I've seen quite a consensus on the internet that people thought that episode 5 was "good", and episode 1 was "okay" but the rest of the pre-merge was awful. I'd just like to list a few reasons why I disagree with this:
- Sure, the Allie/Hope boots may have been the cliche minority-alliance-gets-picked-off scenario but I though that the "Cool Kids" was a likable unsucessful early alliance in the game - and I liked Laura outing Reynold's idol at the episode 2 tribal council.
- People found Shamar polarizing, but he also had an interesting background and breathed life into the Fans tribe.
- Even post-tribe shuffle there was some good quotes such as Cochran's vanilla comment about Julia and Corinne's tubby lunchbox comment about Phillip.
- There were several great tribal challenges, some of them being of the popular water-variety.
- It's cool to see people on the show that have their own unique style and Matt the beards guy sure was an interesting character.
- A lot of people complained that the editing was very uneven in the pre-merge but in defence of this, the storylines of Brenda and Erik are clearly more post-merge orientated.