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
firstname.lastname@example.org to tell him if you want the money
or the box.