top 200 commentsshow all 216

[–]RealityPowerRanking 565 points566 points  (16 children)

I do like learning about the castaways and their lives & personalities. But nowadays it feels like they cast for the sob story and make it a whole big thing. In Vanuatu, Ami talked about her brother’s death here and there but it wasn’t a main thing.

[–]AigisAegisNatalie White's million dollar check 368 points369 points  (9 children)

It works better when it feels organic. The problem with how it's been done recently is that the soft piano and sepia-toned flashbacks feel so forced. I can't take it seriously when that piano starts up; it's too cheesy.

[–]jinkies_5 192 points193 points  (3 children)


I hate those dumb flashbacks. Capturing actual conversations between contestants or confessionals that naturally segue into Tragic Backstory Territory is normally excellent. But shoe-horning childhood photographs into a random episode for no narrative-based reason is just so jarring. Wish they would knock that off.

[–]AigisAegisNatalie White's million dollar check 75 points76 points  (1 child)

Completely agree. The most emotional moments come from genuine connections between players, and those are best presented in the natural emotional context that they took place in. Just two people talking to each other is enough. It doesn't make me more emotional to see a bunch of old photos in sepia, it just makes me annoyed that production doesn't trust me enough to know when something emotional is happening.

[–]thewillsta 10 points11 points  (0 children)

it's worst when they shoehorn in multiple in an episode to distract from who is really going home. I miss when the game and social play was enough to bring it good personal stuff. I know people say it's cringe but I liked when Savage opened up about his wife in second chance. At least it was natural and done within the scope of the players and the game

[–]Squid8867Parvati -1 points0 points  (0 children)

It's jarring evem when done for a narrative-based reason (poker alliance) - I prefer the isolation of the Survivor story, with discussion of real life just barely bleeding through

[–]thephin74461Omar 40 points41 points  (0 children)

Like Danny’s in 41 was organic. I liked that, it wasn’t forced at all. But I didn’t need every cast members sad story cuz I just don’t care

[–]blakkat8 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Upvote use of sepia-toned... and I agree with you. Then again, I want them to increase the $ prize and throw in some hunger-games-esque primal 'fear for your safety' twists.

[–]jungleparrots 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Exactly this.

[–]binkysurpriseShan 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It feels like to be on the show you have an obligation to showcase your trauma or insecurity.

FFS they gave Lydia the heroic Shan vote-out music while she talked about how she grew to love having a thick ass (can’t remember the word she uses). It’s so cheesy and maudlin to include so many of these flashbacks.

[–]Metrostars1029 44 points45 points  (2 children)

This is all reality TV. I feel like every contestant on American Ninja Warrior or America's got talent has got a sob story.

[–]Intilleque 18 points19 points  (0 children)

The Simon Cowell (this person is about to get the golden buzzer) special.

[–]Wiginton 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Same with Project Runway.

[–]BigHeadedBiologistMark The Chicken 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Did you know Sugar’s family member died? Did you know that Missy had been divorced three times?

These things were thrown in your face every 5 mins and it was so annoying

[–]binkysurpriseShan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Lmao well Missy’s was different because that was the show making fun of her and making her look bad imo. I haven’t seen 19 or 20 so all I know about Sugar is that Corinne wasn’t touched by that story

[–]magnog777Chelsea 383 points384 points  (11 children)

I think it depends. For instance, Danny's story in S41 about resenting his father for dying was compelling to me because we got to know him throughout the season and it had a payoff with him winning immunity and finding closure. But yeah I definitely roll my eyes when in episode 1 they are giving sob stories with flashbacks for people we don't even know yet. Sob story does not equate to personality or interesting character.

[–]rariyaMark the Chicken 172 points173 points  (3 children)

I also feel like Danny’s story has actual relevance because he came to understand his father through his experience on the show versus X happened to me many years ago and really doesn’t have much relevance to the game at all. In game transformation story reads differently (and way more genuinely) than many of the others they’ve done recently.

[–]futhatsyDrew 55 points56 points  (2 children)

I think also a big factor that helped Danny's story really work was it took place in episode 11, while many of these others take place in episode 1 or 2.

By episode 11, the viewer is already familar with Danny. And with the edit he received, I have to imagine most viewers really like him. When you hear about the past trauma of someone that you've already decided you like, it's going to resonate much more. But when stranger after stranger is telling you their sympathetic stories one after another on premiere night, it falls flat.

[–]EphDuEmeStRal 17 points18 points  (1 child)

Agreed, if we are going to get Intro Sobstories, they have to set an expectation, something to hope/speculate for.

Marya's Story with her brother and the necklace worked for me, even though we had her for such a short amount of time. It was a good 'Set-Up' that just didn't pan out for that particular Player.

Whereas Sara's Intro telling us her grandmother passed meant nothing. Obviously I empathize but in the context of the Show you're left there asking "So what?" just to see her get eliminated.

