5 Takes: Pacific Rim
Thanks to the blogosphere, I watched a show this weekend that I really enjoyed, 5 Takes: Pacific Rim. At first blush, the show kind of has an old-school Road Rulesvibe with 5 young strangers, given laptops, video cameras, and $50/day and sent on a 13 week adventure. But this is so much more interesting and high-minded than Road Rules. For one thing, they're called "travel journalists" or "TJs" and their "mission" is to learn about the places they're traveling and report back. . . which makes sense given that this show airs on the Travel Channel. In the one episode I saw there was no interpersonal drama, no hook-ups, or vomiting, or bickering. Each of these TJs seems to take this adventure and what they're doing seriously, and they all seem like people I wouldn't object to knowing in real life.
The idea is that each of these TJs has a "take" on what they're seeing. I.e. one is into nightlife, one extreme sports, one a culture vulture, etc. So there's no pressure for them to be all together all the time. For example in Melbourne, two of the kids were happily and without complaint getting lost in the suburbs looking for the city's botanical gardens while two others were checking out the city's underground art scene and the fifth was eating his way through the city.
Oh, and very interestingly, the show encourages audience participation! The episodes air the week after they're filmed, and the TJs are constantly on the show's message boards asking for advice on what to do where they are. The underground art tour was actually given by a Melbourne local that the TJs met online.
So here's one show that will be filling my Tivo after sweeps ends . . .