Knee-jerk review: CBS' "Survivor: Philippines"

1. Yes, we still watch it.  There was one season a couple of years ago where we fell behind in the DVR queue and then just gave up.  But other than that, we haven't missed an episode.  We've been there from the very first season. 
2. It's still the most fascinating reality-TV competition on the air.  Equal parts physical strength, strategy, sociology, and personality.
3. It's always amusing to see contestants completely unable to practice what they preach.  All of these Type-A people know that outspoken, cocky "Survivor" leaders are often targeted at Tribal Council.  But they just can't help themselves. We're looking at you, Russell.  Sheesh.
4. Seems like a good cast this season. Likable people. 
5. Though we had no idea what Zane was talking about when he tried to describe his elaborate "ruse" strategy.
6. If you were picked to be on the show, wouldn't you immediately take a crash course in making a fire from scratch?  And wouldn't you also immediately begin some kind of, like, work-out regimen to develop endurance and strength?  Many contestants don't seem to do this.
7. Do the producers seriously think any viewer is buying that those cut-in shots of spiders and sharks and snakes are anywhere near the contestants?  No one's falling for that.
8. There's no one better at this kind of thing than Jeff Probst.  He's part of what makes this show so engaging.  Just think of the phony snark and smirk of other hosts like Ryan Seacrest or Tom Bergeron or Chris Harrison.  It'd never work in the jungle.
9. Big fan of Penner. Big fan.
10. There's really no call for the show's opening credits to be that artful and painterly.  But that's because "Survivle" goes the extra mile for you.
11. Yes, we have the soundtrack.

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