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Take the Money and Run, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, premiered on ABC Tuesday night. The show, which airs for six weeks, centers around several couples as they attempt to complete the perfect crime. Two hiders are given a briefcase containing $100,000 and an hour to hide it in a major city. Then two detectives and two interrogators spend the rest of the show trying to find it.
Critics were mixed about the success of the show.
“Plenty of game shows make you worry about the general state of humanity. But often that worry is directed at ‘crushing stupidity’ or something else that is annoying but overall unlikely to topple society as a whole as we know it. But ABC’s Take The Money And Run might be the first game show that rewards criminal ingenuity,” writes Ryan McGee in his review for The Onion’s AV Club.
“It’s one thing to game people on Big Brother: after all, that’s a self-contained show that doesn’t affect anything outside the house except the audience’s sense of self-loathing. However, Take The Money and Run has larceny built into its very DNA. Not only that, but for people currently on the fence about turning to a life of crime, this show could provide a reason to indulge their inner Tony Montana,” he goes on.
“Take The Money And Run seems to be saying to viewers at home, ‘Look, all those police procedurals you watch? Totally fabricated! You too can be a freakin’ criminal mastermind! It’s easy! Just follow these easy steps,'” he adds. “Now, I’m not saying this show is going to directly contribute to a massive crime wave in the sweltering month of August. But I’m sure more than a few people will catch themselves looking at the national credit rating, looking at their checking accounts, looking at this show, and then being tempted to join the dark side.”
Brian Tallerico of HollywoodChicago.com writes that the show “gets too goofy.”
“The first ten minutes or so of ABC’s new reality competition series Take the Money and Run is relatively promising and entertaining. Then it all gets very, very silly. Not unlike watching other people stage a fake murder mystery, the foundation of Take the Money and Run falls away when the people involved start taking the proceedings WAY too seriously. By the end, I wasn’t sure if the entirety of the show wasn’t a complete scam. Don’t watch. Just run,” he writes.
Lucas High on TV Geek Army says, “Nothing about the show makes sense, really.” He points out that there isn’t a lot of incentive to win and the rules haven’t been finessed.
“Absolutely no thought seems to have been put into coming up with rules that would make the game interesting and challenging,” he writes. “After 48 hours is up, if the briefcase has been found, the detectives split $100,000. If the briefcase is still missing, the hiders take the cash. Regardless of the outcome, the interrogators win nothing. Those are the rules. Nothing more, nothing less.”
But Laurel Brown over on Buddy TV was a fan of the show, calling it “possibly the most brilliant reality competition ever aired.”
“The show works on the premise that everyday, law-abiding folk like you and I would love to believe that they are master criminals,” she writes. “Take the Money and Run succeeds in making the viewer believe he or she has at least a fighting chance at a life of crime. And crime has never been so entertaining.”
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