Yes, CBS's new
Yes, there were some different twists in the show and the teaser for Episode 2. For instance (without giving too much away), it takes place on a real ship (except for the Pirate's Court/vote off ceremony, which looks suspiciously like a left over set from the Pirates of the Caribbean movie...) instead of an island or a house. And a large part of their quest lies before them in the form of the "Chest of Zanzibar" - sounds like a gay porn movie, but more on that later... - that has 14 locked compartments that contain clues to where the real treasures lie.
After the requsite vomiting scene - this time induced by sea sickness instead of over exertion or too much drinking like the other reality shows - they finally arrive at the first place and the lovely Jeff Probst/Steve Irwin wanna-be, Austrailian Cameron Daddo opens the first compartment on the chest. Contained within are two maps, each with a compass. But Matey, there are 16 pirates, how should you divide yee? You gotta have balls! Well, marbles actually, some red and some black - ooooh, will the symbolism ever end? Annoyingly, probably not.
They are divided up into two teams, called the Red Crew and a Black Crew; unfortunately they didn't have to come up with names for their team like The Apprentice. Man, I would have called mine "Rated Arrrgggh" or "Cap'n Hook, Line and Sinker" if given the chance! Then are have to compete! Uhhhm, don't we see this sort of thing on certain other Mark Burnett Reality Shows?
One twist that gets to happen for this, and hopefully all challenges, is the team with the lead gets to "sabotage" the team behind them at a certain point in the challenge. This is meant to give them more of a lead, though in the first episode it didn't help them a lot.
Well, one team finally finds the treasure chest filled with a bunch of gold coins - another twist on the theme. Well, I guess it is appropriate being pirates and all, and the fact that they didn't have giant, embossed cheques handed to them on some CBS morning show way back in those days. So they take it back to the ship, the Picton Castle. I'm not sure how many of you watch the Canadian news recently, but there is a really, really disturbing case in British Columbia regarding Robert Pickton who allegedly buried bodies in the pig pens on his farm. You think the CBS writers would have known that Canadians watch the show too (yes, we love our reality TV!) and I don't think that this will sit well with some viewers. It wouldn't surprise me if some people refuse to watch it just because of that.
Back on the ship they count the booty and find it's $40,000. Then they are asked to elect someone as the Captain of the ship. They pick Jon Doe, or Joe Don, or whatever, who reminds me of Patrick Warburton, though not as expressive, nor as exciting. He's ex-Navy so obviously he would make the best captain. Ha! In any case, he immediately gets to pick two Officers. Now they've only know each other for 24 hours, so he picks one male and one female. Then the host says that Jon Doe gets half of the booty, and his two officers get $5,000 each, and the rest of the crew that won (not saying which...) gets $2,000 each. Gee, some of them are a little pissed, some more than others, and the other crew is even more pissed. But hey, you don't win, you don't get anything...unless you are sleeping with the Captain. I think that they get to take any of the money they win with them when they go, another twist in the game. Of course, this is just my speculation so far.
Just like on Big Brother, the head of the ship/house gets their own quarters, but this time gets/has to share it with the officers. The three of them head into the Captain's quarters, but don't let anyone else in to see. Gee, more animosity happening here? Well, he comes down on them some more, this Captain Patrick Warburton - though can't act as well as PB can - and makes them swab the decks and all those other pirate clichés. Then he gets to mark three - count 'em, three - of the crew with a Black Spot. These folks will stand up to the jury - as you may know, the speeches to the jury in Survivor are often the most anticipated part because everyone hates everyone else - and plead their case as to why they should stay. Now here's where things can get fun because the three that are chosen, along with the Captain and Officers, don't get to vote for who leaves, it's up to the rest of the crew. So now you have to suck up to everyone, not just the people on your own crew - what a twist. Ho hum.
The three that are voted to stand trial include a scientist/stripper (I told you I'd get back to the gay porn again...), a vomiting receptionist, and a guy who looks suspiciously like Rupert from the Survivor Pirate season. Okay, maybe this isn't an actual reality show and Burnett and Co. are just saving money by digitally enhancing footage from previous seasons of Survivor, The Apprentice and Are You Smarter than a Fifth Grader. Speaking of, one of them wants to have the crew mutiny by coming up with a childlish plan - he may be a scientist, but he's not a rocket scientist. (Hey, wasn't there one of those on Survivor? Or was it Big Brother? Or Biggest Loser???)
Yadda, yadda, yadda, they give their speeches, hatch their plan, ask for a mutiny, and the crew gets to vote. In an interesting twist they get to stab their choice with a sword. Well, not actually their choice, but a card with his or her name on it gets forced onto the upright sword. In a bit of David Blaine magic, the host turns over all the cards and none of them have any damage to them and are all readible - and the decision is unanimous! That person is set adrift on the set/ocean. No, I'm not going to tell you who it was, you can go read the recap/spoiler sites like everyone else!
Next week's previews show that Captain Patrick Warburton pays one of his buddies a couple thousand in golden doubloons to be an informer, just like the Pirate Mafia. He'd better watch out, he might wake up with the head of his beloved sea-horse next to him in bed...
Now, later in the evening I gave my son's friend and his younger brother a ride home. They hadn't watched the show, so was describing it to them and mentioned that one of the characters was a scientist/exotic dancer. Tod, who is six years old, mentioned "that's what I want to be". We asked him which one, and he said scientist - thankfully - so I asked him what kind of scientist. He said he wants to be one of those scientist that can do things to people - and he wants to turn his brother into Iron Man! He also plans to turn my son into the King of the Sea, and wants to be able to rob banks because that's how evil scientists get their money so they can turn their brothers into Iron Man. I had to laugh, and in doing so almost drove off the side of the road. Funny stuff comes out of kids mouths sometimes. Quite the imagination for a 6 year old.
I hope his imagination never goes away like it has for Mark Burnett and company. Oh well, I'll probably watch it some more to see if the dreadlocked guy who was an extra in Pirates of the Carribean: A Dead Man's Chest gets lynched like he did in the movie!
Stay tuned, Matey, cause she'll be rated Arrrgh!
If you watched it, what are your thoughts? Did you want to become an evil scientist when you were a child? Let me know.