I’m not a big fan of “Reality TV.” I do watch Survivor, and I think that’s a really good show, but I don’t watch any of the others. When I first heard of the concept of “The Mole,” I have to admit that I was intrigued. Reality TV is all about real people reacting to each other’s most annoying personality traits and translating that friction into ratings. Well, “The Mole” puts a different spin on that concept by adding a dissenting element – one of the participants is “a mole” i.e. a nefarious agent of the producers …laced to lead the group astray and prevent them from attaining the big cash rewards. I have to admit intriguing, but not intriguing enough to get me to watch week to week, until now.
Celebrity Mole: Hawaii takes a group of B-list celebrities (Stephen Baldwin, Corbin Bernsen, Michael Boatman, Kim Coles, Kathy Griffin, Frederique Van Der Wal, and Erik Von Detten) and pits them against each other in various games to win cash, and avoid termination (i.e. elimination – one person leaves the game at the end of each show) while figuring out who the mole is.
This show was a lot of fun – it did not take itself very seriously as evidence by the antics of Stephen Baldwin and the sarcastic humor of Kathy Griffin. The show itself was hosted by Ahmad Rashad, who brought his own degree of warmth, wit and charisma to the screen. The offscreen antics by the players were often more entertaining than the onscreen – particularly Baldwin. However, as the series progressed (there are 6 episodes) the viewer inevitably starts to play along and guess who the “mole” is. I will admit that I was taken by surprise at the end when the mole was revealed. This was a really nice surprise for someone who regularly stays away from anything with “reality” in its description.
Celebrity Mole Hawaii is presented in it’s original 1.33:1 format. The picture is sharp and the colors are quite lush (but what do you expect? It’s filmed in Hawaii afterall…) The black levels were well set as were the skin tones. The image overall was sharp but at times (particularly when they were on the beach) there were a few artifacts present. Given that there were multiple cameras used, it wasn’t clear if it was a true transfer artifact or a source problem, but it was noticeable during the contest on the beach. Outside of this small problem, this is a very good transfer.
The audio is presented in Dolby Digital 2.0 and is well mixed. The audio comes through crisp and clear as does the music. There is little in the way of separation of sound, but when one is watching this type of program, sound is not the focus.
Over an hour of deleted, alternate, and extended material is included on the dual-layered third disc: Suspicions is comprised of six cuts in which the players discuss various scenarios as to the identity of the saboteur. Deleted Scenes features eight clips of material, some of which were way too raw for commercial audiences, including an interesting conversation with Griffin and Von Detten, who reveals an interesting free-time fetish. Six Extended Scenes expand upon some of the show’s most memorable moments highlighted by the group’s uproarious, uncut reactions to Baldwin’s drenching during the waterfall challenge, and a group confessional in which the cast reveal their most embarrassing moments (of which Boatman’s is a classic). Funny Moments gathers a quartet of clips, including the endearing (or for some of you, horrifying) sight of watching leggy supermodel Frederique picking her nose; Post Execution Reactions and Interviews provides extended comments from the victims that were seriously snipped and censored on network showing, and Confessionals comprises those security camera-flavored, tongue-in-cheek moments in which the contestants reveal their innermost suspicions of who they think is the mole.
This is a great set to watch. The nice thing is that it is only six episodes, but the pacing and intensity is such that you will want to watch it from beginning to end in one sitting – which I did. It is possible to watch the entire set in one evening. Celebrity Mole: Hawaii is highly recommended as a rental – you can get through the series in an evening and watch the extras the following day before the return time – there isn’t much replay value after going through it once; but I guarantee that you’ll have fun watching it.
Special Features List
- Deleted/Extended scenes
- Funny moments
- Post-execution reactions
- Post-execution interviews