CHICAGO – Standing up at the Lyric Opera house in Chicago is unusual before a show. But in this case, it was the night after a tragedy, and the operetta “The Merry Widow” – set in Paris, France, in 1905 – was about to unfold. The orchestra struck up La Marseillaise, a reminder that we’ll always have Paris.
TV Review: The CW Hits Reality TV Bottom with ‘Capture’
CHICAGO – “Get me a TV version of The Hunger Games! This is The CW! If it’s popular with young adults, we need a TV show like it!”
“Sir, have you SEEN The Hunger Games? It’s about killing people.”
Television Rating: 1.0/5.0
“Eh. We can’t do that? Well, what if people just hunted each other like Laser Tag instead of actual arrows through the head? It will cost nothing. Throw people in the woods, have them hunt each other like they’re playing some giant game of Hide and Seek and sell the ad dollars!”
“Does that really qualify as TV?”
“We’ll find out! Now also go get me a reality show based on the game of Tag.”
Photo credit: The CW
The answer is no. It does not qualify as TV. Buried with almost no promotion at a time of year when almost all of The CW’s audience is not in the house, “Capture” might be the most creatively bankrupt reality program to date, which is nearly an accomplishment but not quite. A few of the contestants cast on “Capture” have a small amount of personality but it’s nowhere near enough to make up for the fact that most of “Capture” consists of watching people walk through the woods. Seriously.
Photo credit: The CW
“Capture” presents contestants in pairs a la the vastly superior “The Amazing Race.” Some are couples, some are siblings, some are friends, etc. They all have colored outfits to distinguish like The Lime Team, The Purple Team, etc.
At the start of each episode, a team is randomly chosen as the hunters and the other teams are left as prey. The hunting team has two periods over two days to hunt their prey. In between, the teams will socialize at a camp in the middle of this “compound”. The hunters must capture two teams by slapping devices on their backs. Then the rest of the teams choose which of the two teams have to go home and find their dignity. If the hunters only capture one team, they become the other nominees. If they capture no teams, they automatically go home. The boundaries shrink every week to make it harder to hide and the last team standing wins $250k.
As a game, there’s almost no skill involved in “Capture.” It’s mostly luck if you find someone or if you don’t and the biggest element of sportsmanship seems to be if you can outrun the hunters when they spot you. So pairs of people wander through the woods, get spotted, and get chased. And this qualifies as entertainment. Only in the Summertime. Watch for “Red Robin,” likely debuting on The CW in Summer 2014.