The Traitors on Peacock is the best new reality TV competition

This post contains mild spoilers for traitorswhich streams on Peacock.

On American television, the vast majority of competitive reality shows revolve around a simple rule: There can only be one winner. One survivor, American Idol, one Bachelor or Bachelorette soulmate, top chef, drag queen, and so forth. peacock traitorsa 10-episode (all episodes released simultaneously) simulated murder mystery, is an exciting experience with a modified premise: Can twenty people on a reality show work together and win as a team?

Perhaps, if not for two problems: one, the small cadre of titular traitors who can steal the pot if they can make it to the end, and two, the players themselves. Peacock, for example, did not bring a group of union organizers or other cooperating workers to make the show; They find a mix of mystery-loving norms and reality show vets, with stars from survivorAnd BSCAnd Big brotherand — uh oh — the award-contending Bravo World.

But fortunately, Traitors It cares less about the success of its players than it does about finding the entertainment of watching everyone fail brilliantly.

Watching friends turn on friends, confident minds fooled by their lack of self-awareness, and heroes flaunting their admiration is what Traitors all about. It is also hosted by Alan Cumming, who wears an impressive array of hats and capes, and takes place in a Scottish castle.

Traitors It combines the acute pain of a corporate team-building exercise with some of the most emotionally fragile reality show celebrities to ever appear on television. Think of the worst group project you’ve ever been a part of, then imagine inflicting that experience on the most awful person you know, while you sit next to it and sadistically watch it. this the Traitors Which is perfect.

Traitors Makes you feel like the smartest person in the room

traitors Not an original concept. anyone play”werewolforMafiaAnd, to game enthusiasts, it belongs to a broader category of games known as turn-based social deduction games.

Essentially, the majority of players – in these games they are known as “villagers” – have to identify a smaller group of players with hidden roles, known as “werewolves” or “mafia” depending on the game, that allow them to quietly “kill” members of the larger group alternately. The villagers win if they can identify all the werewolves or mobsters, and the werewolves or mobsters win if they can eliminate the villagers before they are detected. Other variations of this competition include turn-based Hitler’s secret And the epidemic spread Between us.

Traitors Sticks are close to standard.

In this iteration, the “Believers” attempt to identify and vote for the “traitors” before the end of the competition. Every night, after the vote, the traitors are allowed to get rid of one believer until the end of the competition. If the Believers make it to the end and there are no traitors left, they win a large cash prize (up to $250,000) to split among the remaining number. But if the traitor or traitors remain, they will take the prize themselves.

When you play these types of games with friends, it’s basically an exercise in figuring out how much your friends are lying. (You happen to be a horrible liar, which makes the deductive aspect of these games very easy; it also taught me that if a spirit ever moves me to commit a major theft, I must really find new friends.)

But instead of participating in first-person guessing games, Traitors She invites her audience to become observers from an almost omniscient third-person perspective. The public knows who are the believers and who are the traitors. We are suddenly the smartest people in the room.

And instead of a criminal, the show is about who messes with this whole thing.

A large group of outdoor runners is standing near a row of cars, dressed in winter clothes and smiling.

These are some of the contestants in traitors. Rachel (center) is often very loud and very wrong.
NBC Universal

what makes Traitors It’s good that the casting department figured out that depending on the players, you can make this game very messy and challenging. With the right group of people, this could easily turn into something as horrific as the Stanford Prison Experiment.

Playing between perfect strangers who don’t know each other’s anecdotes and idiosyncrasies makes it hard to spot the lie. Even worse, highly reactive and sensitive narcissists cannot play this game without taking it personally. (The traitors were picked off by a tap on the shoulder from Cumming in the first episode; their case isn’t a personal indictment.) Since the casting department has scouted reality shows like survivorAnd Big brotherAnd BSCAnd bravo The Real Housewives of Beverly HillsAnd summer houseAnd Below is the deck For the cast members, emotions run wild and assumptions run wild. The casting department paired them with completely confident standards who have jobs like emergency room nurse, political analyst, and public relations expert—careers that seem made for the mystery game.

The end result is a group of people who are as high on abilities as they are bad at reasoning.

An example of this is the pound sterling Big brother winner Rachel Riley.

Riley begins to confuse the idea of ​​”believer” and “disloyal” as a moral distinction. Believers are good people, traitors are evil, and in Riley’s mind, they present themselves as such. Because Riley is classified as a believer, she determines that behavior she personally dislikes is a hallmark of a traitor. She bobs heads over and over again Kate ChastainBravo, beloved alum Below is the deck. Riley thinks Chastain is unfaithful because Chastain hates her and makes fun of her clothes.

Riley doesn’t seem to realize that a traitor could be smart enough to pretend to love her.

Their tension becomes unbearable (and irrational) and Chastain, who is actually a believer, tells the camera that she thinks Peacock pulled the bait-and-switch. She may not have been part of a $250,000 game show but she is stuck in her own personal hell. This angry episode repeats itself over and over over the course of the season, to the point where Chastain tells people to vote for her — an act, to Chastain’s chagrin, that not even her fellow believers can pull off.

Image showing four traitorous contestants, with Cyrie Fields in the center.

If you ever find yourself on a reality show playing for thousands of dollars and this lady (Cirie Fields) shows up, you’re probably going to lose.
NBC Universal

Traitors He allows his followers to be confidently loud and wrong, which confirms my own feeling that if I were cast in this show, I would be much better at this game than the people I watch. I found myself groaning at their poor decisions, yelling helplessly at my television screen at how bleak they all were.

Stephanie LaGrosaa survivor Alum, he didn’t seem to remember that Serry Fieldsa fellow survivor, has spent several seasons on their show Mastermind and obscurantism Left and right people. Quentin, the political analyst, fails so much in all of his personal analyses that you’d worry this show could be detrimental to his career prospects. All bewildering and polarizing entities like summer house‘s Kyle Cook And The Real Housewives‘s Brandi Glanville They come out as the show’s highest-grossing heroes – basically because they start to realize that the people they work with will never find out.

Why was the peacock released? Traitors All at once?

While Traitors Himself first-rate reality television, Peacock made the least strategic decision ever, by shooting all 10 episodes simultaneously. As someone who loves to binge, being able to yank out all the loops and crush the suspense was such a fun experience! I didn’t have to wait week after week for the descents to resolve themselves.

But this is a perfectly crafted show to have everyone talking about week after week. the The British version of the show It was broadcast three times a week during primetime, and was a huge success.

Yes, many of them complain about the idiots of believers. But there’s also plenty of strategy and savvy, as well as some of reality TV’s golden moments. Sharing these thoughts becomes more difficult when potential viewers aren’t on the same page, and you’re afraid of spoiling the outcome.

if peacock Had he released the show on a weekly basis, maybe three episodes or so a week, it would have built up the suspense and hype next month. It’ll be easier to talk about favorite episodes and moments and make it clear who we’re all rooting for while keeping spoilers to a minimum.

Traitors Entertaining enough to watch dates. If we’re lucky enough to get a second season of this wickedly fun show, I hope it’s something Peacock has in mind.

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