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Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force – Rating: C+

Submitted by on January 21, 2010 – 7:15 AMNo Comment
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When Fox aired one of the first law enforcement related reality shows in the 1980s the purpose was clear, to enlist the public in apprehending criminals. The purpose behind the fugitive task force portrayed in Manhunters (A&E, Thursdays at 1opm) is not as clear cut and obvious. Do we really want the criminals aware of the steps involved in tracking them down?

The show focuses on the efforts of the New York/New Jersey Regional Fugitive Force, a collection of law enforcement officers from the U.S. Marshals Service and local police forces to bring down the bad guys. By working together, jurisdictional issues are overlooked with the officers involved focused completely on catching the bad guys by whatever means necessary.

Two episodes aired for the premiere; in one they waited around for the criminal for much of the show and in the second they chased down lead after lead until one finally panned out. While the show is probably going for realism, they may want to consider coaching some of the officers on their line delivery; sometimes they looked like they were do a poor job of reading a script into the camera.

While it is interesting to see how bad guys get apprehended, the show itself is a little slow. Little actually happens for much of the show. Much of it is involved in the setup for who they are after. When the more interesting things are happening the camera is stuck filming a doorway; undoubtedly because it would be dangerous to be anywhere else.

However, maybe the simplicity of the show is the point. Perhaps what the makers of the show are trying to do is express to the criminal element just how easy the task of taking them down is. As far as entertainment value goes the show is- eh, okay. Whatever the purpose, the entertainment value is restricted to those that find the interworking of a law enforcement of interest. Otherwise, you will probably be changing the channel.

Beer: Tactical Nuclear Penguin from the people at Brew Dog Ltd in Scotland- someone would have to drink a few of these to think they could take on the Fugitive Task Force. At 32% ABV this beer will definitely give you some liquid courage if it doesn’t put you on the floor first. Made from a combination of 6 malts and 3 hops this beer is aged in double barrel aged for 14 months before being frozen for three weeks to give it that extra special kick.