“Bees Are Much Calmer Than All This!”
September 28th, 2008
I probably wrote something very similar to this last season, but the best Amazing Race premieres are quite simple: they feature no objectionable individuals, they feature interesting tasks, and give us a good introduction to the teams without feeling like we’re spending more time watching them fulfill their stereotypes than watching them enjoy the chaos that is The Amazing Race. Invariably, though, this is what happens: every thing people do becomes about their cliche: when the separated couple bickers, it’s about his cheating. When the pair of Comic Book Geeks figure out a way to solve a challenge, it’s about their unique intuitive thinking skills. And when someone is particularly objectionable, what reality producer isn’t going to put them front and center?
So, since it’s the only thing we can really judge, this group of competitors feels like one that could be fun to watch beyond its cliches. The first episode follows the usual pattern: the flights, the bunching, the elimination that feels slightly undeserved if perhaps a bit welcome. But whether it’s Superbad, our villains less objectionable than most, or the suprisingly level-headed nature of the young siblings Nick and Starr, the stereotypes feel like they are less blatant, that these people aren’t just mugging for the sake of being on reality television. Yes, Terence and Sarah are perhaps as objectionable a team as the race has seen this early on, but let’s focus on the broad strokes, shall we?
And the broad strokes are as enjoyable as ever.