Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Other Mole Seasons + What's to Come

If anyone is interested in watching Mole Seasons from other countries, is an EXCELLENT place to check out. I apologize for spoiling some of those seasons in my previous posts. I really recommend Seasons 2 and 3 of Australian Mole.

As far as what's to come now that Mole 5 is over, I got the suggestion to do Big Brother 10 recaps, and I think that's a good idea. I actually really enjoy this season. I think this season was very well cast. So we'll see how it goes. I won't be able to keep up with the three episodes per week, but I think it would be nice to do at least one recap per week, maybe after the live eviction and HOH competition each week. Yeah, that would work great, since eviction is on Thursday and that's the end of my heavy work load each week. Sweet. See you in a few days.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The Mole 5: Bullshit Reunion Show

Okay, you should all know what to expect here. I'm really pissed. What the hell? I will say I'm a little less angry knowing Mark won by 4, but I'm still mad about it. Actually, watching the reunion special and seeing them go through all the times Mark was almost eliminated and how Paul knew from the very beginning, I'm kind of mad that Paul didn't win. And the reason he didn't win was because of that dumbass easy exemption in the penultimate round. Ever since that happened, too, I've been wondering if Craig didn't kind of throw it to Mark. I can see how it was intended for Craig to win the exemption since he said he was given the answers. So I do give Mark credit for figuring it out faster than someone who already knew the answers. I think it just was a series of lucky moments for Mark.

So we found out in season 2 that Heather should have won and actually gave the win to Dorothy. I was okay with that because I liked Dorothy and not so much Heather. However, it's almost exactly the same situation if you make Victoria the Elavia of this season. Victoria missed one answer and thus Mark stayed in. Elavia took the bribe and thus Dorothy stayed. Also, a lot of people were suspecting Victoria, just like a lot of people suspected Elavia. As you see, I really like to make connections between seasons. Not because I believe in deja vu or anything, but because these shows tend to be edited in the same manner. It was very surprising when Paul left and then Nicole was left with an opponent who had been considered the "nice guy" for whatever reason. I do appreciate that Mark mentioned that he was being a big baby, and I do appreciate what he's doing for his wife, but I just don't consider him the type of player who should have made it to the end. A lot of it was luck.

I have always supported a more intuitive player because someone who takes too many notes makes it obvious really quickly that he/she is not the Mole. Ironically, that was Nicole's downfall. And I'm also not saying Nicole played a perfect game. It took her awhile to get to Craig as well, but I like her style of game play more, which is why I give her more credit. Paul, though, I give him props for calling it so quickly. It's a shame that such a good player was beat out by a stupid exemption. But, that's not to say I blame the outcome of this on chance or luck or whatever. Had Paul been thinking even an extra step ahead, he might have chosen the cell number with the exemption attached to it. Unfortunately, the Mole got that cell, as he was probably instructed to, and then allowed himself to be shot, giving Mark the exemption and costing Paul the game.

So I do want to take some time to talk about how I called Craig as the Mole from almost the very beginning. I did have a lot of suspicion towards Nicole in the first episode, and then Clay became a second to Craig once I dismissed Nicole as a possibility in the third episode. It was really the first episode clues, with the Alexander SelCRAIG thing and the hangman and the Titanic reference. I did not pick up on any of the bullshit clues that they planted. Did you see Paul make a face when they pointed out a tiny clue hidden in the intro? Yeah, I agree. That's a pretty vague and random clue. I did like the area codes thing. That was interesting. Also, I called the never choosing Craig during execution thing. They did that in season 3 of Australian Mole and once it had been four or five executions where Craig never came up, I began to wonder if they were doing the same thing.

So now that I've been typing for awhile, I'm less riled up. A lot of recent reality TV results have gone my way, so I should be able to just put this one on the shelf as a decent attempt at reviving one of my favorite shows with an ending that was not so desirable. Oh well. In the context of money making a difference, I think Mark's win will make a huge difference in his life and his wife's life. So something good will come from this. I have to say though, ABC, I'm disappointed with the editing for this reunion episode. As soon as you showed a door opening and people being really excited, I knew Mark had won and that started my angry ranting for the next hour. I knew that wasn't the Mole's reveal because of the way it was staged. So please don't spoil it so much next time. I already had this sinking feeling ever since Mark won that exemption, but the preview piece made it obvious.

I will say during such a short time in this one reunion special, I've come out of it really respecting Paul (not that I didn't before, I just didn't really like him before) and even liking him based on his genius game play. I still feel the same about most of the contestants except I found myself really not liking Ali. I feel like she perpetuates negative female stereotypes, and I don't mean by being a model.. I mean by talking bad about Nicole. And I'm not just saying this because I'm a Nicole fan. It's the way she says things. I think Paul does respect Nicole and so much of his "game" was directed at her because she was such a threat. I don't think Ali recognizes the value of having this type of character on a competitive television show and I don't think she ever came around to realizing that Nicole's inconsistent personality was due to her strategy and game play. Also, Ali is really a polar opposite of Nicole in so many ways in this game. Ali walked out of this game for money, which was a smart move for her because there was no way she'd come near any money otherwise. When faced with throwing the quiz and leaving to avoid having to deal with the men in the game, Nicole just couldn't do it. You can say her pride got in the way, but that makes it sound negative, whereas I believe the inability to sell herself short is what makes her such a strong person.

