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