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Travel Channel's "5 Takes" Heading to Latin America

Looking to escape from your job and travel the world for a few weeks and be on television? Longtime readers know that I am a sucker for a few things: anything vaguely Arrested Development -related, the works of Joss Whedon, the employees of Dunder-Mifflin (and The Girly Show ) and cable series 5 Takes . For those of you not in the know, 5 Takes is a highly addictive travel reality series on the Travel Channel that shoves five travel journalists into unusual and out-of-the-ordinary experiences in far-off lands (except for last season which saw five Australian and Asian journalists travel around the US) as they record their varying experiences and live together. It's a fun, often eye-opening series and nothing like The Real World , whatsoever. It appears that the fourth season of 5 Takes is headed to Latin America and they are currently looking for five travel journalists/hosts between the ages of 30-39 (slightly older than previous installments) to explore the countries of L

A Final Take on "5 Takes: USA"

Just a quick post this morning as I'm already feeling the effects of way too much holiday cheer, even though we're still a few days away from achieving maximum holiday impact... I couldn't let a more than a few days slide, however, without acknowledging the end of the third season of Travel Channel's reality series 5 Takes . While it's been a bit of a bumpy ride , 5 Takes: USA quickly corrected its problems halfway through production to turn out a final round of episodes that was on par with the previous season's highs. First of all, it seems as though my previous comments about what was lacking with the series this year clicked with the network as they made steps to correct the problems that hampered my enjoyment of the reality series' third season. My main point was that the travel journalists didn't seem to do a lot of, you know, interacting with locals to find the sort of off-the-beaten-path sights and attractions that are a hallmark of this type

My Second Take on "5 Takes: USA"

As we're now several episodes into this season's 5 Takes on the Travel Channel , I thought it would be a perfect time to take a second look at the travel-on-a-budget reality series, which this time around has taken five diverse travel journalists from the Pacific Rim and thrust them on a cross-country tour of the United States. While I've been enjoying this season of 5 Takes , I can't help but compare it a little to last season's 5 Takes: Pacific Rim . It's been interesting to see one's own country through the eyes of someone else from another culture, but there's just something missing this season and I can't help but sit through the episodes wondering what's not there this time around. It's certainly not the travel journalists themselves, who are still an absolute joy to watch. No, it's not them at all, but there's just something... off about the entire enterprise this time around. Part of that problem is the editing this time ar

My First Take on "5 Takes: USA"

I will admit that I was a little concerned when Travel Channel announced that this season of its wildly addictive 5 Takes franchise would follow five travel journalists around the United States. After all, what intrigued me so much was the fact that these five strangers were traveling to destinations on the other side of the globe, whether it be New Zealand or Thailand and coming into contact with cultures and people that they might not encounter on a daily basis in their regular lives. But after watching this season's premiere episode, I realized why the show works so well. It's not so much that the destinations were exotic or far-flung (after all, to a Thai audience, Thailand is their everyday experience), it's that joy of experiencing the new and the different that connects the audience so sharply to the series. While I live in the US, the destinations that these five new travel journalists (more on them in a bit) might be familiar to me, but what provides the spark

Travel Channel Unveils "5 Takes"... United States?

The Travel Channel has unveiled the cast for the upcoming third installment of globe-trotting adventure series 5 Takes . This time, the cable network has reversed their format a little bit and instead of sending American travel journalists overseas, they've decided to send five travel journalists from the Pacific Rim to the United States. This season, 21-year-old Taiwanese Bevis Song, 28-year-old Singaporean Jaime Tan, 26-year-old Indonesian Lena Toepan, 24-year-old Australian Tim Bloxsome, and 32-year-old Filipino Zach Yonzon will visit eight major cities across the United States on a ten-week tour, with only $50 a day allotted to them. They'll be making stops in Las Vegas, Anchorage, Washington, Orlando, Miami, Memphis, New York, and Austin. (They'll also be a final stop in either Los Angeles or San Francisco, based on audience polls.) While I love 5 Takes (and was wildly addicted to the last installment, 5 Takes: Pacific Rim ), I have to ask myself if the show's

A Second Take on "5 Takes: Pacific Rim"

I can't say enough about this fantastic travelogue series, currently airing on the Travel Channel . I love the cast, I love the locales, and I'm even beginning to love the new timeslot (they traveled from Mondays at 8 pm to Thursdays at 10 pm). But I'll admit that I was a little harsh in my initial assessment of one of the Travel Journalists (or TJs as 5 Takes constantly refers to them). Yes, I may have made a snap judgment about Josh. But even Josh was shocked by how viewers reacted to him and judging from the postings at the Travel Channel's 5 Takes Message Board, I wasn't alone in my thinking that Josh was way too over the top and, well, way too over-caffeinated. But in the last few installments, I've grown fond of Josh and, after realizing how he was coming across on screen, Josh himself has toned down his schtick, transforming himself from a hyperactive ball of energy to an upbeat, genuinely excited traveler. And the self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie

My Take on "5 Takes: Pacific Rim"

I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I tuned in last night to the Travel Channel's new show, 5 Takes: Pacific Rim , having missed the first season of the 5 Takes franchise. What I discovered however was a cross between a travelogue, MTV's The Real World , and a daring example of truly intereactive television. But more on that later. First, here's the skinny on the show itself. Five 20-something strangers are selected by the Travel Channel to take an amazing 13-week journey--armed with only $50 a day and crammed into a single hotel room--and have every second of the trip filmed. They'll participate in video diaries and blog-writing as they explore, eat, drink, dance, and experience a number of locations along the way. In fact, it's those very locations that provide one of the more interesting twists of the show. Viewers can log onto the 5 Takes website and make suggestions about where the gang should go next (will it be Melbourne or Canberra?), where they