Thursday, February 27, 2014

Opposite Worlds Review

I'm a fan of reality competition TV.  I love Survivor and other shows similar to it.  So I thought Opposite Worlds would be cool.  Two teams, one in a house with all the modern luxuries and the other in a cave with almost nothing struggle to win challenges for $100K.  The show's premise was good but they did so much wrong.

1.  The host talks constantly.  There are so many buzzwords and show specific jargon that he spends a lot of time trying to tell what is going on.  When there is a challenge and he is doing the play-by-play there is almost no excitement.  The live TV aspect also leaves him forgetting lines, stuttering, and losing his place quite often.  I have no doubt that Jeff Probst has his moments on Survivor but at least they are edited out.

I was not a fan of his when he hosted Capture for the same reasons.

2.  Frank.  They guy is fun and I'm sure I would want to hang out with him.  Putting one person in the game that is so physically dominating that no one else can even compete with him is poor casting.  The audience needs to believe that anyone has a chance but Frank dragged his teams to victory over and over again largely because the show relied so heavily on physical challenges.

3.  The challenges were overwhelmingly physical.  There were a few puzzles and communications parts but by and large it was all about the brawn.  When it got time for the semi-finals to reduce the players to two they brought in a trivia challenge.  I don't mind that at all, but instead of players racing to get a certain number correct there were only 6 questions.  Whoever had the highest score would win.  The last question didn't even matter.  Better would be to give a target number and then someone who is behind could fight their way back into it.  

4.  The rules changed a lot. As a viewer I like to know what is going on.  A challenge, a decider, a protected (oh the jargon) and two people competing to stay in it.  Great.  But then one team has too many members so we balance the teams by switching one.  Then we have a team just vote someone out of the game like it was Survivor.  Then the quarter-finalists pick who they want to go into the semi-finalists with.  Have one system and stick with it.

5.  So Frank wins.  Hurrah and all that.  He stands up on top to give his victory cheer (roar?) and the fireworks go off.  They are so bright the camera literally can't see him any more.  On top of that they panned way out so we saw the tower he was on but not him.  The host droned on unemotionally about the victor.  Bad.

I can't imagine this show being renewed.  If it is, I hope that they figure out some formula to make it fair and interesting.  A new host, consistent rules, and more balance in players and challenges would help.