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Klunk'd - June 21

Summer used to be the time of reruns. People would be spending time outside, getting exercise, fresh air and generally feeling good. TV networks didn't cotton to that, and now we have a "second season" of sorts. NBC is having a go with their adventure game, "Treasure
Hunters," and I had high hopes. While they weren't completely dashed, I was hoping for more.

The premise is something we just got done watching a month or so ago. Ten teams of three are on a round-the-world quest for a treasure worth millions of dollars. So far, it sounds like a neat version of "The Amazing Race." In fact, what we got from "Treasure Hunters" is what
I've wanted to see on The Race for years. Instead of getting specific directions to the next destination, teams are dropped in the middle of nowhere and told they have everything they need to solve the puzzles in front of them. Those puzzles have so far included a simple
substitution cipher to opening a capsule with a six-digit code, those digits being represented by the presidents on Mount Rushmore.

That's all fine and good, but when the show touts itself as from the producers of "The Da Vinci Code," I was hoping something a bit harder, and not so much "Go to your next destination." I would be okay with the simple puzzles except the casting department found 30 people who could not find their rectal cavity with two hands and a flashlight. This was made evident when a group of self-proclaimed geniuses instructed their bus driver to go to Vermont to Mount Theodore Roosevelt, as opposed to Mount Rushmore. (Props to the puzzle makers for making the puzzle one where a team could be led astray if they ignored a crucial bit of information.) Competent teams and more interesting puzzles would make this a perfect show, but as summer replacement series go, it's not horrible.

Less praise is awarded to our humble host, Laird McIntosh. I have no idea who this guy is, and he does not impress. Maybe that's why his hosting is relegated to pre-taped bits on the team's mobile phones. I can't find any performance credits for him besides being a hack magician. I don't think I'd put "Treasure Hunters" on his resume if I were him.

I was worried that the show would be a carbon copy of "The Amazing Race," and I was almost right. The comparisons are inevitable. It's sad that the forebear could not be more like the scion, or the scion an improvement on the latter, but until the fall season starts up again, it's all we have.

Travis Eberle went the whole article without making the obvious Geoff Edwards joke. E-mail him at traviseberle@gmail.com to tell him if you want the money or the box.

 

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