CBS has always had a pretty strong hold on the primetime reality TV market with hits such as Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Big Brother. However, on January 22nd they premiered a reality show unlike anything else ever seen. The new show, titled Hunted, is a competition in which nine teams of two ordinary people attempt to evade capture for 28 days. Chasing them is a task force of highly trained operatives from varied parts of different governments, such as MI6, the Navy SEALs, and the U.S Marshal Service. These “hunters” would attack every part of their life and wait to pounce on any mistake. The fugitive team that avoids capture for 28 days will receive 250 thousand dollars. Now, onto the finale.
Going into the season finale, only three of the original nine teams remained. Aarif and Ahmad, two friends, were discovered early into the episode after the hunters were able to track the farm the pair was staying at. That left two teams with a chance at the prize money. After staying on the run for 26 days each, the fugitives were given a list of tasks to do in order to officially escape the hunters and claim the prize money. First, 48 hours before their time on the run was over, they had to login to a website to find out where the bank that had their prize money was located, and where their getaway plane would be stationed. Once they had picked up the money from the bank, they would have to travel on foot to their plane and escape. The team of hunters was told only that the plane could be leaving anywhere within a 100 mile radius of Atlanta, Georgia. The two teams both successfully completed these tasks and were able to walk away with the prize money, much to the chagrin of the highly-trained hunters.
I really enjoyed the first season of Hunted, and found the suspenseful chase very fun to watch. At the onset of the show I did not think any team would have a chance against these skilled operatives. I still didn’t believe they would win until I actually saw them on the getaway plane. I liked how the two winning teams took completely different routes to the 250K. English and Stephen King’s strategy was to stay completely off the grid, and not contact anyone in their inner circle. They relied on the hospitality of strangers, and didn’t really try to trick the Hunters until they used a clever ruse on the last day. Knowing that the Hunters were listening to her sister’s phone calls, English set up a fake drop-off that completely threw the Hunters off and allowed them to escape. Lee and Hilmar were the complete opposite. From the onset they tried taunting the Hunters, from leaving them a note, to naming themselves “The Wolves,” to eventually having Lee’s wife post a picture of how they were able to fly her in for a visit. However, in the end they stayed quiet, and were able to sneak their way to freedom and a quarter of a million dollars. Ultimately, this show was a lot of fun to watch, and I hope it returns for another season. Another hit reality show for CBS.
I give Hunted‘s first season a B+.