“Please Hold While I Singe My Skull”
November 2nd, 2008
Returning from the grave we hoped he had stayed in, tonight’s sixth leg of The Amazing Race saw the return of obnoxious, demanding, and in many ways downright unreasonable Terence. In a season where villains are luckily in short supply, it is very clear that he is the one exception, his bullying of Sarah reaching some new lows tonight.
And I don’t think he’s an awful human being by any stretch of the imagination: I just think that these two are in a new relationship, have very different personalities, and are discovering that this race is not meant for his demeanor in particular. As he fights to get Sarah to do exactly what he wants at a well-planned roadblock, at no point do we get the desired moment of self-realization: instead, he only shuts up when Sarah asks him to, and only for a few moments.
It’s a relationship that is being tested to the limits by this race, and even if it makes me cross my fingers for them to be absent from the finale it does demonstrate that the human qualities of this race are still in full effect.
“Did You Push My Sports Bra Off the Ledge?”
October 12th, 2008
A Happy Thanksgiving to my Canadian readers (I’m with Robin Cherbotsky, Canadian Thanksgiving is totally the “real” thanksgiving), but television does not rest (not that my holiday has been that restful considering my major presentation on Tuesday, but I digress), and The Amazing Race certainly doesn’t rest.
And on its third leg, the thirteenth edition of The Amazing Race has finally hits its first apex of interpersonal conflict, what will henceforth be known as “SportsBraGate” (Props to Daniel Fienberg, of Zap2it, for the phrase). There comes a time in every race where we start to come across events which make us ask questions about the circumstances: is it that these racers are just so justifiably insane that they would do these types of things normally, or is it the Race bringing out the worst in them?
For a few teams this week, this becomes quite a challenge, but for the most part it’s an entertaining one: with an extremely entertaining Roadblock, the dreaded appearance of the clue reading penalty, and the drama of SportsBraGate, it’s clear that The Amazing Race is cycling back around to where we start to identify with the racers, for better or for worse.
“Do You Like American Candy?”
October 5th, 2008
The second episode of The Amazing Race is always one of the most awkward: there isn’t yet any really compelling stories yet between teams, within teams, or within the race itself. And yet, unlike the first episode, there isn’t the need for a lot of exposition, so the producers have to hope that in the distance between one spot and another in close proximity the racers fall into every possible cliche.
Well, the producers lucked out: while some of it disheartened me to see, as personal favourites took a turn for the race, everything from airline drama to clue misreading turned up for a leg that, even without anything close to a suspenseful ending, told us a lot of things about these teams, defined some new relationships between them, and even gave us a couple of lessons about Karma. In the end, it’s an entertaining second leg that bodes well for the season ahead, if not quite blowing us away with anything particularly mindblowing.