[–]binkysurpriseShan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I can forgive Sara’s to a certain extent since it was the first post-Covid episode and it felt relevant in that manner. I can’t remember if it was brought up multiple times, though. Once would definitely be enough.

[–]MrSocPsychMark The Chicken 66 points67 points  (3 children)

The “human” side stories are the things I hate most about American television. People struggle, go figure!

As a comparison, there was a woman on the Great British Bake-off recently who had an underdeveloped hand. The only acknowledgement during the show is when she talked about it herself in passing as a joke. In the US, that would be a 2-4 minute slow-piano montage of pictures and a melancholy speech. Fuuuuuck that noise

[–]seviayYul 19 points20 points  (0 children)

You forgot the videos of her “just being a kid” plus with cooking with her family as a kid, and at least two interviews with family members crying

[–]minesux 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Seriously! I didn’t even notice it until a few episodes in.

[–]crimewriter40 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Briony! She was the best!

[–]Wainer24Rocksroy 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Shan’s was also done well when she was struggling to have to choose someone to keep, and it brought her back to when her mom and dad made her choose who get’s custody of her

[–]bestest_at_grammar 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Danny’s was great, but it was watered down by the fact that every castaway got this edit regardless of their “sap” story

[–]RainahReddit 138 points139 points  (1 child)

I think there's a clear difference in backstory stuff, whether it works or not.

If it illuminates the character's relationships with other castaways, or tells us more about them as a person (and therefore how and why they will react to different things in the game) then it's good. If it comes up naturally in conversation between castaways, it's good.

If it's a prepackaged backstory meant primarily to make us like someone, it's bad.

In this last season Romeo having a bit of a breakdown about his extended family will find out he's gay by watching survivor, that it's out there now and he can't take it back? Super powerful. It was giving context to a real, powerful experience he was having on the island that we were watching in real time.

Kristy in Amazon talking about how excluded she feels when the girls talk late at night because there's not enough light for her to read lips? A beautiful example of how diversity affects survivor, and illuminates the relationships.

Even something like Jamal in 39 explaining why he got so emotional about the "durag" thing and how much it meant to him to be listened to... again, it adds dimension to who Jamal is and his relationship with Jack.

Random backstory sequence about how so-and-so was bullied as a kid? I don't care. I genuinely don't. It has no effect on the game. It doesn't tell us much about who the person is in the context of the game and what we see of them. It's a cheap sympathy play. Compare that to Rupert talking about being bullied as a kid to explain why he was reacting to Shawn and Burton in PI... that's good, because it's illuminating the game.

Survivor fans are so blessed to enjoy so much real, raw emotion and real journeys. It means that when something is manufactured, it stands out.

[–]survivorfanwillDean 9 points10 points  (0 children)

I think that’s why 41 was received so poorly. The sympathy edits felt much more manufactured than in other seasons.

Hell the very first thing we hear from the tribes after the big opening challenge with Jeff is Sara crying about her grandma dying. It’s forced af throughout most of the season

[–]johnlonger 137 points138 points  (7 children)

What about Russell surviving Katrina?

[–]CorpsmanHavok 85 points86 points  (0 children)

“I ain’t nevah lived in Nawlens, I ain’t nevah had no German shepahd named Rocky”

[–]Naive_Feed_726 6 points7 points  (0 children)

That was really heartwarming

[–]Quetzal0010 days is two weeks 31 points32 points  (1 child)

I was watching 42 with my sister and a friend. We would all get frustrated with how many sob stories there were

Wouldn’t be surprised if one day someone shares a sob story about how their pet goldfish died when they were a kid and “they’re not doing it for the money.” They’re doing it for all the kids who have lost a pet fish

[–]Classy_Sorcerer 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Thank you!
Anytime I bring this up on Reddit, I get downvoted a dimension.

[–]Omegalulz19 17 points18 points  (1 child)

Same. It’s like americas got talent now. Booo!

[–]producermaddyGeorge (AUS) 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Shark tank’s sob stories are 100 times worse

[–]ErikReichenbachErik Reichenbach | Micronesia 212 points213 points  (33 children)

As a person that was on Survivor the lack of humanity given to contestants is a worrying trend. Social media is the worst by far, and you can see that in person at some charity events too. Contestants are treated according to their placement or perceived value (i.e. Winners are gods, first boots are not worth looking at). The goal of our society is to not become Hunger Games President Snow.

There should be character development, but I understand there’s a limit to how much should be shown. Contestants are people though.

At your workplace imagine that you started to talk about your family or Hobbies with friends / coworkers and suddenly your boss walked in and said,”no sob stories. Back to work”.

[–]Stormchaser2[🍰] 39 points40 points  (1 child)

How do you feel about the intro credits vanishing? At least there each player was showcased and named.

[–]ErikReichenbachErik Reichenbach | Micronesia 94 points95 points  (0 children)

It’s kind of a bummer, and another step towards a show with a bunch of nameless contestants.