Anyway, I don't know if any of that made sense. It did in my head. I've enjoyed recapping this season and having so many readers. If any of the Mole contestants happen to be reading this, I want to say that I appreciate them putting themselves out there and letting us critique their characters on the show.

Monday, August 04, 2008

The Mole 5: Final 3

Okay, so now that I don't have to go to sleep early in order to get up at 6am, I have time to write this recap right after the show has ended. First of all, I'm still thrown off by the fact that Mark is still here and Paul is not. It kind of pisses me off because now I don't know for sure that Nicole is the winner. I'm still pretty sure, but Mark puts a little doubt in my mind because everyone keeps referring to him as this supposed nice guy on the show. Do I doubt for a minute that it's Craig though? You gotta give me props for calling two of the final three. I'm willing to bet that it would've been Paul instead of Mark had there not been an exemption, too. You know it was pretty convenient that Craig called #4, which was the cell number that I immediately shouted out when Jon gave them the opportunity to choose which cell they'd be in. That's the only thing I really saw in the last episode that seemed a little convenient.

Let's talk about this episode. I have to say these were two good challenges out of a season of kind of lame ones. The first one with the bomb was similar to Australian Mole Season 2 where they had to figure out which wire to cut when. It was too easy. Or I'm not giving them credit for being the brightest set of contestants we've seen in awhile. I think this whole season should've been more intense and more difficult. Maybe it's just me, but $418,000 is a lot of money. I thought they said this season's total was out of $500,000. Maybe they didn't ever say that, but for some reason I thought I heard that, particularly because I remember making a comment about how it used to be out of a million. If it was out of half a million, then their total pot won is ridiculous.

I wish they would've done some classic Mole challenges, like Three Questions, or like Paradise Mole-tel where they have to each escape from a locked room. I thought the last challenge could've been tougher too. Wasn't it more fun when Heather was almost eaten by a wild animal than when the biggest complaint of this task was Nicole didn't feel like doing anything? I'm a little pissed that Mark took the dossier, but I'm hoping it's easier the same as the Mole's journal, which we can all see on the website, or it's all chicken scratch and a bunch of confusing information. I hope the dossier doesn't just give shit away.

So it would be nice to go through the past episodes and take notes on everything and then come out with a spreadsheet on everyone's stats. I could do that because I do happen to have all the episodes at my disposal, but I don't know if I'll be able to do that because it'll be extremely time-consuming and it might end up really irritating me and I want to end this season on a good note. I hope they decide to do another season but make it more intense and more exciting. I have to say I'm a little disappointed. And if it is Craig and Nicole does win, either I've gotten a lot better at reading people and reading editing over the past few years, or it's gotten way too easy.

I like to be proven wrong. I like to be blown away. I was blown away when Bribs was eliminated in the second season. Although, I have to say I did call Kathryn as the Mole fairly early on in the first season. Not as early as I called Craig this season, but I was pretty sure about her and wasn't surprised at the ending. Other than that, I haven't had a great track record with picking the Mole. What I do have a record with is calling winners, however. I didn't get Steven in Season 1, but I got Dorothy really early on, I got Kathy Griffin and Dennis Rodman in the Celebrity Editions. I got Jan in Australian Mole 1 and Liz in Australian Mole 5. I didn't get Australian Mole 2 and then 3 and 4 were spoiled for me. Well, I spoiled them for myself. I wasn't really paying attention in UK Mole 1 or 2, plus their editing was sporadic. And in all of these, I never had a good hunch on who the Mole was. Kathryn was my only correct guess prior to this, and Bribs was my incorrect guess throughout most of Season 2.

Anyway, most people haven't seen these other seasons and probably don't care, but my point is that I typically find this really challenging, so I'm hoping that I end up being off. If I am right about Craig, I hope when they do another season, they make it especially challenging. There's only so much you can do to bring in viewers by making it viewer-friendly and easier to play from home before you start losing their attention because it's not exciting enough. I can't say there's been an execution where I've been blown away. Maybe it has to do with all the new technological capabilities and the access to previews and commercial promos. I don't know. I just hope next week is really exciting. I hate to be typing up what is becoming a whiny recap, but I just watched American Gladiators before this and that finale was INTENSE. I was rooting for Ally and her come-from-behind win was awesome.

I'm probably going to go watch the hotel challenge from Australian Mole 2 now because that's some exciting shit. I hope people aren't pissed off by this recap. I don't feel like there's a point to go over each contestant individually since there's only three of them and I've been saying all along how it would play out. I still think Craig is the Mole, Nicole is the winner, and Mark is a loser. I will say I'm less sure than if Paul was here, but I have a hard time seeing all this male vs. female conflict ending with it affirming any sort of institutional bias. I think there wouldn't have been so much included about Nicole being the only woman, being this strong female character, for it to just end up with her losing out to a man. She did beat Paul and I'm afraid that's supposed to be something significant. I still see her winning. And I'm still positive Craig's the Mole. I can't wait to see the hidden clues and see which ones we picked up on over the course of the season.

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