For those who opted to click on this article by a new writer here at TDT, firstly, wow…thank you. It’s super cool y’all’d care to read what I may or may not have to say, even if it’s just out of curiosity. Now, secondly, for those of y’all still reading fifty-something words later, allow me to introduce myself. My name is Dan Otsuki, and I’m a recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington where I double majored in English and Religious Studies. I’ve watched Survivor religiously since season two, and since I turned eighteen, I’ve applied for every single season I could in hopes of achieving the real dream of being on the show and competing for the coveted title.
The weekly column I present to y’all—titled: “It’s Kind of a Funny Story”—is meant to illustrate one major point: how a given season’s narrative affects how viewers see contestants and the season-long arc, often times coercing audiences to root for the destined winner (and, all too often, the person voted out just shy of the FTC). I love a good story, be it movies, television, literature, or even videogames, and while stories obviously vary greatly from narrative to narrative, one thing remains fairly constant: archetypes. Through my posts, I hope to present how editors manipulate given contestants into varying archetypes, from heroic paragons to devious villains, magicians who appear to make something extraordinary out of nothing, Shakespearean-esque fools who narrate a season without being its focal point, and even those everyday people who we the audience see a little of ourselves in.
My hope is, through reading my commentary, you’ll see what I see, giving yourself just one more lens through which to appreciate one of the greatest stories told year after year. My first article will come out once the official cast list has been released, summarizing the returnees’ past archetypes and giving general predictions as to their chances. Until then, cheers, friends, and thanks for the interest.
Dan Otsuki has been watching Survivor religiously since season two, and is a recent graduate of the University of Puget Sound, where he double majored in English and Religious Studies. He's also applied to play on the show every time he's been able to do so.