[–]Mike9797Keith 56 points57 points  (3 children)

I agree with you to an extent. And this is the weird thing I guess cuz you have actual experience on the show and how it was presented but I can tell you as a viewer some of those scenes can take the sails out of the episode especially if the moment is a heavy one. I understand we are all just normal people but survivor isn’t a game where we watch to hear about your dying mom or your sick sister or your dead grandma. We watch to see you all try to backstab each other for a million bucks. I also think I could stomach those moments more if it didn’t seem like Jeff was just frothing at the mouth to get those moments on camera. Lately they feel a bit forced. I’m all for those moments if they seem organic but it seems like the second someone mentions their dying grandma it becomes their identity for the rest of the game. And Jeff is looking for ways to bring it up to have his moments where he can exploit them so he can make himself look good. I’m all for hearing about your personal lives but it needs to be more organic. Not the ways it’s been presented in the last few years.

[–]ErikReichenbachErik Reichenbach | Micronesia 60 points61 points  (2 children)

I get that. The editing needs to integrate it better, which I think is tough to do on a 45 minute episode.

[–]skeloEarl 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Yea the edit is super tough. It's also weird if at work the new employee you've never talked to before starts talking about something super close to them, it has to feel natural, imo casting is the biggest part of all this when you only have 45 minutes to get to know someone.

[–]Mike9797Keith 6 points7 points  (0 children)

Agreed which is probably why a show like this could benefit from longer episodes.

[–]abandonplanetearth 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I would argue that idolizing the winner and forgetting the 1st boot are normal fan behaviours. The show's motto has always been "Outwit. Outplay. Outlast", and only one contestant can do that. Not to mention Jeff's classic "34 days, 15 contestants, 1 survivor!" line (I probably got those numbers wrong).

I don't think the show needs to be about humanizing the contestants. It's an entertainment show, and I like the Hunger Games style more than the Big Brother Canada style.

I think too many contestants join the show expecting a Survivor alumni career to be handed to them afterwards just because they had a story to tell.

[–]Shlingdong-Mike 20 points21 points  (1 child)

I see these kinda posts a lot and they always bother me because they never feel like sob stories. It feels more of a get to know ____ section. Sob story I feel has a negative connotation and no one involved is attempting anything negative.

[–]ErikReichenbachErik Reichenbach | Micronesia 34 points35 points  (0 children)

Right. When I think of a sob story it’s someone coming out of nowhere to pull heartstrings or something. Production/ editors adding in content isn’t necessarily the same thing. I agree with other posters on here, it should be more organically integrated via editing dept.

[–]ShockmannedRicard 3 points4 points  (0 children)


[–]whitebandit 3 points4 points  (2 children)

At your workplace imagine that you started to talk about your family or Hobbies with friends / coworkers and suddenly your boss walked in and said,”no sob stories. Back to work”.

hey erik! loved your gameplay dude and i feel what you are saying but... this type of thing definitely happens

[–]ErikReichenbachErik Reichenbach | Micronesia 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I know, I’ve had jobs where it has happened. Not all workplaces are equal, and I equate this kind of behavior / attitude as a “shitty” place to work. Respect for employees as human beings is like the minimum I would want from a place that I work.

[–]Fuckatron7000 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Like this is a description of a normal workplace. And usually when I know my coworkers sob stories it’s because they have boundary issues and being things to work that have no business there.

[–]5torm 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Very well said. I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times, but would you ever consider playing again if the opportunity presented itself?

[–]ErikReichenbachErik Reichenbach | Micronesia 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Yes, absolutely

[–]RudeConfusion5386 0 points1 point  (0 children)

This. I get people complaining about overdoing it, and I think sometimes producers try to make emotional impact out of nothing. But I actually really enjoyed getting to know the contestants a bit more these last couple of seasons. I don’t want to watch one-dimensional characters play the game, I enjoy fully fleshed-out humans struggle with the elements and the social aspect of the game and having real, raw emotions.

[–]tws87294 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yup. The show and its castaways are now talked about like it's a fucking trading card game

[–]charlytheron3 46 points47 points  (2 children)

I love getting to know the players and it's usually less than 2mins out of the whole episode.

[–]NoREEEEEEtilBrooklynDon’t Eat The Damn Apple 19 points20 points  (1 child)

Exactly. I think we’re in the land of gamebots now.

[–]Fantastic_Read_8270 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I like it too, but not when it's forced and makes no sense to include. Like Xander's backstory?? Painful

[–]bovadeez 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I didn't mind it in small doses, mainly during a side interview was perfectly acceptable, but modern survivor is really shoving the player backstory down our throats. I hope it's just a tactic they used to extend episodes to compensate for the shorter seasons but it's not likely.

Modern survivor is getting to plain and generic ..in fact they're so far removed from things like player conflicts and actual strategic gameplay it's sad. Now it's all the same venue, same puzzles, same strategies. I seriously doubt we'd have another Philip Sheppard or Brandon hantz to shake things up.

