Campaign to save 'The Mole.' It's smart, good TV. Not Firefly, but just actively good.

UPDATED: Saturday, August 2, 2008 16:41
VIEWED: 3550
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Tuesday, July 29, 2008 1:05 PM


Hello. My name is Brian Boyko, and I watch TV. I don’t watch a whole lot of it, so I try to save my TV watching time for shows that don’t suck.

I’m putting a call out to all the Joss Whedon fans that tried to save Firefly and succeeded in getting the Serenity movie. (I’m also hoping to reach the Jericho fans that brought the nuts, the Arrested Development fans – the guys who managed to bring Doctor Who back after decades off the air – basically all of you guys out there that are simply tired of crap on television that is squeezing out all the good stuff.)

Right now, ABC is putting out a whole lot of very, very stupid TV shows.

Now, there are some good shows - let me run down a list here:

First, the good stuff: There’s Boston Legal, Desperate Housewives, Grey’s Anatomy, Lost, Ugly Betty. Keep in mind, I personally don’t watch any of these shows, but I can recognize the critical acclaim that these shows have received.

On the other end of the spectrum, however, you have America’s Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelorette, Wanna Bet, Dancing With The Stars, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, High School Musical: Get in the picture, I survived a Japanese Game Show, Opportunity Knocks, Supernanny, and Wife Swap. (I almost put Wipeout on there, but the show is so dumb that it might come back out the other side and become smart again; I don’t know.)

Anyway, most of these shows are cheap, and most of them are crap. Most of them belong in the reality TV genre. Reality TV has a reputation of being the lowest of the low, the most tawdry and cheap crud peddled for entertainment, just slightly below flat-out voyeurism and just slightly above torture porn.

But I believe that the genre of Reality TV actually can surpass what the networks have tried to make it become.

There’s an analogy out there which I think is fitting – think about comic books. Many of them have bad writing, implausible plots, and were – and are – seen as substandard literature for children and… let’s call them “mental absentees.” Even so, every so often there comes a Watchmen or a Sandman or a Maus which shows that there is nothing wrong with the storytelling medium, only with the market for these stories.

I’m here to make an argument to you that there is a show out there in the Reality TV genre which is a genuine smart and entertaining show, which actually excels at what the medium can produced – a diamond in the rough, to use that cliché.

This video is one of a few on YouTube that have, for the past couple of weeks, been trying to get your attention to try to enlist your support for trying to save a show called “The Mole.” I’m not going into the premise here because you can look that up for yourself on Television Without Pity or Wikipedia or even here on YouTube, but the point that I do want to make is that ultimately, “The Mole” is actually a very smart show, where contestants actually have to use logic and brainpower in order to advance in the show. The intrigue comes not from petty personality-conflicts and manufactured drama but from actual intrigue. In short, this is a very smart show in a very dumb genre.

I believe that, in a way, Mole fans and other fandoms both ultimately are drawn towards our cherished shows because right now, on television, there is an absolute dearth of quality. It has become so desperate that people are starting campaigns such as "Save Dollhouse" before the show has even aired, so pessimistic are we that good shows will fail.

And while it’s easy imagine the antagonism is between scripted material and reality TV, it’s really just that there’s an antagonism between good TV and crap TV.

Because the Mole was placed at a lousy time-slot – opposite CSI Miami and after the vacuous “Bachelorette,” not many people have given this show a chance. If you still want to catch the last two episodes, they will be on Mondays at 10 pm eastern, and 9 pm central. Will the show be canceled from ABC? I don’t know. Maybe it will find another network, or carry on through cable or syndication.

People on YouTube are currently creating viral videos to help get the point of the Mole across in a funny way – mine can be found at

At this point, it’s more of a last-ditch effort, but it might be worth something.

My purpose in hoping that you see this is to hopefully get you guys to give the show a shot. You don’t have to like it. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea – no show will ever be. I seem to be the only person on the face of the planet that doesn’t “get” Lost, but that’s okay. But I do hope that you give the show a shot with an open mind. And if you agree with this message – to please, pass it on to your friends and other fandoms. “The Mole” is a good show and we just can’t afford to lose too many more of them.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008 1:31 PM


I'm impressed with your passion, but do not share your views about the show.


Tuesday, July 29, 2008 1:50 PM


That's cool. As I said, it's not to everyone's tastes. But thanks for replying!


Tuesday, July 29, 2008 7:14 PM


Enjoyed the first two real-people Moles.
This bunch of contestants has been far less
fun: grumpy and nasty. Nicole seems like
Omarosa (from Apprentice) redux.
Still love the concept of the show.
Wish Cooper could host again (doesn't
want to, and says he's a news guy) because
he was a major part of the charm, but
surely they can find someone Coop-ish.
I think low ratings may just sink it.

Frisky Browncoat
bastards singed my turtle


Tuesday, July 29, 2008 7:48 PM


They did seem a bit more grumpy and nasty in the beginning, mostly because, I think, of a poor casting decision of Paul, who did everything he could to keep the players agitated and frustrated, and through what will probably turn out to be lucky guesswork, made it to the final 4.

The concept, however, is what I'm trying to save; keep in mind, of course, that they had a very limited time.

I think the series really grew into it's own by the 6th episode; if you were turned off, it does get quite a bit better. Jon Kelley finds his groove and channels Anderson Cooper a bit more without being a carbon-copy, the players mellow out a bit, and the games get more interesting and more visual.


Wednesday, July 30, 2008 6:37 PM


Oh, not turning it off. Hoping for some
good stunts. And the right people executed.
But now it's nearly over...
You're right about the casting.
Sometimes one wants to be a fly on the wall
when those decisions are made: "Let's put in
a couple of real nasties this time -- the
tension should make it interesting."
Yeah, right.

Frisky Browncoat
bastards singed my turtle...


Friday, August 1, 2008 8:33 AM


Interesting post I'll give it a look because you're pitch was well written.

I was wondering though, if even though it's been a while since Firefly was off the are, if firefly fans could be doing similar things with the existing clips?

Maybe editing the episodes to make viral videos could help boost firefly awareness, not to get a movie or series renewal, but just increase the general hype around it -- which maybe in some way could lead to more firefly some day in the future.. even if there's no chance in hell i'll still post a few videos on youtube later and hopefully get some views.

--- - my website - learn how to make money online filling out surveys.


Saturday, August 2, 2008 3:41 PM


I've always watched The Mole. It's a pretty good show.

So who do you think the mole is? My choice from day one is Nicole. Craig would be my second pick.


Saturday, August 2, 2008 4:41 PM


I've always been a Craig guy.






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