Picks and Pans Review: Random 1

UPDATED 11/21/2005 at 01:00 AM EST Originally published 11/21/2005 at 01:00 AM EST

A&E (Tuesdays, 10 p.m. ET)

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So•fa•mar•i•tan: One who derives pleasure from sitting back and watching others perform good deeds on TV. Oh ye who find yourselves weeping at Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Three Wishes, another do-gooder show has arrived. Less polished than network fare and sans pretty hosts like Amy Grant and Ty Pennington, Random 1 follows two scrappy dudes in a rusty pickup as they travel state to state granting dreams of unsuspecting passersby. But, as one half of the duo puts it, "We're not like Oprah—we don't give people free cars and stuff." Instead, John Chester and Andre Miller, who began their "undercover philanthropic organization" in 1996 (with no cameras in sight) do things like line up a prosthetic leg for a homeless amputee and find a job for a former drug addict. The best part? Their arguments over who's worthy of their help. The camera work is shaky, the music is gritty, and the endings aren't always happy. But the fact that you can almost smell the B.O. on some of the people piling into that truck makes it a raw, more real alternative to the usual sugary sweet. Want tears? I've got a dollar here that says you—yes, you on the sofa there—won't be able to hold them back.

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