25 June 2012

TV Series: The Great Escape

The Great Escape on TNT http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1942995/

TV series

TNT brings us a new reality series from the folks that brought us "The Amazing Race" called "The Great Escape".
In a nutshell, three two-person teams compete to complete multiple tasks and avoid guards to "escape" their location. First team to complete all tasks and escape wins $100,000.

The first episode was escape from Alcatraz.  The next one is escape from USS Hornet.

Here's the thing. They advertised it as "from the producers of The Amazing Race". And the show is basically just like the final episode of an Amazing Race season, without the travel. Someone wins, they get money. Other teams don't. We see the teams try at the tasks, hear them complain about their teammates and the other teams, have the post-completion interviews (basically the "yay we won" speech and the "sucks that we lost" speeches).

Thing is, there is nothing about this series that makes it exciting, nothing that makes me want to watch the show. With Amazing Race the viewers get weeks to watch a bunch of teams compete. Viewers become emotionally invested, they develop a  a sense of which teams they like and which teams they hate, they cheer when teams they like succeed and gripe when disliked teams keep winning out. With "The Great Escape" the teams show up, compete and are done all within one episode. There is no time to develop favorites to root for. They're just as much strangers to the viewer at the end of the hour as they were at the start.

There's no chance to develop any emotional investment in the outcome of the show, and because of that I find this show completely boring. So, sorry TNT, nice try.


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The show isn't much different in spirit than ABC's "Take the Money & Run". Same problem with that show as this one, in a one hour format there is no time to develop any reason to root for the participants. Although "Take the Money & Run" actually was a neater concept for a show, IMO, I still found it to be as boring.

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The only reason I even bothered writing up this show is because it was so spectacularly disappointing.

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