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Kelly stays under the radar on "Survivor"; ABC's "Crime" may be tough sell

Spoiler Alert: If you haven’t seen Wednesday night’s episode of “Survivor: Worlds Apart” and plan to, you should avoid this blog like a snake in Nicaragua.

The game plan of Grand Island’s Kelly Remington to go “under the radar” in “Survivor: Worlds Apart" is turning out to be an understatement.

For the second straight week of the CBS reality show, Remington was barely seen or heard from Wednesday night in an episode in which several other members in the competition bared their bottoms.

Of course, the show thankfully camouflaged that look. This, after all, is network television, not HBO or Showtime.

I think Remington said one sentence to her six-member Blue Collar Wednesday night, but I wasn’t even sure that was her speaking.

The New York State trooper also lost screen time by volunteering to sit out the competition for the immunity idol because two teams needed a volunteer to sit since the White Collar team was a person down after losing a member on opening night.

The competition included swimming and shooting the equivalent of a basketball, with Remington illustrating earlier that she had a decent shot.

White Collar won the competition, but Blue Collar also won immunity by finishing second.

That left the No Collar team to need to eliminate someone. Its members chose to boot one of the most annoying members of the three tribes – long-haired, competitive Vincent.

If Blue Collar ever loses immunity and heads to Tribal Council, Remington would appear to be safe for at least one episode.

Of course, appearances can be deceiving in “Survivor.”

But Dan, the balding, overweight guy who lost his underwear in Wednesday night’s episode, seems to be on a mission to annoy every one and be booted. On the other hand, he also has quickly become of the most interesting characters in this season of "Survivor."

It will be interesting to see how America responds to what has become one of the most critically-acclaimed series this spring, ABC’s “American Crime.”

The series from John Ridley (“12 Years a Slave”) takes over the 10 p.m. Thursday time slot of “How to Get Away With Murder,” which ended its run last week.

“Crime” involves a murder, but it couldn’t be more different than the Shonda Rhimes guilty pleasure.

Ridley’s series has lofty and serious goals. ABC notes in a release for the series “that this new drama examines preconceptions of faith, family, gender, race, class and other aspects of our social experience with an approach and perspectives historically under-served in media.”

“Crime” revolves about the home invasion of a war veteran and his wife that resulted in the death of the soldier and left his wife near death in a coma.

The first four episodes are extremely well-acted and loaded with raw tension. But as each episode peels away layers of the families of the victims and the accused, “Crime” becomes more and more depressing and more difficult to watch.

That may make “Crime” a tough sell for audiences raised on Rhimes’ brand of exaggerated drama.

The series could just as easily be called “Secrets and Lies” if the title hadn’t already been taken by another ABC series.

That’s because several family secrets and lies are exposed in the first four episodes.

Every cast member gives a strong performance, with the actors playing the angry, frustrated and shocked parents doing especially strong work.

Timothy Hutton plays Russ Skokie, the formally absent but now well-meaning, beaten-down father of the deceased, Matt Skokie. Russ has a horrible relationship with ex wife Barb (Felicity Huffman), an angry, judgmental, miserable woman who makes everyone around her miserable as well as she seeks justice for her son’s murder.

Penelope Ann Miller is Eve Carlin, the mother of Gwen Skokie, Matt’s wife. Gwen’s father, Tom Carlin, is played by W. Earl Brown. His name isn’t as familiar as the actors playing the other parents, but Brown steals practically every scene he is in playing a father who learns some terrible things about the little girl he raised.

Benito Martinez plays Alonzo Gutierrez, a hard-working Mexican-American who is frustrated when his teenage son, Tony (Johnny Ortiz), isn’t perfect and doesn’t behave the way he wants him to behave.

The cast of characters also includes a couple involved in drugs, Carter Nix (played by Elvis Nolasco) and Aubry Taylor (Caitlin Gerard), and another suspect, Hector Tontz (Richard Cabral).

The first four episodes illustrate that parents often don’t know who their children really are and that getting an education about their children under extreme circumstances like those in “American Crime” can expose some very painful open wounds.

It might be a minor crime if America doesn’t want to see or hear some of the things addressed in this series -- and mentioned in the ABC release -- about class, race and family.

But I’m wondering if the content is better served for cable and “American Crime” just might be too tough for a large broadcast network audience to handle.

apergament@buffnews.com

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