By Annie Barrett
Updated July 31, 2013 at 12:00 PM EDT


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I’m sorry to report that as of now (the one-hour premiere aired Tuesday and will air again tonight), the CW’s new reality series Capture is less Hunger Games and more Really Big Game of Hide and Go Seek. There are 12 couples (each week, a different team will conduct The Hunt while the others will be The Prey) competing for $250,000 and the chance to say “I didn’t die on television!” The problem is that the other people will also get to say that. I know it’s not The Hunger Games exactly, but after the fancy race start narrated by a tweak-y Englishman (host Luke Tipple, disappointingly wig-less as far as I can tell), I craved genetically engineered wasps, poisonous berries, Mockingjays (though at one point we did see a random fat bird) or a gift of warm, fresh bread from Camera Crew 11. Anything!

Alas, I wasn’t exaggerating above. There are very few stakes and it really is Hide and Go Seek for grownups in color-coded spandex. AT LEAST the “talons” — the laser discs used to “tag” the Prey — are vaguely reminiscent of the popular 1978 electronic board game Simon. So there’s another fun childhood throwback. They only flash red, though. At this point it’d be better if the talons started berating the contestants with existential quandaries a la HAL 9000.

Bright spots!

–The Prey Team, Erica and Ryan, were parkour experts, which was fun. HOW were they not able to do more with this? I wanted to see them flipping off trees and scaling their metal beds. We kept yelling “DO PARKOUR” at the TV. It was agony!

–The chyrons for the pairs have their relationship markers in quotes, so it sort of looks like the descriptions are sarcastic. Like maybe Rob and Jacob aren’t just “NEIGHBORS”. I can’t believe either of these things has made it to a “bright spots” list! Quite a list so far.

–The little robot that pops up before new days/challenges/hunts/announcements is genuinely cute.

Kind of.

–Jade and Nikita are British twins! They’re just lovely to listen to/look at so far.

–Exercise-obsessed Jarick and Tremana are listed as “friends without benefits” and it seems like all they do is lift each other in the name of working out:

The Airplane could ultimately be what propels them to a victory; you never know.

–“I’m trying to figure out if this game is even possible,” complained Erica after she and Ryan became disoriented shortly following the three-minute grace period in which the other 11 teams could run away from them. GOOD CALL, Erica. DO PARKOUR.

–“I will literally make out with everyone on this wilderness island.” –Noelle, from Team Brooklyn. (It’s not an island, but there is a 10-mile force field surrounding the 4,000 acres of wilderness on which the game is played.)

–There’s a Lime Team AND a green team, and a Yellow Team AND a gold team. That’s insanity!

RESULTS: Two teams were captured: Yellow early on and Lime with five minutes to go on Day 2. Somehow everyone figured out that the yellow team was more of a threat, so it’s bye bye to Marlina and Kellee, who’d spent the night disowning each other as friends within a small uncovered jail cell in the middle of the rainy forest and will probably never speak again. For real. “It won’t be the last relationship that you will see crack,” one of them (it doesn’t matter) promised before solemnly walking away.

I’m thinking this might get better if the game twists and turns a little. It’d be much better if the Prey Team had a distinct advantage each week, maybe like a dirt bike or something. If everyone’s on foot the whole time it’s going to get SO MUCH MORE BORING. I mean, they already used up the Parkour People. Can anyone fly?

Also… did any of that really happen? What the hell did I just watch? Will I watch it again? Help me.


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