Telling people to watch Survivor is like saying it's OK to wear mom jeans, but even going into it's 19th season, the show is still entertaining. Yeah, it's not cool, but that's no reason not to watch.
In fact, here are five reasons to watch the two-hours season premiere, which airs tonight on CBS. This time around they're off to Samoa for some piña coladas and getting lost in the rain.
1. It's Big and Beautiful: This is the first season that features 20 contestants. When they up the number, that always means that people are kicked off right away, or they do some sort of massive culling of the numbers just to shake things up. After all these years, we appreciate their efforts to keep the players and viewers guessing. Also, 20 people means even more people to love and people to hate. This show has produced some of the best reality villains in TV history, like Sue Hawk and Richard Hatch in the first season. Not as well-known is last season's annoying, pathological liar and dragon slayer Coach. This long-haired professional soccer coach even lost his job for disappearing to go on the show and telling everyone he was gone because he was getting tested for cancer. He sounds just like Kim from Real Housewives of Atlanta, but without the wig. This year the show is trying to make castaway Russell (pictured) out to be the show's biggest villain ever. The jury's still out.
2. A Social Experiment Gone Awry: The draw of this show has always been allowing viewers to think about what they would do if they were trapped on a desert island with a bunch of strangers and had to fend for their lives. Of course cliques form, people fall for each other, outcasts become resentful, and everyone has their fair share of petty squabbles. This shit is fun to watch! And unlike the current crop of reality shows, which is about people making fools of themselves for no reason, at least these people are doing it for a prize. It's also amazing to see who has the power and how it shifts based on the number of people that will be loyal to them and how well they are liked. And let us not forget the bitchery, backstabbing, shit talking, and plotting that goes on. Who needs Blair Waldorf when you can watch some crazy female police officer from New Hampshire claw someone's eyes out for $1 million.
3. Hot People Wearing Next to Nothing: Compared to shows like Big Brother, where nearly everyone is a wannabe bodybuilder or model, Survivor has a bit more diversity of age and type to their casting. That doesn't mean that each season isn't chock full of grade-A meat of both genders. And, when they're out in the desert or jungle or whatever godforsaken pocket of the globe they've been shipped off to this year, they're often sporting littler more than a bathing suit or underwear. Yes, we're old enough to buy porn, but why bother with that when there are beautiful people on network television for free!
4. Jeff Probst: Probst is the best reality television show host period and he deserves his Emmy. He's also a pissy little bitch who will not be happy until he gives at least one contestant a nervous breakdown. Unlike other hosts who let contestants ramble on, Probst is the first one to call them on their shit and let everyone know just how ridiculously they're acting or behaving. He's also not afraid to let everyone know when his own show isn't that great. The past few seasons he's been blogging about the show on Entertainment Weekly's website with a shocking amount of candor. If he's back this season, the blog is a must-read for the day after.
5. It's Still Relevant: Sure, plenty of people will say, "That show's still on?" or "Does anyone watch that anymore?" and the answer is yes and yes. The last season finale in May, the series' lowest rated, still clocked about 13 million viewers. No show going into its 19 season is going to have the numbers it once had back in the day, but Survivor is still a trust-worthy brand that is almost always one of the top 20 programs of the week. Now, would you rather get in touch with what the rest of America is watching by spending an hour with Glenn Beck or Jeff Probst and his merry band of half-naked schemers?