Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Great Escape - Series Premiere Tonight on TNT

TNT is stepping up its original programming with its first foray into the world of reality competition series. They're doing it in a rather big way, too. I mean ... we're talking Ron Howard involvement. We're talking the producers of The Amazing Race involvement. 

As with Falling Skies, I was given promotional episodes to screen, write up or not, like or not, etc. While I must disclose they give me these screeners, I'm really under no obligation to them other than to not give out spoilers or do sneaky stuff with them. I have the first two episodes of this series and have already watched the one which will air tonight.

What I like about the show:
  • I like the idea of three different teams each week. No trying to memorize 11 couples or such. With fewer teams, you get to "know" them better.
  • The series premiere's setting is Alcatraz (not a spoiler). Very interesting indeed. I believe the escape sites are going to continue to be fascinating in their own way.
  • At the end of each episode, the winning team wins $100,000. That may not be the million from Survivor, but the teams each only do one escape, win or lose. Then it's on to a new set of three teams trying to escape from a different location.
  • You can get involved in the show. In the premiere episode, I cringed each time the various teams were caught by the guards and sent back to the beginning.
What I'm ambivalent about:
  • The host. He's in a role too much akin to Phil Keoghan yet doesn't seem to have the personality of Phil, nor is he the eye candy. Said host is Rich Eisen of NFL Network -- like I would know who that is. But I can deal with it unless he tries to raise an eyebrow. 
An observation:
  • You can tell there's some involvement by producers of The Amazing Race. Not only are Rich's hosting tasks extremely similar to Phil Keoghan's, but the music throughout is similar, as well.
Would this show fly on network TV? I'm really not sure. It's not flashy or even sexy. The contestants in the first episode wore clothes which were reminiscent of the crew of the Enterprise on the original Star Trek series. We're not talking skin, for sure! However, with the lead in being Falling Skies on Sunday night, I can see me watching weekly. In a few weeks, my Sunday nights should be Big Brother, Falling Skies and The Great Escape. I can live with that!

Will you be watching? Or, if you're reading this after the fact ... what did you think? 


~~Silk said...

I watched The Great Escape. I had some difficulty "believing" it. One minute a team is sneaking and ducking around a wall to avoid detection. The next minute they're yelling "Go go go!" or whatever at each other. Not whispering, yelling.

Are the guards deaf? Or do the teams know where the guards are, or more importantly, where a guard is not? Even if a guard is not in the building, if the team is heard in there, wouldn't a guard be waiting outside the door if he heard them, and therefore they should be quiet even inside? Or maybe the guards have set paths and times, and the teams know that? Was that a clue they got?

In my defense, I was sewing and may have missed something. What did I miss?

Dusty said...

I hate the network "TNT" because I can't watch their shows online because I don't pay for the channel. :(... I miss Franklin and Bash.

Jackie said...

Silk - Especially when the big PA announcements would announce the team's progress! So the guards would KNOW when the teams were in their area. I know they stopped a team if the searchlights hit, but wonder what the other criteria is.

Delee said...

I started watching but it lost my interest quickly! All the capturing and detention did nothing for me!

~~Silk said...

I think one of the things that bothered me most was that the guards could pretty much decide who to catch and who not to see. It's like if TAR had a sniper shoot out taxi tires to slow someone down.

loji said...

it was good enough to cover my ctavings for reality competion shows, but i really liked that network show from last summer where the team had to hide a breifcase and detectives then had to find it before time ran out. of course that show is not back this summer. nor is expedition impossible whic i really really liked

Witt said...

Hi Jackie...Happy Summer!
Just wanted to pop in to say hi. I am looking forward to BB, as usual...thanks for letting us know the start date! I hope that your landlords will "grandfather" Vincent in so you don't have to move.
Talk to you always I love your "off topic" photos and essays!
Witt :)

Anonymous said...

They are replaying it tonight on TBS at 9 PM.


maquinn78 said...

Rich Eisen is probably more well known for his time on ESPN with Dan Patrick, Keith Olberman and people like that.

We loved the first episode, can't wait for the next.