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Survivor Borneo recaps, reviews, and episode analysis

Survivor season one is the reality TV show that changed television. CBS’s genre-defining reality competition show wasn’t the first American reality TV show (PBS’s An American Family, MTV’s The Real World), nor the first competition (MTV’s Road Rules), nor even the first broadcast network reality show (ABC’s Making the Band).

But from its cinematic editing and dramatic game play to its exponentially increasing ratings, it was a hit that set the standard for reality competitions—and made it clear to other networks that the genre.

In 2000, I’d just been fired from my job recapping The Real World, and while I obsessively followed Survivor and blogged about in reality blurred‘s early pages, I didn’t recap or review season one—not until 20 years later, when I rewatched the show in 2020, a year that only had one new seasons of the CBS show..

While I don’t think there can be spoilers for 20-year-old TV shows, these recaps were written in hindsight, so they discuss both the events of the episodes and what’s ahead in the season. Enjoy!

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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