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Survivor Millennials vs. Gen X: May the Best Generation Win!

You’d think that after 32 seasons of castaways and cash, Survivor would have explored every potential twist and theme. But you’d be mistaken; it merely needs to be updated. The 33rd season is dusting off an old chestnut and bringing it back to age for a show that has covered divisions like working techniques, hero/villain nature, gender, and race. That’s correct! The first episode of Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X focused on dividing the two tribes into older and younger generations.

This isn’t the first time Survivor has tackled a similar topic. Survivor: Panama – Exile Island split the groups based on age AND gender back in 2005. Elder males, older women, younger men, and younger women make up the four tribes. That season, the focus was on determining whether or not age and gender inequalities had a role in the victory. The victor was ultimately a castaway from the younger men’s tribe, however, the season’s theme had little bearing on the winner’s decision or the castaway’s mindset. However, it appears that the concept is right up front in Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X.

survivor millennials vs. gen x

With some significant exceptions to the paranoid gamers, the “Gen X-ers” (as it were) were more grounded and established based on their editing. They were treated as if they were older and more experienced, right down to Jeff’s comments about them during the task. He did nothing except underline their contrasts when he talked about their “larger bodies” or chose the advantages. (We’ll return to Jeff’s thoughts later in the piece.)

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When it came to emphasizing their generation, the “Millennials” athletes were not treated any differently. Some Millennials come seen as vacuous, reckless, and more interested in hanging out, dating, and having a good time than actually playing Survivor Millennial, according to the generation description and the age gap for this season. If a storm was approaching, I wouldn’t have skipped erecting the camp or gathering the necessary survival supplies. Anyone who has seen even a single episode of Survivor understands the significance of this. The game didn’t truly hit them until the storm came, with the exception of a few who had a sense of the game (like Adam or Hannah).

In the wake of the storm, Jeff and production have been forced to take the castaways out of the game for the first time. In the past, severe rainstorms have broken down the players, weeding out the weaker competitors. This is the first time the weather has posed a safety threat. The production deserves credit for stepping in! It’s one thing to have a lot of drama in an episode, but it’s also important to be safe.

We received our first glance at the challenge when the game restarted. I’m not sure if these “shortcuts” (mechanisms that make overcoming a hurdle easier but come with a penalty later – in this case, more puzzle pieces for the final challenge) will be used throughout the season. In any case, the task was entertaining and a mainstay of Survivor. (An obstacle course that culminates in a race.

Jeff’s commentary was the only other thing worth mentioning during the challenge. He’s not just making a remark about the game; he’s been gone for a long time. He’s calling individuals out on purpose. Jeff is TOO engaged in the middle of things when compared to Julie Chen of Big Brother. Rachel, for example, did poorly in the challenge. But Jeff didn’t have to come out of anywhere to call her out near the end of the challenge and remind everyone how awful she had done. Jeff has a lot of clouts, and people pay attention to him. If he mentions something, you pay attention, especially at Tribal Council.

survivor millennials vs. gen x

Rachel getting the first boot at Tribal Council came as no surprise. She was an easy out after her terrible challenge performance, Jeff’s criticisms, and her lack of powerful alliances. Unless the tribe went after her comrade CeCe or the crazy mess David, nothing could have spared her.

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The first episode provided a strong start to what appears to be an exciting season. Will the Millennials unite to prove the Gen X-ers wrong, or will the Gen X-ers reclaim the initiative? Which new twist will have the most impact on the game next? That will have to wait and see. It’s still early in the process, but I’m anticipating a surprise vote shortly.

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