From the start of this season, I knew there would be issues within the groups. I was apprehensive, thinking this Season would end up being a test run of sorts. I was worried the team dynamic simply wouldn’t WORK the first time around, result in a quick game as one overpowered team swept across the island, entertaining, but boring.
The entire situation brings to mind SotF TV: Season 14; the shortest game we’ve ever had clocking in at just under 18 hours. (The ultimate winner being Georgia “Hatchet” LaLourvey.) Like Season 65, Season 14 was a time of change, upheavals within the SotF organization, and rule changes in an attempt to liven things up. The low ratings of Season 14 killed nearly all attempts at innovation thereafter, and while we can’t tire of good ol’SotF, I sometimes can’t help but look back and wonder... What would have happened if the new rules had worked as planned? Would SotF: TV be the same great show we know and love, or would it be worse? Perhaps it might be something entirely new, refreshing and spectacular with its own distinct style? We’ll never know. If one good thing came out of Season 14, it was the new attitude displayed by the SotF Crew, hesitance to tweak with the pitch perfect formula. SotF: TV went back to modification and fine-tuning rather than flashy gimmicks, pleasing long time fans and bringing in many more. It was this behaviour that showed just how dedicated and hardworking the crew of SotF are. To them, it isn’t a job. They are artists, and they deeply care about their craft. I worried, but my fears were misplaced, SotF has heard my concerns, and put them to rest long ago. They waited 65 Seasons to implement teams, and it is anything but unbalanced. In fact, this season looks to be far more interesting then even I had expected!
The random starting location has been a staple of SotF for many seasons, and its back yet again. In a nice move from the producers, very few team-mates have been dropped together, no early game overpowered roaming death squads to be seen! While I initially assumed this meant “instant bloodbath” as opposing teams picked off enemies, the opening has been pretty slow to start. But hey, some games are just like that. This entire team dynamic has thrown off even the SotF lovers, it’s something completely new and it looks like everyone is a little hesitant to approach it right away. What I honestly wasn’t expecting was cross-team alliances, something quite a few players have suggested already, Peter Campbell for one. The topic has been popping up a lot within groups, and I can see why it’s an attractive idea. Double the number of attackers, you double your chances at succeeding. Not an assured spot in the finals, but it definitely has its advantages. I can see trouble with it down the road though, namely backstabbing and team-wipes, which are sure to occur if any teams get this plan off the ground. It won’t be a rousing success by any means, but it’ll be entertaining to watch for certain.
Now, I know the producers have assured us time and again that, like for every season, teams and weapons were rolled completely at random. However, every so often I see a coincidence that just makes me think “Yeah, sure. THAT wasn’t totally planned.” I’m talking about the selection of Jack Lemmon for “Loner Boy”, the team-less wonder who many predict to be going out before half. Jack certainly got the short stick, and I’m not saying his death isn’t still a certain thing, it is, don’t worry. But come on, look at him. The producers DO have a heart. He’s drawn a revolver to defend himself with, and he’s already found Holly Herchenroder, his girlfriend. His odds of survival are still minimal, but then again… Holly has grenades. And her running off with Jack, abandoning team-mate Harold Smythe, it looks like he DOES have an ally after all! Likewise, I’m going to chalk up the alliance between Mae St. Clair, Shawn Morrison and Zachariah Johnston as direct producer interference. These characters all have strong links to one another if the promo material is anything to go by. Too often potential plot arcs have been killed off with the death of an important player, and it looks like in recent seasons, the producers have been trying to find ways to stymie that, although not directly. Y’know, I’m going to say I appreciate that. Zach and Shawn are sure to have a confrontation over Mae before too long, which may not have been assured otherwise. That will definitely be one of this seasons most watched clips, I can assure you!