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In each pulse-racing "Fear Factor" episode, contestants (sometimes solo, often paired with spouses, siblings or best friends) recruited from across the nation must decide if they have the ... See full summary »
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Kara Jane McNamara
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Season 2 premiered on September 28th 2001 and was taken off the schedule after 3 episodes due to the mood of the country post 9-11 and poor ratings. It then returned in June 2002 with the first 4 episodes shown in 2 hour blocks on successive days to get the audience caught up. The reunion show at the end is held a year after the show finished filming. See more »
I quite enjoyed "The Mole" the first time it was on TV, and eagerly looked forward to watching "The Mole 2." After a rocky start in which ABC pulled it from their primetime schedule late in 2001, before all the episodes had aired, they started it up again with a better timeslot (Tuesday evenings) and I'm glad that they did.
I'm not a huge fan of the "reality" genre. About the only "reality"-type shows I watch are "Survivor" and "The Mole." I actually prefer "The Mole" to "Survivor" (don't get me wrong; I LOVE "Survivor") because of the cerebral aspect of it. The games are interactive; you find yourself in the place of the contestants, trying alongside them to solve the various riddles that they are presented with, and trying to analyze fellow players' actions, wondering "Who is the Mole, and how can I get other people to think that I am?" With the exception of just a couple of games (the "fashion sense" game comes to mind), most of the games and challenges don't involve having the players stoop to the lowest common denominator to earn money for the pot.
When players are eliminated from "The Mole," it's not so because the rest of the players found them unpopular or too much of a threat. If you haven't been paying attention to the clues or haven't sorted fact from fiction, then you effectively eliminate yourself if you score the lowest on the execution quiz. "The Mole" isn't a popularity contest that can be sabotaged easily by overzealous fans (remember Brittany from the first "Big Brother"?) or vengeful losers; the best player does indeed win.
Another thing that I found so appealing about "The Mole" was how much more affable and interactive host Anderson Cooper was with the contestants. Cooper isn't just your aloof host that shows up only for challenges and elimination rounds. Cooper has a wicked sense of humor that manifests itself often during the games. He also joins the contestants for dinner, which further humanizes him. One of the most memorable moments of the second season came when contestant Rob, a magician, showed Cooper a card trick. Right after Rob revealed the outcome of the trick, Cooper immediately slugged him playfully in the arm. Imagine Rich Hatch trying to pull something like that with Jeff Probst on Pulau Tiga!
Because "The Mole" hasn't racked up the same kinds of ratings that "Survivor" or even "American Idol," a lot of people are quick to count it out for another go-round. I certainly hope not. Apparently, the ratings for "The Mole 2" were high enough for ABC to consider yet another installment. If that's the case, I hope to try out for it, because it's the only "reality" show that I would ever consider being on. If ABC decides not to bring it back for a third installment, it'll be a crying shame. In this age of trashy soap operas and lowbrow humor, "The Mole" is a shot of fresh air that most anyone could benefit from.
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