A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Capture is a reality competition that pits teams of two adults against each other in a tense, high-tech game of hide and seek. Contestants are shown committing acts of sabotage (including destroying food) to stay in the game. Panic filled moments lead to screaming and occasionally folks get sick or injured (but no blood). Contestants sometimes use crude language, though the strongest words are bleeped. Teens may find the show fun and remind them of The Hunger Games, but some of the behavior featured here makes it an iffy option for tweens.
What's the story?
CAPTURE is a reality competition featuring contestants hunting each other for cash. Twelve color-coded teams of two battle extreme weather, hunger, and fatigue as they traverse around the Hunting Grounds, a primitive -- but high-tech -- 4000-acre patch of wilderness surrounded by an electronic perimeter. The catch? One team is designated as the \"hunters,\" and must try to locate and tag or \"capture\" two teams within a 48-hour time frame. As they are being hunted, each pair, which is outfitted with electronic vests, remote video cameras, and GPS navigation devices, must continually move in order to avoid having their location electronically revealed. If the designated hunters fail to capture their quota, they become subject to elimination. Throughout it all, host Luke Tipple (a.k.a. The Game Master) is able to manipulate the game from afar. At the end of each hunt, the teams that escaped the hunters must vote to eliminate a captured duo from the game. The team that manages to remain in the month-long game until the end wins $250,000.
Is it any good?
Capture combines the games of tag and hide and seek with some Hunger Games-type theatrics (minus the fights to the death) in order to create some adrenaline-fueled drama. Adding to the intensity of these moments is the Game Maker's disembodied voice blasting over speakers at various points of the game. The footage shown from the teams' cameras as they are hunting and/or being chased also creates some tension-filled scenes.
The chases are fun to watch, but the show also features its fair share of bickering as desperate teams crack under the pressure of the chase while wrestling with miserable living conditions. Even more disturbing is the zeal some contestants demonstrate when actively hunting for folks or committing acts of sabotage, like destroying food rations, in order to deliberately hurt other teams. Viewers may enjoy tuning in, but what it shows us about human behavior is a little alarming.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about competitive reality shows. What motivates people to participate? Is the challenge? The attention? The money? Do you think the competitors behave the same way they do in their every day lives? Are the producers of these shows also responsible for the way people behave on these TV programs?
Would you ever sign up to be on a reality show? What factors would you consider in making your decision?
How do you think you would act under similar circumstances? Would you sabotage other teams in order to succeed? Does the fact that this is a game excuse people's choices?