‘Take the Money and Run’ is ABC’s New CSI Reality Show, Did You Watch?

It escapes me now, but a few weeks ago I watched and or read something where the prominence of reality shows was foretold to great, chilling effect.

Was it Beavis and Butthead? Can’t recall. Anyway, it also all seems to go back to the fear instilled by The Running Man, as the reality genre pushes more boundaries and becomes more grotesque. Okay, no one gets murdered or killed on Take the Money and Run, but the use of real law enforcement agents to interrogate contestants is a bit skin crawl-inducing.

The premise is this- you get a briefcase crammed with 100 large. You’ve got an hour to-with your partner- hide it somewhere. Cops, in turn, have 48 hours to locate it. If they find it, they get to keep the $100 grand. If you manage to hide it well enough, you’ve got the $100 grand.

So the contestant gets a running start, and the cops get to dump their cellphones, track their cars with a GPS and interrogate them… for 48 hours. One critic points out how it’s there that Take the Money and Run kind of falls apart:

The interrogators are essentially actors who carry over from episode to episode — Detective Paul Bishop and Deputy District [Attorney[ Mary Hanlon Stone. They’re not in the running for the money and they’re clearly playing up their roles for the camera as the action of the premiere starts to weigh heavier and heavier on their faux interrogations. I say “faux” because there’s a basic oddity to what’s happening here that the producers of the show just can’t overcome. Watching fake criminals interrogated by people who can’t really arrest them (because they haven’t actually [committed] a crime) is just weird, especially when the criminals start to crack under the pressure. Isn’t the mental pressure of interrogation heavily dependent on actually going to jail? There’s NO CRIME here. Would you really have difficulty maintaining your cool for 48 hours if 100K was on the line? Would you really “break”?

Well, would you? I can’t imagine being tempted, but then again, if people weren’t, the show wouldn’t work for very long- so either the cops are good fake interrogators or you are supposed to play up the drama. Did you watch Take the Money and Run last night? Did you find it compelling, or was it a bit too staged for your tastes?