And SFC13 is officially done. And despite some minor difficulties in production. I feel it was one of my stronger season. Possibly in my Top 5, but that could just be recency bias. But regardless I do think it was a good season, and everything went according to plan and there were no unexpected reactions for the most part. I’d call it a success.
The Winner: Jim
When I was making this season I knew I wanted a more normal winner in comparison to the last few I had, and I also wanted them to be a big strategic player that actually won, and Jim seemed likable enough to pull that off. What I wanted with Jim were several things. I wanted to give him a good underdog story without making it seem forced. For that Alleio was a great answer since he was such a bastard to Jim and always sabotaging his game in the name of friendship, and thus giving Jim hurdles to overcome
But I also knew I would need Jim to fail at points since having him be assured victory in every challenge he faced would be problematic. So I made sure that Jim had several big hits (F13, F9, F6, F3) to go with his big wins (F12, F10, F5).
And to play up his youth, being the 2nd youngest SFC winner after all. He had a lot more innocence than a lot of the cast, with Very rarely, if at all swearing, and just being a nice optimist to contrast with some of the more negative characters he clashed with. And on the topic of clashing. When making the season, the thing that made me decide on Jim as a winner was something I learned from my other seasons. When you have a whole bunch of crazy people like we had in this season. There needs to be the straight man, the normal down to earth one, which I noticed that several of my past seasons were lacking. So Jim fit into that role perfectly, and held the season together very well.
The Runner Up: Tapioca/Autumn
For Tapioca, whether it was all just an act, or legit insanity as Orwell hinted… I’ll leave that as ambiguous as I can. But she had multiple roles in the story.
1. The Most Obvious one would be endgame doubt. At a certain point. It was going to be obvious Jim won. Unless he went up against Orwell, Iyzebel or Damon, and they wouldn’t make good FTC losers. So with Tapioca…. I intentionally played into the paranoia factor so that on Day 39 when the reveal happens. “Oh God. Please Tell me SWSU isn’t going to pull a bullshit last minute twist and have her as the winner!” Even if nobody fully believed it. (Which some did) I just wanted there to be that weird feeling that it COULD happen.
2. After some seasons of the Gag Characters that annoy people. I wanted there to be an intentionally unfunny “Funny” Character. And for the first part of the season she appeared to be just a weirdo. But by the midseason as expected. She started getting annoying. So that became a plot point of how she pissed everyone the hell off. All Culminating in what I was at least hoping was a fear that she would end up winning.
3. In Survivor Cast Assessments for the real show. Jeff talks about (For Crazy people) “If they get to the end, and can pull off the mask and say. I’m Really Super Smart, and I’ve been playing you. They can win” That’s bullshit, and I hope Tapioca proved why that will never happen.
With the Three Tribe Structure, I was able to give each tribe their own time to focus. Nonamye was the focus early on. Then Wakah in the middle, while Purada was the endgame tribe. With the main characters of each surviving their respective Tribe story/slaughter (Orwell, Sasha, Luna).
Another thing I decided to focus on was something I’d like to call the revolving door of villains. After SFC12 where the villains were all there at the start and just slowly got picked off. I wanted the villains to do their stuff, then pass the torch. Early on there was Arnold who despite not being villainous, was the antagonist for Nonamye. He left in Episode 5 just as the Critic and Alleio began picking up, and as they left. Iyzebel and Luna emerged for the final arc, and then Tapioca in the finale. I feel like none of the villains really did get stale... in terms of villainy. Character itself is a different story, but to each their own.
The Beta Draft
As I mentioned in Orwell’s writeup. His placement changed a lot, and changing it was the key reason the season turned out much better than initially planned. The entire endgame would have been entirely different. And not entirely for the better.
I’m further along on 14 now than I was for 13 at the end of SFC12. I have the Cast Decided and mostly sprited and the Confirmation notes sent already. It took me a while to get ready because I wasn’t going to start until I had a story and concept I was happy with. I am determined to beat the Even Season Curse!
But as to what to look forward to:
-18 Castaways with 16 new franchise
- A New Twist Never Seen On the Show.