Recommended: Snake in the Grass on USA Network
What's Snake in the Grass About?
Four contestants are dropped onto a tropical beach and given a series of tasks, all while one of them is working to sabotage the group. If the others can figure out who's the "snake" by episode's end, they'll take home a cash prize. If they can't, the saboteur gets the money.
Why (and to whom) do we recommend it?
We're in the midst of an interesting era for reality competition series, with quite a few shows on different networks mixing and matching contestants and formats. CBS's The Challenge: USA is currently the highest profile entry in this subgenre, but USA's Snake in the Grass continues the trend. It's part Survivor and part The Mole, and features a handful of reality stars you'll likely recognize if you're a fan of the genre.
The first episode features three Survivor veterans in Yul, Earl, and Malcolm, all fan favorites who aren't known for being particularly devious. They're dropped in a tropical jungle with Jeff Zausch from Naked and Afraid, who immediately establishes himself as the biggest, most aggressive personality on the island. And that's where the strategy of the game immediately kicks in — is Jeff being loud and domineering because he's got an agenda to hide? Is Yul using his niceness as a front? Did Earl make a dumb mistake in the first challenge because he's being really obvious about being a snake, or was that move a red herring?
Snake in the Grass isn't as brainy as The Mole was in terms of sussing out clues — the periodic hints are in rhyming cadence but aren't exactly impenetrable riddles that need to be solved — but the gamesmanship of figuring out who is too obvious a suspect and who is so obvious that they're hiding in plain sight proves to be a fun spiral of suspicion.
The one-off episodic structure also helps crank up the energy. Upcoming segments will feature Survivor alums Cirie Fields and Stephanie LaGrossa and Big Brother fan favorites Janelle Pierzina and Rachel Reilly, among a cast that will include reality newcomers as well. The Yul/Earl/Malcolm/Jeff foursome is relatively low on histrionics, which is an interesting choice for a premiere episode, but the series trailer promises more aggressive and accusatory game play in episodes to come.
Pairs well with