Mole fans plan to send lemons to ABC to save a show that should be allowed to just die

With one episode of the show to go, fans of The Mole are attempting to organize a campaign to save the show by sending lemons to ABC. The show’s producers are already campaigning to save their series because, as ABC’s president told me, the show will likely be cancelled because its ratings have failed to increase.

Fans plan to join fans of other endangered series by sending things to the network in an attempt to annoy them into submission; in this case, they’re sending lemons with (sad) faces drawn on them. They’re a reference to an episode in which Paul drew a face on a lemon and turned it into a mascot.

In an ABC.com discussion, one fan offers a suggested letter that makes other lemon references: “Consider this an avid fan of throwing lemons at you if you don’t renew The Mole for another season. You know what they say when life gives you lemons? You make lemonheads and renew another season of The Mole!”

I can’t believe I’m going to write this, but trying to save the series is a terrible idea, because it’s time to let The Mole die. And I say this as a person who still ranks the show among my favorite reality series ever and someone who was thrilled about its return.

Rereading my review of the first episode, however, I seem desperate to love the new series even despite its flaws, and I suspect that’s true for a lot of fans. The show’s reputation was weakened by the two celebrity seasons, but this season is actually worse because it aspires to be like the first two and isn’t just a derivative version.

Let’s be completely, brutally honest: This season just isn’t very good, at least not compared to the original two. Primarily, the cast is largely unlikable and annoying, not endearing and engaging. But there are other problems, too. This Monday’s bomb-defusing challenge was one of the few that approached the complexity and imagination as those in the original. New host Jon Kelley is okay, but he’s not doing a great job of imitating Anderson Cooper, and Anderson’s attitude and tone was essential to the series in the same way that Jeff Probst is essential to Survivor.

Here’s the real problem: We’re crippled by nostalgia. It’s nearly impossible to recreate fun times from our pasts, and when we do attempt that, the results end up being half-assed or disappointing or both. This effort to save the show feels like selfishly keeping someone alive via machines instead of just letting them go. Since Anderson isn’t going to return and ABC is convinced the first two seasons were too smart for dumb viewers, there’s virtually no chance of recapturing the original, and we don’t need just another half-assed season. As painful as it is, it’s time to let it go.

There is one thing that would be worthy of a campaign: We should petition for season two to be distributed on DVD, because right now, only season one is available. Then we’ll be able to forever enjoy and relive those good times. Otherwise, it’s time to let The Mole go.

Send Lemonheads to Save The Mole [ABC.com]

Surprisingly, man not eaten alive on Eaten Alive

Eaten Alive

Discovery Channel’s happy family holiday special Eaten Alive aired Sunday, rewarding viewers for their two full hours of viewing by ensuring that they spent quality time in the company of others instead of wasting that time doing something else that might not have been as satisfying, such as buying things that have labels which accurately reflect their contents.


Winter 2015 reality TV debut schedule

winter 2015 reality TV schedule

Mark your calendars with all these upcoming reality TV show debuts, including Celebrity Apprentice, The Bachelor, and another season of MasterChef Junior, all of which kick off in early January.

There are also 20+ shows debuting in December--including the one-off return of The Sing Off. No winter break for reality TV.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.