Hunted is the new Channel 4 reality television series and as the name gives away is based on the idea of fourteen fugitives on the run from the law. It is certainly an interesting new angle to reality television. However, the production of the show was somewhat of a let-down, ending up being tacky and overdone. The fact that it was reality TV but set as a drama meant this was a likely fate, combined with the stacks of melodrama.
I mean, let’s look at the candidates chosen, like Ricky Allen, the GP from Kent who had a wondrous passion for adventure and sounded as if he was part of the New World Order conspiracy group, spending the majority of their life deleting any trace of themselves off the internet from the ‘All Seeing Eye.’ As well as the two slightly baffled girls from Surrey who were playing the struggling victims of which the empathetic audience hopefully, in a way, would connect with. It was very convenient to have these candidates for entertainment’s sake. This added to the artificialness of the show in the knowledge people such as these were not likely to ever be in such a situation.
Yet, I shall digress. The show at times had springs of entertaining moments. For example, after the Singh brothers, who set a decoy for the police to follow and made a cunning escape to Manchester, were caught hiding in their friend’s store. How they reacted with such serious emotion to their fate, with one brother actually making a run for it, was somewhat amusing and revealing. Hunted reminded me of the Stanford Prison Experiment where the participants got too much into their roles and resulted in a disturbing experiment of human behaviour. I think Hunted had the same impact on the psychological states of the participants involved, to a lesser degree. In this respect, the show gained a fascinating insight into how people behave when they are put in certain roles, even when they knew it was artificial.
Overall, Hunted has certainly taken a very new approach to reality television with undeniable gripping moments as the participants dodged the hands of the law. And at times gave the audience an insight into the human psyche and how people behave in given societal roles, even in such a short space of time. However, the tackiness of the show with its budget scenes could not be ignored. The knowledge of it, obviously, being set up around willing volunteers with no serious criminal offenses, brought forward at times irresistible snickers at the police and participants taking the whole thing so seriously.
Featured image from The Evening Standard.