Hello everybody and welcome to a FOX experiment in sociology and reality TV. No, it’s not another edition of Paradise Hotel even though the voiceover guy sounds oddly familiar though run through many audio effects. This is Unan1mous, a cross between Big Brother, Survivor, The Real World, Paradise Hotel and, oh, I don’t know…a college psychology experiment gone bad? Here’s the premise…put 9 people from all walks of life(read: 9 character types) into a futuristic underground bunker with no contact with the outside world and no sense of time of day and then have them try to decide unanimously who should receive the $1.5 million prize. Simple, right?
Of course, this being FOX and all, they will throw in many twists along the way to try and get the players’ undies in a bunch. One of the twists is that if a player decides to leave the bunker before a unanimous decision is made, the prize money is cut in half. Secrets will be revealed, alliances will be made, and tempers are sure to flair as these 9 strangers all fight tooth and nail for a hefty cash prize.
A Jury Of Your Peers
As the group of 9 enters the bunker, PHo voiceover guy tells us that none of them have any idea what they are in for. Really? So FOX just kidnapped these people and told them it was cool, they won’t be harmed? Huh. Didn’t know you could do that. I guess Rupert Murdoch has some sort of network-matic immunity. While PHoV totally over dramatizes the future goings-on in the bunker, he also introduces us to the “characters” in this unscripted drama/cash giveaway. There’s Adam the professional poker player, Vanessa the soccer mom, Jonathan the self professed ladies man, Jameson the office manager who happens to be gay, Jamie the dancer, Kelly the minister, Steve the truck driver, Tarah the fashion designer, and Richard the 42 year old virgin, I mean temp. Can you see the stereotypes? They’re stacked to the ceiling of the bunker.
Meet and Greet
Once all of the players make their way into the bunker, have a look around, and realize there are no windows on this place, we get to meet some of the other “characters” in this contest. First, there is the chilling, monotone voice of Big Sister. I call her Big Sister because she coolly and robotically makes all of the repeating announcements to all the bunker inhabitants. “Attention lab mice, please proceed to the center of the maze.” Actually, the center of the maze is called The Inner Circle. It is a futuristic looking table with a bunch of holes in it and a large video monitor overlooking it. It is here that we get to meet the last character in the experiment, J.D. Roth. J.D. is playing the role of Big Brother—in the George Orwell sense of the word. J.D. gives a little introduction to the game, how it will be played, and exactly what they are playing for…$1.5 million. That little piece of cheese in the maze piques everyone’s interest, even Kelly’s who immediately busts out the old cliché money is the root of all evil. Funny, Kelly…aren’t you not only a minister, but some sort of consultant that helps people make lots of money? Yes, folks, Kelly is this show’s stereotypical hypocrite. Do as I say, not as I do…Hello Pot, I’m Kettle, and you are black. Look to her whenever you hear someone say something completely full of BS. Or not. Jonathan quickly provides another steaming pile of bull plop during the get to know you period. He tells everyone that he has testicular cancer, but it’s a total lie. He figures nobody knows him, so he can be anyone and have any disease he wants. There aren’t just lies going on while everyone gets to know one another. Some of the people are freaked the hell out. No windows, no clocks and no fresh air has a way of making some people feel claustrophobic. Mostly Jamie, who seems like she might actually freak the hell out after she hears the reason they are in the bunker. Wow…maybe they really didn’t tell anyone anything.
