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TV's Newest Reality Sitcom: The Morgansby Ken Kellam III -- 09/29/2003
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Reality TV is, for the most part, a drama. However, why does watching the Morgan tribe in action (or is that inaction?) feel more like a sitcom? Their bumbling efforts in the village to start the game are well documented (and in the Reality TV Hall of Shame), and they really don't seem to have improved much, if at all. They've now lost three challenges in a row and there doesn't seem to be any sign of that changing. From here, it looks like the problem is a lack of teamwork, which started with their antics in the village and continues to haunt them at challenges.
Even though the show has a "pirate" theme, the Morgan tribe looks more like the Keystone Cops. You've got one member who wasn't targeted until she opened her mouth, another who's a mortician and barely speaks, a lady who shares her name with a city south of the border, and one whose whole gimmick is being a Scoutmaster. So much, in fact, that she referred to her "troop" before correcting herself and using the word, “tribe.” Out of the four men, we had a lawyer who came in an Armani suit, a well-muscled man who, courage-wise, is a 97-pound weakling, another guy who practically IS a 97-pound weakling, and another one whose idea of teamwork is going into the village by himself and checking out renting a boat – but without money or a map.
When it was mentioned in the previews that someone from Morgan wanted to quit, did ANYBODY think it would be Osten, or did Skinny Ryan and Scout Mama come to mind? Who imagined that Osten's resolve would be even wimpier than the shorts that kept falling down? What makes me the angriest is, if he's going to quit that easily, he shouldn't have signed up in the first place. It's a shame he was given one of 16 coveted spots that could've gone to someone with more mental toughness.
What about his comment that Skinny Ryan on his best day wasn't as good as Osten on his worst? Well, Skinny Ryan may never be mistaken for Charles Atlas, but Osten, he showed more heart in his head than you showed in your entire well-muscled body. At least he didn't give up until his torch was snuffed. Now granted, Osten is not the first person to ask to be voted out. B.B. pulled a similar maneuver in the original Survivor, and of course, there's Shawna from last year.
There are, however, differences. For one, B.B. might have been voted out even if he HADN'T asked everyone to put his name down. Also, he was 64 when he did the show, so from a physical standpoint, he didn't have nearly as much to offer as Osten, even though he did build a good bit of the shelter. And Shawna, remember, was ill, or so she said. Osten has simply given up after just six days. It's hard to believe that someone who has the drive and determination to work on Wall Street would just up and quit. But as with any sitcom, the outcome was rather comical, with Osten wanting to leave and staying, and "Skinny Ryan" wanting to stay but leaving. Did Morgan make the right decision, or was this just another bumbling move on their part? Only time will tell, but my guess is that they made the right decision. Now that Osten has seen he doesn't necessarily control his own fate, he might just suck it up and become more of a team player. It's not like as if he's likely to be around much after the merger anyway, assuming he lasts that long.
What about his statement that "Skinny Ryan" had nothing to offer? That may be true in a physical sense, but who is worse: the man who has nothing to offer or the one who has plenty to offer but refuses to offer it? It reminds me of the expression, "He who will not read has no advantage over he who cannot read," or somesuch. Whereas "Skinny Ryan" is like a movie you don't expect to be very good, Osten is more like a movie that looks like a blockbuster, but turns out to be a box-office turkey, making him the much greater disappointment. Now it's up to him whether or not he wants to capitalize on his "stay of execution," unless his resolve remains even flimsier than the shorts which kept falling down on him. Being naked shouldn't be nearly as embarrassing as being stripped of all will to go on.
Here's a question regarding the undefeated Drake tribe: Did they send the right person to the Morgan Camp, and did she make the right choice? Michelle might have had it pegged when she breathed a sigh of relief at not being chosen, knowing this could incur the wrath of the other tribe later on. As for sending Sandra, she might have been given the nod since she sat out the reward challenge, but she didn't need to show so much attitude. Granted, they were rude to her when she was there, but when leaving, did she really need to say, "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" and "no hard feelings." It made her look like she was guilty of a "taunting" foul, which might indeed come back to haunt her. In fact, one member of Morgan said Sandra was a bit "snatchy" about the way she took the tarp.
But what about the behavior of Morgan during Sandra's visit? They can be forgiven for not welcoming her with open arms, given the circumstances. But their spiteful refusal to let Sandra use their knife may have backfired. Maybe if they had helped her, their shelter wouldn't be in the disarray it is now – not that it wasn't before. But as it is, they effectively stuck their tongues out at her, making themselves more childish. Darrah, the Mississippi Mortician who seems to speak out once an episode, called the other tribe "a bunch of ****s." Maybe so, but they're a bunch of WINNING ****s, Darrah. Sandra said "I gotta do what I gotta do," and Andrew answered, "Not necessarily." Does anyone else get the felling that if the Morgan tribe had won the challenge, Andrew wouldn't have any problem doing something similar?
Here's a question regarding the now-ousted "Skinny Ryan:" Did he deserve to go? From a strategic standpoint, yes, even if Osten begged to be ousted. Despite his comments, however, about losing the game in the first five minutes, I doubt it would've mattered much. The fact was, true or not, he was see as not giving his all during the first challenge, and he had it pegged when he talked about all the pressure on him to do well in the next challenge. Well, the sitcom known as "The Morgans" is now down to six members. Will the show make a comeback, or will it be cancelled to due losing to many cast members?
Ken can be reached with any comments, criticisms, or money orders at YourNextOfKen@aol.com.
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