Chekhov's Gunman

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The CW’s Capture, Proof That You Are Evil and Stanley Tucci

Capture The CW

One tenth of the fun of watching Whose Line Is It Anyway? return has been watching the delectably terrible reality shows that have come on after. At first it was The Perfect Score, a dating show where hot people were assigned monetary values and selected to go on dates, placing a firm price on love and giving it an incentive that apparently the joys of being in love somehow couldn’t fill.

But tonight, it seems as if the CW has finally produced its masterpiece.

Capture is a show grossly out of place as a follow-up to Colin Mochrie being made fun of for losing his hair. Hoping to capitalize on the Hunger Games phenomenon that for some reason swept the nation when neither the book nor the movie was all that good, the show pits multiple groups of two against each other as they hunt each other and attempt to “capture” each other in cages using what seems to be rudimentary laser tag sensors.

The show is hosted by some Australian fellow you’ve never seen before whose accent could spawn 1,000 quality drinking games without putting any real thought into it. His tenacious accent challenges competitors to “captcha” the other teams something about him just makes you feel bad about yourself. His accent is the cruelest of mother-in-laws. He’s also unbelievably impersonal, taking a backseat on anything that isn’t openly mocking contestants to their face, taking some kind of sick, Outback glee from human tears. When he tells the competitors that they’re going to be sleeping in metal bunk beds in the middle of the woods, he’s not even there. His voice comes in over a loud speaker, most likely originating from a swanky hotel room where he eats fine shrimps and fondles himself to dailies of people falling down in the woods.

The show is simple enough, but also incredibly complex. It takes place, allegedly, in a ten square mile area of woods surrounded by an electric fence that the CW was allowed to build for some reason. The whole setup makes me think that this is going to end with the U.S. government testing a nuclear bomb on-sight, forgetting they loaned out the space to the network that used to have Gossip Girl. Out the many groups, one group is assigned as the “hunting group,” the rest maintaining a “prey group” moniker. The hunters hunt, and the prey run around trying not to lose the camera guys carrying hundreds of pounds of equipment up leafy hills in the Pacific Northwest for days at a time.

The teams are diverse. Our first Hunting Group was known solely as the “Parkour Couple.” The rest were also a colorful cast of characters, including a pair of Wingmen who tried to pick up ladies in the campground after a day of trying to run for their lives because their priorities are firmly in check, a set of Neighbors who apparently had nothing better to do, an eerily-close set of Brothers who both resemble Draco Malfoy and sit way too close together on logs during interviews, and a boy-girl pair labeled “Friends Without Benefits” probably because the editor saw the utter pain in this man’s eyes.

The hunting itself is questionable, consisting mostly of people either going up or down a hill, with none of the fun that comes naturally from being chased by dogs made out of your dead friends like in the real Hunger Games. Several times, the Hunting Team lost track of a Prey Team they were chasing, which is weird because the camera man is no further than six feet away from a team at any given moment.

Capture accomplishes two things: 1.) Being something truly dumb and marginally fun to watch with your friends after you’ve been at work all day, and 2.) Making you really glad that the CW is trying to profit off The Hunger Games and not Fifty Shades of Gray, as fun as it might be to watch diverse people from around the state compete in competitive sex games for my enjoyment between tampon commercials.

But the thing about Capture that truly sticks in my craw and won’t let go is that we are effectively watching The Hunger Games. Not the movie, mind you. We are watching people we don’t know chase each other and truly try to harm each other.

We are the Capital, watching the denizens of the Twelve Districts fight against each other to bring us joy. We are the villains of this novel, children. We are the self-centered, vain, preening audiences glued to the television as Jennifer Lawrence fights her feelings for the blonde guy.

And I say we embrace it.

If we’re going to be the Capital, why not go all out? Dye your skin blue, everyone! Engage in decadence! Drive Woody Harrelson crazy! You’ve earned it, because you were born in a place where you don’t have to fight other twelve-year-olds for food and screen time. Rejoice, and be merry. Because now, you look like this…

The Hunger Games: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion

Final Verdict: C+— But it is a glorious C+ indeed.

Chekhov’s Gunman is a film and television blog moderated by Kevin Lanigan, a future writer of movies and TV and current writer of a job application to compete on Capture. Be sure to comment below with your thoughts, and subscribe or follow above for every update.

We have reviews of television and film just like this, including coverage of FX’s The Bridge, as well as some Good Stuff and a few Mexican Standoffs.

You can also find Kevin on Twitter.

May the odds be ever following Whose Line…

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