A Warning on Surveillance or Security?
Seriously… which one?
Before we get onto the review, let me just say YEAH! I’M BACK! AND IN A TYPICAL FASHIONABLY LATE STYLE TOO!
So what’s been happening with me? Well my A-Level results turned out to be the best I could have asked for, and I’m currently settling into Manchester University to study English and Drama. Well, not now. Now I’m sitting comfortably at home for Reading Week. Whiling away the hours with Amazon Prime and napping… oh, with reading and work being my priorities, obviously.
I haven’t totally forgotten my reviewing in my hiatus, and have another review here on The Martian. Check it out for some sci-fi musings!
While I’ve been at home, I’ve managed to catch up on some shows, namely Hunted, and I’ve been thinking that although I have pressing work and essays to keep firmly on top of, I might revert back to my two posts a week, with Thursday and Sunday being my ‘Pick’ days
But enough of all that! Let’s see if my reviewing skills have been slacking during my hiatus.
PLOT: Could you survive being a fugitive? Fourteen civilians must evade capture for twenty-eight days by a crack-team of hunters. With limited cash and notice, can these ordinary people stay off the grid and survive being hunted?
This premise hooked me instantly. The idea of being on the run from SAS/FBI/CIA/Marines/NAVSOG/Spetsnaz-like hunters (yes, I’ve been watching Special Forces – Ultimate Hell Week as well) is thrilling to say the absolute least, and seeing the trailers of squad teams and forging rivers and attack dogs and traversing urban jungles really did psych me up for a crazy adventure.
What I really got wasn’t quite as exciting as that. The team of Hunters didn’t really have much at their disposal, being comprised of an office room of people holding pretentious job titles, and a number of buddy-cop teams who always seem to be less than twenty minutes away from where they need to be. Note: your suspicions should be arising here.
After a few episodes, the Hunters started to bore me. Repetitively using the same tactics to find the fugitives, it gets tedious to see another fugitive freak out over seeing their wanted poster on their hacked Facebook. The show even states that CCTV and ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) are replicated. What does that mean, you ask? That the Hunters are using other ways of finding the contestants that they aren’t telling us. I mean, isn’t it strange that one of the teams were caught on the off-chance that the Hunters were in the exact caravan park they were staying? Suspicioussssssss…
Not that it’s hard for the fugitives to be found. After a few days, they all seem to break the golden rule of contacting home three days into their run. On top of this, it’s not particularly hard to spot the DofE-style backpacked public being followed by a cameraman on CCTV. However, this puts the Hunters in a rather awkward situation when Britain’s best are having problems tracking down plumbers and IT workers.
In fact, it became quickly clear that all the Hunters were hoping for was to spook the fugitives out of their hiding spots, or just hope they made a mistake. A pair who stuck to canal-ways, and took out all their money beforehand, had no need to go back into urban areas, and were basically fine until the Hunters decided to cheat and freeze everyone’s bank accounts in the final week.
It’s not all doom and gloom for the Hunters though, as most of the fugitives have found the novelty of running away wears off fairly quickly. Some pretty much gave up. Friendships and marriages were nearly torn apart by this chase. Is this what entertainment now?
The final episode drove the final in nail in the coffin for me. What was this all meant to prove? A quick spoiler warning here, as the final episode consisted of the remaining fugitives getting to an airfield and flying away to safety. Of course, a few made it. So what’s the moral here? There was such a focus on how security affects all our lives, hinting at how the breeches of our privacy are for the common-good of society. But the fugitives escaped anyway, so is it really that effective at all?
In the end, the confusing conclusion of the narrator was a basic sum up the introduction of every episode so far, and made me question whether this show was the thrilling thought-provoking series I was hoping for. The series is fun for a while, with chases through the streets and fugitives turning the tables on the Hunters keeping some continuity going, but it quickly lost its appeal.
VERDICT: 4/10 – Despite some thrilling moments, it’s a dull chase, that come off as suspiciously fixed.