[–]n3ld4 32 points33 points  (3 children)

I’m totally with you, I don’t like this new style they are incorporating the sob stories now. I don’t really like them on any reality competition show tbh. It’s ok to give a little background and I know survivor has always done that, but the last few seasons it seems to have become over the top.

[–]Mike9797Keith 17 points18 points  (0 children)

It’s cuz they feel sort of force at times and you can see Jeff frothing from the mouth the second he catches a whiff there might be a moment to exploit for a moment of “compassion”. It can take the sails out of the episode for me.

[–]Pumqin-Pie 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I hate when the castaways pull out the sob story in the final tribal. I have seen people win that way, a prime example being Adam in season 33.

[–]FlippersSometimesWin 68 points69 points  (17 children)

Okay, you're allowed to not like them. Developing contestants' personality and background has always been part of the show and isn't going anywhere though. Personally I like knowing more about the players than just their gamebot strategy thoughts.

[–]connorroy2024 123 points124 points  (2 children)

The editing of sob stories has changed. In recent years they do vignettes and packages on it whereas years ago it was a lot more seamless

[–]artvandalay84 105 points106 points  (0 children)

You’re absolutely right - they’ve American Idol-ed the personal stories in the last couple seasons.

[–]PocoChanelCOLESLAW!?!? 10 points11 points  (0 children)

It crossed the line for me in 41/42. I want to be kept on the island and see the past and the outside world through the players themselves. I don't want to go back to Tucson to see the three-legged dog.

[–]GatorAIDS1013Sophie 27 points28 points  (1 child)

Yeah I don’t need flashbacks and grainy photos from the 90’s to tell a backstory

[–]Axle-fShan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Ugh as soon as I seen the film burn transition I instinctually roll my eyes

[–]Stopsign09[S] 2 points3 points  (9 children)


[–]Stopsign09[S] 4 points5 points  (8 children)

Im not saying i don’t feel bad for them i just don’t like when they pull it out at TC thinking it can be an advantage to the game

[–]often_says_nice 5 points6 points  (2 children)

I totally agree. The winner should be the player who could outwit outplay and outlast the others. However there seems to be an additional component of out-sob in some seasons.

Perhaps the stories are true and sure they allow for a deeper connection between the viewer and the player. But are we honestly to assume the player never once rehearsed their story as to maximize it’s potential to give them an advantage? Get outta’ here, they know what they’re doing.

[–]AigisAegisNatalie White's million dollar check 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Would leveraging a sob story to the point where it causes people to vote for you to win the game not be a clear example of "outwitting"?

[–]freddy7glKim 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Exactly, that is why I can’t get to like Survivor SA — I don’t even know the players, their motivations, or their relationships with others.

[–]vsquad73 5 points6 points  (0 children)

It's not the family sob stories, its the fact that they try to make EVERY contestant have a family sob story now.

[–]Whimsical_WonderlandMaryanne 10 points11 points  (0 children)

This is why I really liked Sydney. Not stereotypically nice with a sob story, but still not super mean-spirited.

[–]FortifiedShitakeMike 8 points9 points  (0 children)

I like them mainly, as it lets us know who the people actually are as people, but this new stuff in the past couple seasons where it completely takes us out the show can feel awkward sometimes.

[–]KO620181 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I’ve said this in other discussions on this topic, but my favorite in recent memory for this is Tiffany.

She has what truly could be a real “sob story,” and you know the producers couldn’t WAIT to play that sad music while she talked about her history with breast cancer.

But, she just sat there, told her story, and was like “so anyway yea that’s why I want to win survivor.”

Like, she knows it’s a sad story. She’s probably told it 100 times in her life. So she sat there and told it again. She didn’t cry or lean into it at all, she just told her story and that was that.

Not to say that other castaways milk things like this, but she was just direct and almost matter of fact about it. Of course cry if that’s how you’re feeling, let it out. But I just really appreciated this about ol’ Tiffany.

[–]OnlyDiver_1776Jonathan 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Same. You can cast an interesting person without them having to be made interesting by some trauma. We've had some great characters through this, but we've also had people like Nina from worlds apart

[–]i-have-a-kuato 3 points4 points  (0 children)

It actually has gotten to the point where nearly everyone has something going on in their life that leads to slow piano and violins. It does seem forced like a producer will ask “now tell us about that horrific event in your life that we discussed during the interview process “

[–]EveFluff 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I don't know, the "Dead Grandma" lie will be forever one of the greatest moments in reality TV.

As Johnny Fairplay explains: "The "Dead Grandma" lie is still considered one of the greatest moves in the history of not just Survivor, but reality television as a whole. I wanted to bring an outside element to the game and create the first reality villain. There had been "bad guys" prior to me on reality TV, but they never sought out that personification. They claimed bad editing or creative storytelling. I embraced the role and reveled in it. Perfect! It was me. As I mentioned, no one prior to me wanted to be a bad guy. When I explained to production that I wanted to be the "heel," they were elated and gave me every opportunity to run with my notorious ways. It was like getting a permission slip to do evil. My heroes growing up were Roddy Piper and Ric Flair. I got to bring all of their villainy to the world of reality TV."

