Take the Money and Run
By Melissa Camacho,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Crime/game show hybrid has mixed messages, iffy language.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
The series highlights the kind of questioning techniques and investigative tactics that go into solving crimes. It also demonstrates how people will lie (and ask people to lie on their behalf) in order to win money.
Positive Role Models
Veteran investigators show off their detective skills, while contestants lie in order to outsmart them.
Violence & Scariness
The show mimics real criminal investigations and interrogations, though no real crimes take place.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Contestants occasionally hug and kiss in celebration, support, or out of disappointment.
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Words like "bitch" are audible, while curses like "s--t" are bleeped.
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Products & Purchases
Occasionally local businesses and store chains, like 7-11, are visible.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this reality competition features contestants hiding a suitcase full of cash and then attempting to outsmart veteran investigators during two days of interrogations in order to keep them from finding it. It isn't violent, but contestants look and are treated like alleged criminals during the process. They also engage in some sneaky behavior (including lying) during Q&A sessions. Expect some strong language ("bitch"; stronger words are bleeped).
Where to Watch
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What's the Story?
In TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN, couples are challenged to hide a briefcase full of cash from a team of veteran investigators. Each duo is handed a briefcase containing $100,000 and given one hour to hide it somewhere in their city. Once the hour is up, the pair is picked up by police officers, separated, and taken into custody. During tough interrogation sessions conducted by Marly Hanon-Stone and Paul Bishop, the pair must reveal as few clues as possible. Based on the details provided to the interrogators, local police detectives follow leads in an attempt to locate the cash. If the pair manages to outsmart the detectives for 48 hours, they get to keep the money. But if the money is found, the investigators get to take it home.
Is It Any Good?
The show is a cat and mouse game that combines the tension of an investigative drama with the suspense of a game show. It also offers a chance to see the kinds of analytical thought and investigative skill that go into questioning suspects in order to solve a case.
The show offers some entertaining moments, but the endless interrogation sessions take away from some of the excitement the series is trying to generate. Meanwhile, rooting for the contestants feels a little strange, since they're made out to look like criminals who are trying to outwit investigators even though they haven't done anything wrong. Folks may find it fun to watch, but it definitely sends some mixed messages.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the different tactics that investigators use when trying to solve a mystery or a crime. Do you think this show is realistic in the way it depicts criminal investigations?
Many reality shows feature stunts and/or competitions that are designed to be fun and entertaining. But when do they go too far? Are there things that shouldn't be part of reality show entertainment due to ethical or common sense reasons?
- Premiere date: July 20, 2011
- Cast: Mary Hanlon-Stone, Paul Bishop, Zen Gesner
- Network: ABC
- Genre: Reality TV
- TV rating: TV-PG
- Last updated: October 14, 2022
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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