Studio/Channel:NBC Universal/SCI FI Channel
Premiere Date: November 11, 2008
Host: Trey Farley
Length: 60 minutes
SoSF Rating = 3 out of 5 stars
Just remember this, a kiss is still a kiss….no, wait a minute, I mean, just remember this, on the SCI FI Channel you can’t have “reality TV,”…well, because it’s the SCI FI Channel. What you have instead is “alternative reality programming,” and we are beginning to see more and more of that lately on the channel that has hinted it will be dropping its SCI FI moniker sometime in the future.
The show I am reviewing now is the latest “alternative reality program” from the NBC Universal owned cable channel, and I think most of you already know I am no fan of these kinds of shows. They are to television what maggots are to living tissue — harbingers of death and decay. That being said, I kind of enjoyed looking at this review copy of a show called “Cha$e” that will debut on the SCI FI Channel beginning Tuesday, November 11, 2008 at 10/9C.
“Cha$e” has a relatively simple premise. It is TV’s first live-action video game that pits 10 contestants from various backgrounds and educational levels, drops them in a new and unfamiliar environment and gives them one hour to survive.
Based on a successful Japanese format from Fuji Television, the action occurs all in real-time over 60 minutes. For every minute a player survives a predator’s attack they win $100 (USD) in cash. There will only be one survivor at the end of the hour and that person walks away with $50,000 (USD) in cash, while everyone else goes home with empty pockets, but their lives in tact. Oh, I almost forgot, there are also some banners strewn about that are worth $25,000 (USD) each for the contestant who collects them and if they are the lone survivor, it’s also theirs to keep. So, there is plenty of monetary incentive to complete the game.
The review copy I was given by NBC for this write-up was a very rough-cut and didn’t contain all the CGI graphics that will be employed in the weekly series. All the predators, called Hunters, are played by actors who are replaced by CGI Hunters. The cool survival utilities and defensive tools each player acquires at each successful juncture are also CGI’d in for regular viewing.
The concept is actually pretty cool and even without all the special effects that will be added when the show premieres, it still, to my surprise, held my attention. I’m not sure if I will invest a hour each week on this show, but I will catch at least a few episodes just to see how they incorporate the CGI characters and special effects into the video game-esque action.
Just today, the SCI FI Channel listed an entire episode to preview on the channel’s official website.