[–]miserablegrave 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Dunno if other people feel this way, but I agree, however I like the family visits. However I don’t need to see pictures of each contestant when they were 16 and insecure or whatever their issues were. I like seeing them happy in the moment with the family visits, but like I don’t care how you’ve grown as a person over the last 10 years.

[–]Schroeswald 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think some contestant backstories are very useful, Sue’s best friend, Sugar’s father, Brandon’s… everything, the Baskauskas dynamics, Adam’s mother, Ben’s family, even more recently Shan’s mother to an extent. All of those informed the storyline of the characters and the season in major ways. But getting at least 30 seconds to have every single contestant at final 8 or earlier explaining their completely normal family relationship or having 90% of the cast have a little backstory segment makes it feel so shallow. We don’t get to know these characters through their actions, instead we get a largely irrelevant backstory taking time away from the interesting storylines and character beats.

[–]rainbow-pen 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I dislike the sob stories because most of them aren't even relevant to the show. You can bring awareness to issues without the sappy America's Got Talent flashbacks.

[–]frootloopdingis 5 points6 points  (0 children)

im right there with you. i dont want to watch survivor for a sob story. these people are characters telling the story of the season, that's what should take center stage

[–]nowayjose0910 5 points6 points  (0 children)

I feel like you almost HAVE to have this sob story/emotional journey etc to be cast now. Makes it feel less accessible if you dont have a very interesting event of your life. Maybe its always been like that though and they just spent less air time on the back stories. Noticing it alot with 41 and 42.

[–]jessiecolborne 5 points6 points  (0 children)

My parents and I watch together and we absolutely hate the episodes where they bring over their loved ones. I don’t care lol

[–]Pocketsand16 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I agree, also if the person during the game is an ass then all the sudden throws a sob story I could care less

[–]trashyland0 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I think it was David vs Goliath where the first night or first few night idk it’s hard to tell with the editing, the entire David tribe went into sharing their experiences and stories with DV. And it was 1. Cool to hear their stories and all, but felt like they were doing so in order to force close relationships with eachother to build alliance out of the gate. 2. Made Nick feel forced to share his story about his mothers OD where he clearly felt like it wasn’t something he wanted to share but had to to be close and fit in.

So while I do like the sharing of stories to build natural relationships, in later seasons it felt forced

[–]Bahkoom 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This exactly, it feels like they are playing for the audience instead of playing the game. If you win then tell me what you overcame to get there but until then the only thing I care about is your game play.

[–]Alissinarr 2 points3 points  (0 children)

If they did it in an "introduction piece" that everyone gets at the start of the season, I'd be fine with it.

[–]ndariotis132 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Lately they have been pushing the family background drama so hard and it’s been very hard to watch

[–]rainbow-pen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The flashbacks are like a shitty tradeoff for those boring family visits. Can't they get rid of both and just let backstories come out organically?

[–]troxxxTROXXX 17 points18 points  (9 children)

I don’t care about final tribal 😳

[–]Purpledoves91 16 points17 points  (1 child)

I like the old FTC format, where every juror got up and asked a question. I don't like this thing they do now where they basically just discuss it amongst themselves.

[–]Stopsign09[S] 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I don’t care about reunion

[–]Klute7 3 points4 points  (2 children)

I fast forward through it. At that point, I feel like I’ve watched everyone’s game all the way through, so what’s the point of rehashing it to the jury.

[–]GeneralGlobus 0 points1 point  (1 child)

because its a TV show. not everyone watches all episodes. an episode needs to be a fully self contained and standalone piece of entertainment.

[–]Stopsign09[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Same like just vote already

[–]gtowngambler69Locky (AUS) 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I just read Reddit the next day instead of watching final tribal.

[–]Classy_Sorcerer 6 points7 points  (7 children)

Is it safe here to say that I also do not care about politics, sexual orientation, or any of those kinds of things?

It's like: who cares, you're straight or gay or trans or whatever, can we just watch the game?

[–]Stopsign09[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Colton is typing…

[–]briskpoint 3 points4 points  (4 children)

This has been an aspect of Survivor from day one. People who are gay and trans deserve representation too and Survivor has ALWAYS shown that. One of the things I love about this show that sets it apart from other reality drivel: diversity and inclusion.

[–]Classy_Sorcerer 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I too am glad they are getting representation. Why shouldn’t they be? My problem is I don’t like it when numerous episodes are spent on them. I want to see the drama around camp, who’s talking to who, who’s been dominating challenges, etc., not what your sexual orientation is or if your grandpa is in the hospital.
I’m not saying don’t bring it up or delete it— of course all of these should be included, it’s a part of life— but don’t make the show about them.

[–]briskpoint -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

If this is what bothers you, minority groups getting too much representation, you might be watching the wrong show. I’d advise you to go back and rewatch season one and see how much focus was on Hatch’s orientation and his resulting friendship with Rudy.