Adam and Steve
While Jamie deals with her claustrophobia by calming repeating “1.5 million dollars, 1.5 million dollars…”, the rest of the crew really gets to know one another. Kelly fulfills her ministerial role by trying to push the Bible on every one of the lab mice. Bible!! It stands for Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. I have never heard that one before, so excuse me whilst I look that one up in the Bible that Kelly says tells us everything. Nope, God never said “BIBLE” is an acronym like that. Jameson hears Kelly’s preaching and instantly knows he will not vote for her, and she will not likely vote for him, since he is a homosexual. Jameson is not ascared of the church lady, so he brings it right to her. He tells her that if God made him, how can she deny it? Her answer? “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” That argument holds as much water as sieve in the desert. None. Jameson tries to debate with her, but I don’t understand why. He just doesn’t understand that minds don’t work unless they’re open. Luckily for him, Big Sister calls out to instruct everyone to head to bed. Everyone complies, even though no one has any idea what time of day it is
All of the players are called by Big Sister to the Inner Circle for their first vote of the game. Once gathered around the table, Big Brother J.D. appears on the screen to guide them through the process. On the table in front of them is a tray with 9 balls...one unique for each player. They are instructed to grab their balls(whoops, I forgot this is a PG-13 site!) and sit back down in their chairs. Each ball has every other bunker mate’s name except their own. So, in actuality, the vote does not have to be completely unanimous, since you can’t vote for yourself. Each player opens up their sphere, and chooses who they want to see who with the money. Next, they drop the ball the hole in front of them and it magically rolls away to J.D., who must be somewhere in the bunker with everyone else. J.D. unlocks each ball and reads the vote. First vote: Steve, who made a nice plea of unselfishness during the meet and greet. He wants the money to help out his kids. If 7 more people voted for Steve, everyone will walk away right now. It’d be a miracle, but the game would be over. Steve gets the next two votes…and everyone is starting to worry that maybe they all made the same mistake and inadvertently voted for Steve. The next vote is for Vanessa…but since that could be Steve’s vote, the tally isn’t over. Next vote: Jamie. After that, we get a hodge podge of names, and the voting session is over.
Big Secrets, Big Problems
Since the players were not able to come to a unanimous decision on their first vote(Their first vote! They’ve hardly had time to learn each other’s names, let alone decide who deserves the cash!), they will now choose who won’t get the money. On the table in front of them are 9 file folders, each one containing a possibly damning secret—one for each player. There are no names associated with the files, so they are anonymous…for now. They will choose 3 folders from the 9, and read those secrets aloud. Then, everyone will decide which secret is the worst one, and that player will be excluded from winning the cash. It actually sounds like a good twist, but then I thought about it some more…why wouldn’t that player just say “screw it, I don’t have a horse in this game anymore,” walk out the door and immediately and let the prize be cut in half? Anyway, they choose 3 folders, and read the secrets within. First, someone in the bunker once filed for bankruptcy, even though their combined income with their spouse is over $100,000 annually. Through confessionals, we know this is Kelly. Kelly, Kelly, Kelly. Money is the root of all evil, honey. And it has made you it’s bitch! Second, someone else has been detained by authorities on more than one occasion for carrying live ammunition. That’s illegal? Having live ammo? But there was no gun? So, hunters heading to the hunting grounds are illegal? Hmm. Good to know. We soon find out that this was Tarah. She doesn’t want to immediately start campaigning against that being the worst secret, since she realizes that the harder you try to get one particular secret excluded, the more obvious it is that that is your secret. The final secret tells everyone that one of their bunker mates was admitted to a mental ward. I’m guessing not because they were a serial felon, but probably just because of the stress of the world. Richard, the 42 year old temp admits to us that he is the one that was institutionalized for a short time. It’s stressful being 42 and still doing temp work. Not that I know. Richard rallies hard to let everyone know that he doesn’t think that’s such a bad thing. The problem is, his reasoning makes him look like a mental patient. Ease up, man! Everyone debates which of those secrets is truly the worst, some are more animated than others. Finally, J.D. pops onto the big screen and demands that everyone make their decision….NOW!
And it’s over. Wow…that 28 minutes went fast, but they sure included a lot. Be sure to tune in next time when J.D. will reveal whose secret is the worst, and another twist is revealed. What is it, you may ask? You probably think FOX won’t reveal the twist in the previews. Well, you’re wrong. I guess FOX’s twists are just so predictable these days they are just going to tell us upfront. Next week, the money starts to drop for every second the bunker buddies don’t have a unanimous decision. Hmmm, twisty indeed.
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