Wednesday, December 14, 2005

CBS does the experiment: Amazing Race Family Edition!

Todays screwup is not mine, but a screwup on the part of CBS.
Yesterday was the Amazing Race finale. Usually, this is my almost favorite show (I'm sorry, but nothing can top Lost) and the finale is met with much excitement at my house. However, for this season I couldn't have cared less. If you've not watched TAR before, teams of two people (who have a pre-existing relationship of some variety) travel all over the world based on clues that they receive at the beginning of each leg. They go really everywhere, they do a lot of neat things, and its generally pretty clever (i.e. tasks are not something like how much of this nasty crap can you eat, like on Survivor). So we love it. I also love the drama that occurs between teammates and between teams. Its great.
However, this season they elected to do a family version where teams of FOUR (all related in some way) do the race, except this time it was N. America only. It was just stupid. First of all, there were so many people to get familiar with (I don't remember how many teams of 4 started, 12 or 13 though) that you couldn't really have any real connection to any of them. So basically I just didn't really care that much who won. Secondly, the tasks were completely lame. I mean, lame like "Go watch Old Faithful erupt". So you just stand there. Um, ok.
In the regular version, there's a lot of room for strategy and constantly trying to improve your position, primarily in the way that you make your travel arrangements. For example, in the finale of the first season, a bad call travel-wise (I think it was take a bus instead of a taxi) caused one team to be so far behind the two leading teams that they actually never made it to the end (They were an easy team to hate though, so it was an exciting moment when they were unceremoniously told that the game had already ended and they were like a day behind). In the family edition, tickets were practically handed to you. In fact they were handed to you. Lame.

The only thing to keep it interesting last night was the fact that one team was so horrible and hated by Brian and I (and probably everyone else watching) that we just desperately wanted them to lose. As it turned out, they did. So that was good.

Fortunately, it seems as if they're switching back to the original format for the next season (which I think starts in February?) so prepare for some exciting world travel!!

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