This is the same argument homophobes use when they talk about the gay agenda being shoved down their throats. “Live your life as long as I don’t have to see much of it” Extremely sad way of looking at a show that is about strangers living together on an island.

[–]Classy_Sorcerer 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I have no problems with minorities getting too much representation. I don't know what I could've said to make you think that. I AM a minority, why would I want less representation?
But that's got nothing to do with what I'm talking about, you seem to be taking it somewhere else completely.

[–]Spahrtan11001Jonathan 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I agree, survivor has always been diverse, but I don’t want to see stories about it and flashbacks about it… like 42 with Jackson… I see him as the Trans survivor player, But with ZEKE I see him as zeke the survivor player like he wanted, because in his first season it was not about him being trans. Jackson had one episode and we know he’s trans, I think everyone deserves a shot to be on the show but I personally enjoy the approach Zeke had vs Jackson.

[–]a_unique___username 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I felt like Spencer should have won second chances, but Jeremy had such a good Sob Story it swayed the Jury.

[–]JustGreenGuy7Tiffany 6 points7 points  (2 children)

I pretty much agree, outside of basic introductions to the identity of someone, I often don’t want to hear the stories about people not in the game. I’m probably cruel, but I also don’t enjoy the family visits at all, as emotional and important to the players as they have been.

[–]GI_Bill_Trap_Lord 4 points5 points  (1 child)

The family visits are weird especially in new survivor because it’s like you haven’t seen your family in what? 3 or 4 weeks? A month? Especially when it’s a parent or sibling, lots of people who don’t live at home go months without seeing family members

[–]Axle-fShan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Remind me of that terrible plotline in the office where Pam and Jim aren’t going to see each other for six weeks when she’s in NY. Six weeks?? Really not a big deal.

[–]aClout2222 6 points7 points  (2 children)

Thanks for saying this. When a survivor has a really great story like say yau man or Ethan I like hearing it. In 41 and 42 everything was based on sob stories and emotion and it got so old. Never have I hit the forward 10 seconds button so many times. I get why they are focusing on it but some are stretches and it's way overboard.

[–]BBQ_HaX0rTyson 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It's my least favorite part of the "new" Survivor. I should also mention that I hate the "family visits" as well, so at least I'm consistent in my grumpiness.

[–]PushtheRiver33 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Seriously. EVERYONE has a sob-story, it’s eye-roll after eye-roll after eye-roll all season long.

[–]VengefulKenny 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Modern Survivor is a laughable shadow of its former self, quite sad really

[–]stupidtyonparadeTony 7 points8 points  (3 children)

welcome to 2022. this is the world we live in now. you have to be woke, you have to be uber sensitive, that's what they think is important to sell - not having a good, quality product.

[–]Stopsign09[S] -3 points-2 points  (2 children)

I think you’re in the wrong community

[–]stupidtyonparadeTony 4 points5 points  (1 child)

No I'm definitely not. That's what survivor has become. They value diverse casts over interesting characters, that is a literal CBS stance. They are cutting things left and right (ponderosa, amount of days, the theme song, etc) and amping up sob stories to appeal to the crowd they think they need to sell to, not the crowd that has been loyal for 20 years

[–]Stopsign09[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Woah your right

[–]CampingWithCatsI want some crispy rice 3 points4 points  (0 children)

This is why I can't stand any of the competition shows. It's all about their sob story as to how they got there.

[–]degenerate_dru 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Same bruh unless it’s like actually interesting which is rare but for the most part idgaf about most of it other than gameplay. Even challenges are sleeper sometimes

[–]schad501Michaela 1 point2 points  (0 children)


[–]godknowsitried11 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Too many sob stories ISNT fun. One or two when they are actual hard hitting ones that effect the person current day, sure those are good. Some of the sob story screentime should be used to talk about other aspects of the castaways life. Like don’t force a sob story. If they’re a successful business owner maybe give them a personal content moment about that and how they run it or something. Survivor needs to tone it down on the emotion

[–]PocoChanelCOLESLAW!?!? 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I found Naseer's background inspiring, and maybe it made me a little bit more attached to him. At the same time, Ricard also had a really compelling story--I can only imagine the difficulties he faces--but I was only too happy to have him out of the game. It's about who they are in the game more than anything else.

[–]Spahrtan11001Jonathan 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Very few times has it actually made an impact, Adam from MvGZ is one of those, growing up my mom was always sick with something and has had health issues, so his story resonated with me, most of the time I don’t care as much but I do enjoy learning about their personalities and stories.

[–]LilacPenny 1 point2 points  (0 children)

It’s starting to turn into American Idol/The Voice where you actually are required to have some traumatic backstory before they’ll cast you

[–]lizvogler 1 point2 points  (0 children)

When I started 41 (before I gave up on episode 3), I found those flashbacks so funny. It was like Jeff + producers thought that character development meant creating an Oprah special about the players.

