I recently joined Ben Domenech on the Federalist Radio Hour to discuss the most recent season of Survivor and how the game has changed in its 16 years on the air. As I wrote in Reason's January 2016 issue:
Survivor may not be as culturally ubiquitous anymore, but it's still on the air (can Jersey Shore say the same?) with a loyal contingent of more than 10 million weekly viewers. The most recent season is not just as good as the show ever was, but better.
It survived by evolving: Gimmicky concepts that didn't work were jettisoned, and the show expanded its strategic landscape until it was more like a popular sporting event than a reality show. Survivor isn't about surviving in the wild; it's about convincing other people you're not a threat while simultaneously constructing a narrative that persuades your rivals you deserve to win.
Disclaimer: I have applied to be a contestant multiple times.
We also chatted about sexting laws and the government's ownership claim over teenagers' bodies, cultural appropriation, and the latest sins of Rolling Stone. That's plenty of non-Survivor content for all you haters out there.