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Television Review : ‘3,000 Miles’ Apart From an ‘Infinite Voyage’

If the environmental heaviness of “Crisis” becomes too much, you can shift to “3,000 Miles, 21 Days, 10 Cents,” some of its more mindless competition (on Channel 11 at 8 p.m.).

A somewhat entertaining piece of fluff, “3,000 Miles” is a “reality-based” saga of three teams traveling cross-country, starting off with 10 cents in their pocket.

Reality-based is the key phrase: “3,000 Miles"--a mix of footage shot by the amateur participants in the tour and footage from professional camera crews (never labeled as such)--is self-conscious, gimmicky and stagy.

It’s a cute idea to send the teams off on their journey and record their ingenuity as they cope with no money and no shelter. They had new Yugos to drive, but weren’t allowed to spend the night in the car, which was just as well. Bad enough they had to drive 3,000 miles in a Yugo; it would border on cruelty to expect them to sleep in the tin cans as well.

But “3,000 Miles” is a badly missed opportunity. It could have shown a real slice of America, offering a candid look at the people the teams encountered along the way. Instead, contrary to the self-serving, upbeat narration by Bruce Jenner, “3,000 Miles” does little to illuminate its chosen turf.

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There are a few choice moments, particularly from the “Central” team, a mother-son pairing, she a commodities trader, he a screenwriter. Though both are shameless at mugging for the camera, their bitchy repartee is often amusing. The other teams also have their moments but, overall, “3,000 Miles’ ” bright spots are far too few.


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