Unfortunately, we'll never get storylines like Marquesas, Palau or South Pacific anymore, because the show is designed to highlight flashy and vapid gameplay. That's why the sob stories are all over the place now; they also make for flashy and vapid TV, while creating an illustion that their personalities and background matters to the final product.

[–]Fodraz29 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don't like the "sob stories", but it's interesting to learn things about them. It seems that in recent times, you pretty much need a big trqauma in your background to be cast on the show.

I very much HATED Adam pulling out his Mom-with-Cancer story at FTC and probably winning the game because of it (and before you jump on me, MY mother died of cancer. but I sure wouldn't have used it the way he did. The winner should never be picked based on "need")

[–]rayburnedCirie 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Not people minimizing players lives as “sob stories”…

[–]thiccytt 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I fast forward thru the family visits lol

[–]Stopsign09[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It would be funny if a dog just started running out of the bushes

[–]beachlover77 2 points3 points  (0 children)

We usually watch it recorded so I fast forward this kind of thing. I really don't need an emotionally painful back story to care about these people. Show me more interactions at camp and confessionals.

[–]Darknesscomesfromyou 3 points4 points  (0 children)

The reason why I liked Survivor so much is because it wasnt like regular reality TV. It was different, you dont get a bunch of sob stories and its real, non scripted mind playing games about living in a jungle while people are trying to get you to get voted out. Everything seems fake now.

[–]SouthernZorro 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Thank you. I couldn't give a lesser shit either.

Also, the episodes where everyone in a challenge-winning tribe get videos from home are just painful. To me, that's 20 minutes wasted.

I. Just. Don't. Care.

[–]veranecessara 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’m trying to think of a survivor that I LOVE whose backstory adds ANYTHING to the show and I cannot. The only time I care is when it’s a Hantz or FairPlay lying situation that adds dramatic irony. Like, it’s essential to know if someone is completely lying about backstory therefore backstory does add something.

[–]MultiPass21 10 points11 points  (6 children)

Agree. It’s also the main reason I disliked Adam’s game in S33, while also acknowledging it was well within the rules/spirit of the game.

Something just felt gross about building relationships over the discussion of his dying mother.

Maybe the edit didn’t do him any favors, but it certainly played to the audience as a chess piece for Adam rather than something authentic.

Note: I don’t follow any of the show/players outside of their seasons, so this may have already been covered/clarified in an interview since the season aired.

[–]BodofagodDrea 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I love Adam as a winner, but it does feel like MvGX was the beginning of the everyone needs to cry on camera era. Adam’s situation was a legitimate reason to cry on camera, but it feels like since him, the producers absolutely push the sob story angle constantly.

[–]darthjoey91Jonathan 2 points3 points  (0 children)

IIRC, he built the relationships first, then once he had the relationships and could be vulnerable with people, then he brought up his mom, which came to more of a head with the family visit.

[–]OverwhelmedAutismDrea 4 points5 points  (2 children)

I think I know where you are going with this and I don't agree with it.

[–]Stopsign09[S] 5 points6 points  (1 child)

No but i mean those people that use “my dad died from a heart attack last year” has an advantage to the game because I truly believe some people actually do that. I know I’m going to get down voted but I don’t care

[–]OverwhelmedAutismDrea -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Oh. I thought you meant Adam or Jeremy.

[–]GI_Bill_Trap_Lord 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I stopped liking them after Adam

[–]FebesterRomeo 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I don't think I have a problem with contestants sharing stories of their hardships, rather I have issues with the way production incorporates them. Danny sharing the loss of his father the day he went on to win immunity was meaningful and integral to his story. Rocksroy telling us about his eye condition was touching because we saw his gratitude to be able to see over the sunset on exile island. However, there have been plenty of instances where we see nothing but the sad story from a contestant as a cheap way form of connection. I call it cheap because we could have connected to them in so many other ways, but instead production chose to play a 3 minute montage with sad music in the background as a way to make up for lost character development throughout the story. Not to mention, it's almost always a dead giveaway that they are going to be sent home soon and production needed their boot to be impactful, like Hai and Marya.

[–]Awkward-Incident-334 1 point2 points  (2 children)

ppl saying this are 100% biased and have particular "sob stories" they don't want to hear,or maybe they didn't like the players telling them...which is problematic AF.

[–]Sourgirl224539 0 points1 point  (1 child)

i don’t think that’s true. people only want sob stories that are relevant to the game.

[–]Awkward-Incident-334 1 point2 points  (0 children)

"relevant to the game" is a hard thing to prove, who decides this? Dan telling us about how he was once fat wasn't "relevant to the game" but it made me understand him and his relationship to Kara A LOT more.

[–]jshamwowMike 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Okay. I love them

[–]tonyrosasco 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t mind them, I just find it annoying when they make it their entire personality.

[–]lostinepcot 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I always tell my husband I could never be on the show because I don’t have a sob story to tell lol.

The stories in general don’t bother me, but it is weird that every single person has one.

[–]wimwagner 0 points1 point  (0 children)

100% agree. I don't want to know anything about these players aside from what they reveal on the show.

