Hey folks! How many of you are watching Hunted on CBS? At first I was skeptical, and I’ll get to that in a minute, but after watching the pilot, and the second episode …. I’m in. This is a really great idea (do I mention that I thought of it years ago?) that has been some time coming. CBS knows how to do reality TV (Survivor is still on the air), and if they do this right, this could be a big hit for them. Ratings indicated it’s the best reality launch in 5 years.
Over the first two episodes I have learned a few things, and I plan to share them with you in future posts. Today I want to talk about what I see as direct disadvantages in the setup and why it will be extremely difficult to evade the “capture” teams.
The first and most obvious to me was the CAMERA CREW: How difficult is it to be “inconspicuous” when you have at least one person following you around with a production quality TV camera? This one element makes all of the teams stand out in any crowd (or open field). This limits the mobility and invisibility of the teams and I think this may be one of the most detrimental “set up” flaws. I would have liked to see everything via the personal cameras (surviorman style) from the hunted perspective. I know that would have lowered the video quality of the show, but somehow I think it would have raised the bar on the competitive side of the house.
- ATM and financial restrictions: each team is limited to $500 in funds provided by an ATM card, and a daily withdrawal limit of $100. This is a flag requirement, they inserted this rule to be sure if the teams accessed any cash the hunters would know where they are. Going off the grid, or on the lamb requires that you avoid conducting activities that you know will result in placing a beacon on you. ATM use is a definite no-no and the teams that can avoid the ATM have a much better chance of staying hidden. I would have like to see teams allowed to bring their own cash, or borrow from friends, to avoid the ATM trap altogether.
- Resources: I realize our law enforcement agencies do tremendous work, but they do not have the man-power to commit all the time and energy to a small handful of cases. They are stretched thin, and although they may use these same techniques, in most cases they would be much slower, with more roadblocks, red tape, and legal restrictions. The Hunters are being paid to work ONLY these cases, and can dedicate all of their time to this “game”, and they have been given permission “blanket warrant” to investigate. They don’t have staff meetings, training, safety briefs, mandatory EOE lectures, etc. to pull them away from the task at hand. Time is valuable in these cases (the first 48?) and the more you have, the better your odds. That’s true on both sides.
- Boundaries: Okay, 100,000 square miles is quite a bit of land, i’ll give you that. However, it does limit the travel of the fugitives and “pen them in” to an extent. I can understand this, it’s a TV show after all, and they are only running for 28 days. If this was a “lifetime” run, you would want to have the whole world at your disposal. (Snowden anyone?)
Remember, I like this show, I am not bashing it. I will be following this post with observations and opinions on the remaining episodes, and I don’t want to keep referring to these shortfalls when I get into those articles. This sets some groundwork so you know where I am coming from for the rest of the season. I find this to be a huge learning experience for those of us who are always looking for opportunities to learn.
P.S. – are you watching? what do you think about the setup and game-play?