotten REALLY INTO IT.

I was going to suggest the three that roomthreeseventeen suggested. I will also suggest that Blood vs Water was very good as well, though half the players were returning.

Start with Cagayan. It was a lot of fun, they set it up in the beginning like 3 tribes: Brains vs Beauty vs Brawn.

I watch the shows, and then I listen to the episode recaps (survivor know it alls) at, where they discuss different people's strategies and also just have a good time. It's a nice way to feel like you get to discuss the show with people after, without all the poison of going online where everyone is mean. (rob and stephen are very not-mean.) I think it it keeps up my interest in survivor while it's on more than just watching the show would have.
posted by euphoria066 at 4:58 PM on September 21, 2015

Response by poster: Ooo nice tip, euphoria066. I will definitely check out those recaps because I will be watching by myself (so no spousal discussion) and TWOP, alas, is no more.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:35 PM on September 21, 2015

Best answer: Philippines (25)! There are 3 returning players who were medically evacuated (two of whom you'd have seen, and the third of whom was evacuated during season 19).
posted by casualinference at 5:43 PM on September 21, 2015 [1 favorite]

Best answer: I like these suggestions already. I would suggest you start with Survivor: Samoa because Russell Hantz played such a deliciously watchable [love to hate] game - and since he returns in other series, it's really worth seeing him in action for the first time before anyone was on to his moves.
posted by Mchelly at 6:05 PM on September 21, 2015

Best answer: Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains is a great start. I also really enjoyed both seasons with Cochran: Survivor: South Pacific and Survivor: Caramoan. I personally can't stand Survivor: Cagayan, largely because I couldn't stomach Tony.
posted by yellowcandy at 8:40 PM on September 21, 2015

Best answer: The only recent seasons I can still remember are those that had strong personalities.

Survivor: Samoa because of Russel Hantz, as mentioned above. (He also appears in Heroes vs. Villains)

And Survivor: Blood vs Water, because of Tyson. (Though Tyson previously was in Heroes vs. Villains, with his first appearance in Tocantins, so you may want to watch those two first)
posted by Dalby at 6:33 AM on September 22, 2015

Your dislike of Micronesia is sort of throwing me for a loop-- it's one of the more beloved seasons and winners. Definitely one of the better returning player seasons and kind of the shining example of how a previously "pretty but vapid" person can turn out to be an incredible player. I guess what I'm saying is that I agree with the recommendations above (if you do HvV, do Samoa first so you meet Russell), but if you disliked Micronesia I don't know if these will make you happy.

If you're in Canada (and even if you're not), might I suggest Big Brother Canada 2? You can skip season 1 and definitely season 3, but season 2 is a truly epic season. I think you can watch it on the Global site. Casting for all the Canada seasons is really good-- lots of diversity and almost zero people who I would consider "pretty but vapid".
posted by acidic at 12:50 PM on September 22, 2015

Response by poster: I've decided to start with Season 19. Thanks for all the advice.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:07 PM on September 22, 2015

Response by poster: Just watched the first episode of Survivor: Samoa. Holy Cow! You guys weren't kidding about Russel; he is a piece of work. I have never seen a reality show villain like him. The way he refers to the women on his team as "the dumb blonde" "the dumber blonde" and the "dumb brunette." The way he burnt other people's socks and threw out all the water, just to be evil. Man, my time on the elliptical flew by.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:55 PM on September 23, 2015

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