Friday, February 29, 2008

I'm so Happy: The Mole is coming back!

There have been a lot of reality shows in my back catalog of television watching experiences. At some point, I think I watched most of the "quality" reality shows for at least a season (because Survivor and The Amazing Race are of a different caliber than say Flavor of Love or Kid Nation. But there are a few that really stayed with me.

But The Mole always had a special place in my heart. And that is even after the craptastic Celebrity versions which frankly were pale imitations of what originally drew me to the show. And then I read that the series was coming back to American television after so much time, and it felt like an old friend was returning for a visit.

I liked the show's complexities and the fact that those on the show actually had to earn the money for the pot that one of them would ultimately win. So it wasn't a set prize that the contestants could just glide up to at the end, it was a pool of money that everyone had contributed to. Of course, the challenges were tricky as well, because there were ways of losing money throughout the game. And that is where the aforementioned Mole comes in. If you haven't seen the series, there is a contestant on the show that is in reality working for the producers of the show to undermine the efforts of the team in subtle ways. And the audience watching at home doesn't know who the Mole is either, so it is fun for everyone involved.

But what I especially liked was the fact that elimination was based on mental acuity and deduction rather than votes within the group or other methods based on popularity or group strategy. It is what a contestant has figured out about the Mole that determines in they stay or go. Of course, this makes for some interesting strategy and alliances. For instance, it can be in an individual's best interest to tank a competition to cast doubts on one's motivations so that other players think you may be the Mole, and thus find themselves eliminated. Mensa named it the smartest show on television for a reason.

I mean, I liked the game so much that in 2001, I participated in(and cheated out of a win but that's another story) and then started my own online version of the game at Yahoo! Groups. I enjoy it that much. And while I didn't like the sound of the producers "simplifying" the format, I will still watch it and hope for the best. Hopefully there may be a Spy game in the United States someday as well. I just hope they get a good host for the show as well, because Anderson Cooper brought the right qualities to that job. Someone suggested Mike Rowe, and in some ways, that might not be a bad choice.

I have to thank Hilly for giving me a heads-up about this.


Hilly said...

I too am super thrilled. I think that The Mole was one of the best reality television programs ever made (the original, not celebrity).

I guess that takes away one of the multiple choices in my quiz ;)

MC said...

Your readers and my readers are generally different crowds, so I don't think you have to worry really.