HOLLYWOOD—I had heard about the reality competition “The Traitors” on Peacock for quite some time. I heard great things about the series, and gosh, I am so happy I binge watched the first series from start to finish. This is the best reality competition I have seen in decades. It is hands down in my opinion, the best thing out there. I series that is about deception, paranoia, duplicity, trust and so much more; I was glued from the first moment to the jaw-dropping finale that left me speechless.
You have a group of 22 people competing for a cash prize of $250,000, however, there is a twist, there are 3 traitors amongst the group. Those traitors are expected to make it to the end without being detected and if they do, they share the prize money. If the Faithfuls make it to the end they split the money, but there is a twist, if a Traitor is amongst them, the Traitor or Traitors take the cash prize leaving the Faithfuls with nothing. However, the game has a nuanced level of complexity that I have yet to see in any other reality competition series.
For starters, most reality competitions like “Survivor,” “Big Brother” and “The Challenge” are all about numbers. “The Traitors” has numbers involved, but it’s not the driving force of the game. Why? There are consequences for actions people. During each round, the group collectively has to vote to banish someone from the game who they suspect to be a traitor. The paranoia aspect of the game is so massive and layered that it is exciting to see allies betray one another and no one being safe. I have not been so giddy to watch a new episode trying to figure out who might be banished after the Roundtable and if a ‘traitor’ was not identified who would be murdered.
That is the aspect about the series that I thoroughly enjoyed: you might banish someone from the game who isn’t a traitor and as a result, then you could be murdered. So unlike other reality competitions where it feels like if you have the numbers you’re safe, with “The Traitors” that is not the case. You vote out the wrong person, you could easily find yourself murdered right after that banishment as retaliation from the traitors or as a way to throw people off their scent.
I was going to revel how the game culminated, but I later decided no, I want the viewer to truly enjoy this experience from start to finish because it is so enthralling and a good ole time. I loved that the suspicion constantly changed throughout the game, some people were pegged as traitors from the start, and then you have this wicked turn of events where people who you absolutely suspect are not guilty at all. Trying to prove that innocence to people who with ‘certainty’ think you are guilty and they are not.
Let’s talk about the cast people. It does consist of a lot of people and that threw me off at first, but I later appreciated that because it is vital to the twists in the game. You banish someone and if a traitor is not revealed, then everyone who is NOT a traitor could be murdered, unless you get a visit to the armory allowing potential safety. Here is the thing, the armory aspect came in later in the game, which I appreciated, but if I’m being honest, I can do without it. It is not bad, but it would be sensational if the traitors were planning to murder someone and they have protection and they don’t know who is going to walk into the room for breakfast, which is key.
The reality stars totally made this series must see. Kata Chastain from “Below Deck” that woman is a TV goddess. I adored her, I loved her; that bluntness and just carefree attitude was refreshing as hell. Her rivalry with “Big Brother 12 and 13” alum Rachel Reilly was the best thing I’ve seen on TV in years. These ladies did not like one another and they made no qualms about letting it be known; just classic. Reilly’s return just proved why I need to see this woman on another season of “Big Brother.” Just imagine if she appeared on “BB 22,” the second all-stars version.
Other names include “Survivor” alums Cirie Fields and Stephanie LeGrossa. I have always loved Cirie, but I grew to love Stephenie who is so perceptive and a phenomenal strategist. I saw her on the recent “Survivor: Winners at War” season and I want to see this woman play again, her time was cut way too short. There is bachelor alum Arie Luyendyk Jr., Olympian Ryan Lochte, “Real Housewives” alum Brandi Glanville, “Big Brother 16” runner-up and “BB 22” winner Cody Calafiore, “Shahs of Sunset” alum Reza Farahan and “Summer House” alum Kyle Cooke. These people all clashed and they clashed in epic fashion that was must-see TV.
There were so many alliances that aligned, fell apart, realigned, people throwing people under the bus left and right, people who were CERTAIN people were traitors who were not and just the egg on people’s face when they realize they voted out a Faithful vs. a Traitor was iconic. Also actor, Alan Cumming as host did a fantastic job with his witty banter.
You do have the regular folks in the game and I’ll be honest, they were there, but I don’t remember any of them. I could probably name two of them because they happened to make it to the finale, but beyond that that’s it. They didn’t have personalities that popped or clashed with the reality stars that made them memorable. The reality stars absolutely stole the show from start to finish and if I’m being honest for season two, I’d rather see all alums from iconic TV shows or even movies if the producers choose to go down that path, as part of the cast.
This first season just had sensational casting and I’m hoping that magic returns for the second go around because this series could be fantastic with some ideas that popped into my mind to take the chaos and paranoia to another level. Just think of this, what if you had two sets of traitors, both working on opposite spectrums with different goals? I know right. You can stream the full season of “The Traitors” right now on Peacock, and trust me you will not be disappointed.