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CBS-TV's "Survivor" 

Surviving Humiliation

I may never do lunch in this city again, but I'm going to say it anyway: I kinda' like CBS-TV's "Survivor."

But only if we're talking veg-out television, mind you. It certainly isn't in the same class as "Masterpiece Theatre." Or even "Cookin' Cheap."

But as chewing gum for the mind, it's got its points. Like mentally wagering on who will be the next poor shlub to get kicked off the island. (I thought it was a dirty deal that they decided Sonja should be the first to go. But I didn't much mind when they kicked that old coot B.B. out last week. He had it coming.)

I mean, how many ways can you do a series about being marooned somewhere? I remember when "Gilligan's Island" was in prime time on its first run. I thought it was a stupid show then, and it hasn't improved with age any more than Rush Limbaugh has. And don't get me started on "Lost in Space."

I suppose it's the suspense on "Survivor." It's certainly not those inane competitions or those asinine tribal meetings. They're just a little too Boy Scout-camp for my taste. Talk about contrived....

And it's certainly not the million dollars the last survivor will get. What's a million dollars worth after taxes these days, anyway?

Nope. I like waiting to see who will be the next to be humiliated by his or her fellow tribesmen. It's watching him or her slump across that rickety bridge after having been cast out as worthless — that's what keeps me in front of the TV on Wednesday nights at 8.

Yep. That's it. Total degradation as entertainment. Trust me. It's TV's next big frontier.

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