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What do Holey Moley’s stats mean? Is Celebrity Mole available anywhere?

Came across your site when trying to figure out something on Holey Moley. When the bio cards go up on the show that include age [and] reach, there is a category called ‘fails’. Do you (or your Holey Moley contact) know what that is? Thanks! —Tom

That’s a great question, and something I had not even noticed. First, some brief background Holey Moley season 3 has added new holes and made other changes, and this is one of them: a title card that introduces contestants.

At the start of each match-up, both players appear on screen, with eight pieces of information listed in the middle:

  • hometown
  • age
  • height
  • putter weight, a number in grams
  • fails, a number
  • reach, which is in inches
  • played golf, a number of years
  • Rob’s opinion, a phrase or sentence attributed to co-host Rob Riggle

Here’s the very first one that appeared on season 3:

Holey Moley season 3's contestants are introduced with a screen of statistics
Holey Moley season 3’s contestants are introduced with a screen of statistics

All of those make sense to me except, as you point out, the “fails” number. Perhaps because that stat is in the middle of the list, I don’t think I ever paid attention to it.

I asked executive producer Wes Dening, and he told me that the fails “stat is just a little bit of fun in our effort to make it look like we’re ‘going pro,'” adding that the screen has “plenty of little nuggets.”

Season 3’s narrative arc focuses on Holey Moley’s resident golf pro Stephen Curry taking the sport of extreme mini golf pro. The season opened with a press conference at which he announced it, and the story has continued in interstitials during the episodes.

Overall, it’s a lot of fictional silliness, and I think that’s what the fails stat is: just something that’s made up. What’s weird to me is that all the other stats seem legitimate, like height and reach, never mind the player’s age and hometown. Rob’s opinion is, of course, a jokey observation.

Alas, I was not able to confirm which of the items are fake and just there for humor, and which are real. But it’s possible we’ll learn more as the season goes on, and as the pretend pro league storyline is developed more.

Where are the other seasons of The Mole?

Anderson Cooper toasts The Mole season 1 cast in Paris
Anderson Cooper toasts The Mole season 1 cast in Paris (Image from The Mole)

I love your Mole recaps—your love of the show made my husband and me watch the first two seasons on Netflix, and we were hooked immediately. We watched the whole thing in a few days and are now pouring over your recaps! My question is, do you know why just the first two seasons are streaming and not all of them? From what I understand, the remaining seasons are celebrity versions, which are always lamer than the regular show, but we’d still like to see them. I can’t seem to find them anywhere streamable and legit. Do you have any intel? —Toni

First, thanks for sharing that, Toni—I’m just so thrilled that you and your husband are enjoying The Mole. It’s one of my favorite reality competitions ever, and I love to share The Mole love!

As a programming note: I’ve finished my The Mole season 1 recaps, and will start season 2 next week, so look for those soon!

You are correct that seasons three and four were celebrity seasons. There was a fifth season with regular contestants that aired on ABC in 2008.

Celebrity Mole: Hawaii and Celebrity Mole: Yucatan were actually decent seasons—or at least not quite as watered-down as celebrity versions of other shows. They did have a new host, Ahmad Rashād, and also didn’t travel as much as seasons one and two.

Only one of those two seasons is legally available: the first Celebrity Mole is on DVD. But it’s not streaming anywhere, nor is the second celebrity season, nor is the third regular-person season. Sorry there’s not better news!

Now that Netflix is reviving The Mole, it’s terrific that they’ve added the first two seasons, but frustrating that all five aren’t there.

Why would Netflix only license the first two seasons, and not the other three? One theory I have is that, since the Netflix version will have regular people as players, Netflix wants to get its subscribers used to that version of the show, rather than the celebrity version.

It could also be that they’re not able to license more than those two. Vulture‘s Josef Adalian recently tweeted about Sony licensing just two seasons of classic shows Maude and One Day at a Time to Amazon’s IMDbTV, and thus is free to license other seasons elsewhere. Rights to old shows can be surprisingly complicated.

Netflix also just might just start small: it has two seasons of Survivor, including Survivor Cagayan: Brains vs. Brawn vs. Beauty.

Ultimately, older shows’ availability on streaming services is a complete mess, and it’s not easy for those of us who just want to revisit old shows like The Mole.

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About the author

  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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