Jeff Probst
Credit: Jeff Probst: Monty Brinton/CBS

Reality-TV shows like Survivor: Thailand can be a lot of things, but dull shouldn’t be one of them. Filled with idiocy? Now that I expect — as when one ”Survivor” tribe, through sheer lazy negligence, lost the boat that might have helped round up some protein-providing fish. Exec producer Mark Burnett masterfully underscored such boneheadedness by cutting from one of the tribe members bemoaning the small vessel’s waywardness to a swooping aerial shot of the boat that had drifted alllll the way over to a different island. Here was an example of stupidity made entertaining by clever editing.

However, ”Survivor: Thailand” boasts the most boorish and dull group of castaways yet assembled by Burnett. With the possible exception of Ken, the New York City cop, who occasionally exhibits a novel mixture of moral compass and flash-fire temper, none of the survivors has been either charming or resourceful (thereby denying us someone to root for), and no one has yet to rival egregiously irksome or villainous ”Survivor 1” king Richard Hatch. Tellingly, host Jeff Probst is noticeably testier with the Thailand mob, exhorting them impatiently during competitions that are themselves becoming annoyingly repetitive (what? the old arrange-the-puzzle-pieces test again?). Probst sharply chided the cloddish Clay during an elimination vote for writing down a nickname for the departed Ghandia — ”Denver Diva” — that confused and thus irritated our tanned, cosseted host.

Survivor: Thailand
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