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The Ghost Team appears in Episode #8.

Before I go into the update for Episodes #8 and #9, I would like to make
a few comments about the scheduling of the show.

Running a reality show can be a plus or minus for a network. On the plus
side, the shows are cheap to produce compared to most normal prime-time
drama series. On the other hand, putting on a reality show is similar in
some ways to running a movie mini-series in that it involves making a
kind of commitment with a viewer that the show will be aired in its
entirety through to the end — even if the ratings totally suck. You
just can't cancel a reality show mid-way through if you can't get the
ratings, because there will always be some people who are loyal to the
show and want to see it through.

Or at least that's the way it has been so far with reality shows, that
bond of commitment. But after jacking with the schedule for Pirate
Master
over two weeks with the obvious intent to get the ratings up,
CBS has broken that bond of commitment. Pirate Master, starting
with Episode #9, was pulled from the airwaves and is being shown now
exclusively through the Pirate Master site on the internet. The episodes
are being shown full-length and can be zoomed to fit your computer
screen. They can be viewed after they are put up at any time of day.
Which sounds rather cool.

But to me it is a breach of faith. While most people today have
computers and internet access fast enough to stream the episodes into
their home, not everyone is so fortunate. Many people still don't have
computers or don't have internet access. So what this means for them is
that they are shit out of luck.

This does not bode well for future reality shows. The bond of faith
between viewers and the networks has been broken, and now that it
has been broken it will no doubt be an option that CBS and other
networks will consider in the future. So I give fair warning here — if
you start watching any new reality show from here on out, there's going
to be no guarantee that it won't be pulled off the air and that you
won't have to watch it on your computer.

As for P.M.P.I., I committed myself to doing the updates for this show
some time back and I plan to follow through with it — whether anybody
reads the crap or not. But to be honest, that's what I do with most stuff
here.

Okay, on to the Update.

Episode #8 began with the Triad of Captain Azmyth, Jay and Ben firmly in
control. But at that point the people that put out the show decided to
change things up again. When the time came for the teams to form and go
out on the treasure hunt, they brought back the former crew of the
Picton Castle who had been cut adrift and were no longer members
of the show to form a "Ghost Team" that would go up against Captain
Azmyth and the remaining members of the crew as the Black team. If the
Ghost Team won the contest and found the treasure, they would be allowed
to split the spoils and also would vote in a new captain.

All of which was an interesting idea that essentially went nowhere. The
Ghost team totally screwed the pooch trying to find the treasure, and
the Black team won. And so Azmyth remained as captain with officers Jay
and Ben. When Jupiter, who had been pretty tight with Azmyth up until
that point tried to warn him about the grumblings among the crew about a
possible mutiny, Azmyth ironically misinterpreted her remarks as
dissention and as a result she was given on of the black marks. The
remaining crew decided to use the opportunity to get rid of Jupiter, who
they knew was still pretty loyal to Azmyth, and they voted her off and
she was cut adrift.

Episode #9 started out with a nice change of pace for the remaining crew
members. They had some sort of break and were taken onto a nice spot on
one of the adjoining islands. A party was held, allowing them to relax
for a night. Not that there was much relaxation going on, as pretty much
every member of the crew, even Jay and Ben, could sense that Azmyth's
time was drawing to a close as everyone at that point was hoping for a
change of captain.

The following morning the teams were divided into Azmyth and the Black
team, but another surprise rule change was thrown in and this time Jay
and Ben had to draw lots to see which team they would be on the same as
any other crew members. Both ended up on the Red team. On the hunt for
the treasure Christa — pretty much a background crew member up to that
point — showed her worth by using her head and doing some quick
mathematical thinking that gave the Red team a significant edge in the
race for the treasure. As a result the Red team got to the treasure
first. So much for "dumb blondes."

With the Red team doing the voting Azmyth lost his captaincy. Jay
nominated Christa to be captain and the rest of the team quickly agreed.
And so the Picton Castle ended up with its first female captain
of the show. Four more rule changes were added at this point. First,
from now on the treasure when found will go in its entirety to whoever
is captain. Whether the captain decides to spread the wealth a little
and share it with any remaining crew members will be entirely up to them.
Second, there will be no more officers. Third, only two members over
the next episodes will be handed out black marks and subject to a vote
in Pirate's Court at the end of each episode. And lastly, the Royal
Pardon, which gave the crew a chance to be taken out of consideration
for being cut adrift, would no longer function — no more pardons.

Captain Christa made somewhat of a show of calling the crew members into
her cabin and polling them about who they thought should get the black
marks and possibly be cut adrift, but the show of fairness wasn't really
meaningful at that point considering that everyone wanted Azmyth off the
ship at that point. And so it happened. Good-bye, Azmyth. But Azmyth had
a pretty good long run as captain, and I have no doubt that he is going
home with some pretty good money. So you can't feel too sorry for the guy.

I was glad to see Christa get the captaincy. Is she good looking? Yeah,
she's got that going for sure. But she always seemed like the nicest
member of the crew also, so much so that you wonder how she remained a
crew member for this long and didn't get cut adrift. And as Episode #9
proved she's also pretty damn smart.


Captain Christa — now this is one captain
that I wouldn't mind serving under.

* * * * * * * *


Cheryl Kosewicz

IN MEMORY

I'm not always the most with it guy in terms of current events, and I just
found out about this.

Evidently Cheryl Kosewicz, a Pirate Master contestant who was cut
adrift at the end of Episode #4, was found dead in her home at the end
of July. It was speculated that it may have been suicide. It seems that
Cheryl had lost her boyfriend a few months earlier due to suicide. The
night before her death she had posted a Comment on a MySpace page of
another cast member saying "Truthfully, I've lost the strong Cheryl and
I'm just floating around lost."

To her family and friends, I send my heartfelt condolences.

There are reality shows, and then there's hard, cold reality. The first
is meaningless. Only the second matters.

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