'Utopia' - Orlando Sentinel

September 8, 2014 3:46 PM

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LOS ANGELES (Variety.com) - As an architect of "Big Brother," Dutch reality-TV pioneer John de Mol would be a good candidate to sue the producers of "Utopia," if only he wasn't one of them. The show's billing as a "social experiment" quickly dissipates amid the assemblage of chiseled Type-AAA personalities and archetypes tasked with carving out an existence amid the wilds of Santa Clarita, Cal. (a locale Fox has the chutzpah to dub "five acres of paradise"). Scheduled to run twice weekly for a year, the protracted time commitment is just another hurdle for the pioneers - and network - to clear.

Adapted from a Dutch format whose popularity no doubt helped sell Fox on the concept, the goal was clearly to up the ante on "Big Brother" and "Survivor" with the extended timeframe, lack of silly games or challenges, portentous narration ("A chance to start the world again"), and the purity of know...

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