NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW: TAKE THE MONEY AND RUN!
FROM THE NEW YORK TIMES . . .
The police state becomes total when the police become the heroes and the criminals begin policing themselves.
These are not ordinarily the values of reality television, which prizes mischief and mild lawlessness and depicts police officers as, at best, tragic figures, shouldering responsibilities that no one else will.
“Take the Money & Run,” which begins on Tuesday on ABC, upends all that. Part game show and part psychological warfare, it’s a showdown involving three pairs — two contestants in the role of criminals, who stash $100,000 and hope it’s not found; two moonlighting police officers assigned to uncover it within 48 hours; and two interrogators, who try to pry information out of the criminals with stern looks and steak dinners and lines like, “You’re lying now, and you’re not real good at it.”
The criminals are regular folks hoping to earn money and TV time without having to study hard for “Jeopardy!” or demean themselves on “Wipeout.” This should be a cakewalk for them: hide shrewdly, reveal little, collect prize. (If the cops find it, they win the money.)
But this sometimes gripping show isn’t so benign. First, the adversaries are worthy. The interrogators — Paul Bishop, a detective and author, and Mary Hanlon Stone, a deputy district attorney and author — have a flair for the dramatic, and the police officers live up to their cities’ stereotypes. In the premiere the ones from San Francisco have an unhurried affability. The Miami detectives in the second episode have sharper edges; one, with slicked-back black hair and a tight black T-shirt tucked into black pants, looks like the stunt double for Cop No. 3 on an early episode of “Miami Vice.”
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