June 16th, 2008
If there is a single thing that sets The Mole apart from other reality shows, it’s the tasks that the players are forced to do. They’re different than the other shows, relying not on skill but rather skills like communication, trust and in some cases pure ingenuity. The two tasks at the centerpiece of the fifth season’s third episode represent those which open up the game’s best elements, leaving room for the players to hang themselves and for them to have to think fast on their feet in tough situations.
There’s a lot of elements here that remind us of the show’s previous seasons, including more strong hosting from Jon Kelley and a pre-execution shocker that changes the dynamics of the game in a major way. And yet, there are still subtle differences: perhaps it’s that it isn’t new, but there’s a certain shift in the way the game is being portrayed (and in some ways played) that reminds us that this isn’t the same show.
That being said, it still remains the most watchable reality series for the summer months, and a worthy successor to its predecessors.