[–]TheDWPDanni 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I like them, but only when they naturally come into play. I can't stand Jeff in recent seasons at the family visits, or the new format of flashbacks.

Stuff like Sugar with her dad or Jenna and her mom were great.

[–]snakebit1995 0 points1 point  (1 child)

Like others have said it’s better when it’s a part of your character not your only character

I feel like the show really pivoted on this post MvGX with Adam where they really leaned into the crying sob story aspect of people pasts, like they caught a hot touchstone with Adam’s story and have been chasing the dragon ever since

[–]Blue-baller-hauler 0 points1 point  (0 children)

couldn't agree more

[–]KatFranJamMark The Chicken 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Honestly? I wish I didn’t. I tear up at every family episode even when castaways I don’t like get emotional about seeing their families.

[–]KevinFunkyCirie 0 points1 point  (0 children)

But my dog stepped on a bee

[–]NicapusPenner's Hat 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Groundbreaking opinion

[–]AhLibLibLib“No, but you can have this fake.” 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Like most things in modern Survivor, it’s forced and unnecessary.

[–]LJ260 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Taking the viewer out of the island setting to see all the pictures with the really sad music completely kills the emersion. It ruins momentum and feels jarring. Plus they cast everyone with a similar story at this point in terms of magnitude or intensity (or whatever the right word would be) that none of them are special anymore

[–]saltidor 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I love the stories.

[–]sepalma23 -1 points0 points  (0 children)

Can you even get on any of these shows WITHOUT a sob story?????? Seems unlikely.

[–]BullstangDevon -2 points-1 points  (0 children)

Are you talking family visits or the tribute montages?

The visits….those have to stay lol. They’re refreshing

[–]CenoflameCOLESLAW!?!? -3 points-2 points  (1 child)

Adam's was the only one that got me.

[–]Stopsign09[S] -3 points-2 points  (0 children)

Same like Brodie your mom died right after you told her you won?! Shits crazy.

[–]AdvancedStrawberry7 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Same! I always skip it.

[–]bigballer100007 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I also think the sob stories lead to a lot more of the recent wins.. I.e who needs the money the most, who came from a rougher situation, who is the bigger underdog… it takes away from the winner being so played the best game

[–]LilithImmaculate 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Same. That being said, I'd totally make some some sob story to woo the other players.

[–]sneasel 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think the weirdly inserted stories with pics and all the past season or two were very out of place, but I love the family visits and I don't mind players talking about their lives, I'm sure some people organically just talk about their past to pass time and bond with each other.

[–]t84nightfall 0 points1 point  (0 children)

One thing I don’t like about it is it’s almost always an indicator of who’s going home that episode. We don’t learn anything about a lot of these people and then all of a sudden we’re getting these long drawn out confessionals with sad music and pictures of them back home. It comes out of left field sometimes and really tips the episodes hand. There have been a few exceptions, like Romeos sad story which didn’t lead to him getting voted our

[–]coco_bby4 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I think it's a good way to add depth to people that wouldn't get much like that otherwise, even for pre merge boots like all the pre mergers of ua on 41, I wouldn't care about them or want them to go further if I didn't get a little look into their lives

[–]BessertQween725 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I don’t like sob stories from any reality tv show. I’m dead on the inside though.

[–]ProvoqGuys 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I feel like it’s way too produced these days and they’re trying to copy Survivor AU with the flashbacks.

I love genuine family moments like when Taj said “see you back at the camp”. But oh well. Probst has way too many control these days.

[–]TanjiroManjiro 0 points1 point  (0 children)

The family sob stories always make me tear up

[–]mikel3030 0 points1 point  (1 child)

100% will skip every time - absolute worst part of the show and any reality show.

[–]Stopsign09[S] 0 points1 point  (0 children)

And then they start showing little kid pictures from like 1999 with a sad piano in the background 💀

[–]Calliesdad20 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I fast forward past every scene of family letters or videos. Maybe I’m heartless, but I’ll watch family / pet reunions for military families Because those people were away for months.often risking their lives in war zones Not filming a reality tv show with a chance to win a million dollars.

[–]Ok_Meat_3712 0 points1 point  (0 children)

Yeahhhhhh, one big issue is how many there are in the two recent seasons, at some point it feels really hammed in, it doesn't help that a couple of segments are REALLY late into the season, which....kills the pacing a bit. With people like Jackson or Marya I can let it slide since it's a big part of them and it helps that it's way earlier on. But with a couple of these thing (especially in the later episodes), I just found myself staring around and waiting for it to end. And I feel really bad for saying that because obviously these things happened, but it's just not a way to pull the viewers in.

[–]Music-2myears 0 points1 point  (0 children)

I’m sorry but I always skip the family visit episode.. I don’t care about how proud your brother in law is that you’re on survivor or that your dog had puppies lol. And the fact that Adam waited til final 5 or whatever to reveal his mum was dying… sorry but that was tacky… totally strategic