Is Netflix’s The Mole Scripted or Real?

Image Credit: Julian Panetta/Netflix

With Netflix’s ‘The Mole’ being a reboot of the cult-classic ABC competition series, which in itself is based on the Belgian original ‘De Mol,’ deception and (justified) paranoia takes center stage. After all, it revolves around a group of 12 players — well, 11 actual players plus a mole — as they compete to add money to the prize pot while also trying to uncover the saboteur in their company. So since there is obviously drama, intrigue, as well as suspense at every step of the way, let’s find out precisely how much of this clandestine production is even authentic (if at all), shall we?

Is The Mole Real or Fake?

Not only has ‘The Mole’ been billed as a reality show from the moment its concept first came to light over two decades ago, but there’s also honestly never been any proof contending otherwise. Therefore, even though every single cast member and mission is carefully hand-picked by producers for their basic structure, the way things pan out on our screens is not completely controlled. We specify “completely” because it does involve a bit of manipulation to impact the overall viewer experience owing to its sheer scale, yet it doesn’t appear as if there’s any outright manufacturing.

Image Credit: James Gourley/Netflix

In other words, while none of the players are ever handed any specific pre-written lines or directions (except for mission clues) to execute in front of the cameras, there is producer interference. The prime example of this is that the latter can easily nudge them to pursue particular topics of conversation, suspicions, or actions at certain points to start drama in the most natural sense. They do likely try their best not to affect the actual emotions of the players and instead just bring every element to the surface for our entertainment, but it is a doctoring maneuver nonetheless.

This aspect is even part of the reason behind the constant commentary, which essentially influences us to believe who the mole should be rather than giving us room to form our own opinions. Then there’s the undeniable planning/staging done by producers throughout pre-production and filming to deliver the best content, meaning they look into every facet to determine what’ll work. Only then do they finalize each challenge, location, as well as placement of the cameras to capture every moment as and when it’s happening — nothing is entirely spontaneous or by accident.

There’s also interference in post-production, yet that’s honestly wholly unavoidable since it brings together a smooth flow amid different scenes to have everything make sense in a concise manner. It’s imperative to note this particular element is 100% in the producer’s hands, meaning they can cut, edit, and play around with a person’s narrative in any way they desire to fulfill their goal of maintaining the audience’s interest.

Nevertheless, despite the prompting, the cautiously intended settings, as well as the extensive editing, ‘The Mole’ seems as unscripted as possible because no exchange or result is pre-planned. With this said, though, we have to clarify that you should always take any reality production with a grain of salt because you never really know the extent of producer engineering.

Read More: Where is ABC’s The Mole Season 1 Cast Now?