November 05, 2007

The Race - Amazing Once Again

Despite being a bit delayed, The Amazing Race premiere was a return to what we love most about the show. Rapid action, gorgeous vistas, and heartwarming human moments. The Race is back, baby! So why don't we meet the teams, briefly:

The Dysfunctional Couples - Every season we must be subjected to some "dating couples" who are under some delusion that putting their lives on public display will somehow solidify their commitment. And it never works. This year we suffer through Nathan & Jennifer and Lorena & Jason. The latter is far worse - he's a jerk (and unfortunately kinda hot), and she's a shrew. Jason isn't awful, although it's clear he doesn't like to admit he's wrong. Lorena is far too high-strung.

The Functional Couples - To balance the above, we are lucky if we get at least one couple that shows how it's done right. This sason, it appears we will get two. First we have TK (of the dreadlocks? Braids? Twists?) & Rachel, who are actually quite lovely and that seems to help them do well. Perhaps most surprising is that the Goth couple - Kynt & Vyxsin, are not only quite normal in behavior, but are rather charming as well. If one of this season's messages is, "Goths are people too," then I think it's working. On me, at least. Although I have to say - when she puts on her glasses? Not so goth.

The Families - This season we get not 1, but 4 familial teams. We have a highly competitive but not unlikeable (yet) sibling duo - Azaria (no relation to Hank) & Hendekea. Also there is the father-daughter duo of Ronald & Christina - he wants to make up for lost time, she wants to show him what a strong woman she is. Aren't they sweet? And then we have Donald & Nicolas - a grandfather and his grandson. Hard to tell much about them yet except that grandad curses. And finally we have Marianna & Julia, the Latina sisters from Miami. Quite honestly, I found them forgettable. In fact, I typed this whole post before I realized I forgot them and went back to write them in.

The Gay - Twice the gay, twice the fun? Not really. First we have Staella and Ari - a hag and her bitchy gay. Ladies - if you have a gay, make sure he's fun gay, not bitchy evil gay. And I know you think I'm gonna be biased towards the lesbian clergy couple, but they are so adorable! Nothing is better than lesbians who are good with God and also just a little bit wicked. I predict that Kate in particular will be able to charm the pants off people in any country.

The Blondes - This year we have no twins, so that means we must have blondes. Shana & Jennifer I think are set up to be our "girls like Paris Hilton" team as their pre-race interview indicates that they can't wait to win the "$1 million shopping spree." Indeed. But they do appear to have a dose of humility, which isn't bad.

We began the race this year in Los Angeles (boring!), but the teams flew onto Shannon, Ireland (been there!). From there they went on to explore the Aran Islands and the Connemara area - rugged beauty at its finest.

As is the custom in the premiere, we have much ado about nothing for awhile, until the teams are really weeded out into a few clear groups by virtue of a charter schedule. We also feature the death-defying stunt - this time something bizarre. Bicycles on high wires, while the partner rides in a chair below as a counterweight. Scary/fun!

And as poetic justice, the teams have to haul ass. Or more precisely, move a donkey. And because karma knows what's what, the most bitchy/evil folks get stubborn mules, while the teams that kill with kindness are blessed with willing workers. Perhaps because of Pat's spiritual blessing, Nate & Jennifer finally get their ass' butt in gear and are saved elimination, while Ari & Staella just stand around being bitchy. They're gone, and by the time you read this, I'll have forgotten they were on the show.

Good times! I'm glad to have this show back in full swing, and I hope that it continues this way. Here's hoping we're not faced with a final 3 of evil!

Next week - can father and daughter work out their problems on national TV? And should grandfathers mud wrestle?


Stef said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE! This episode was nearly perfect, even with the annoying game delay.

My favorite moments:
1. Kate or Pat (don't know who's who yet) saying that just because they're ministers, they're "not whipped by Jesus." As in, they'll still do what they need to do to win the race.

2. That awesome donkey expressing all of the audience's frustration with stupid Nate and Jenny by just planting his feet and braying at the top of his lungs.

3. Ari and Stella losing, after they were mean to their donkey.

4. Actually tearing up a bit as Kate, Pat, Ronald, and Christina had an emotional moment at the pit stop.

The locations were great, the challenges were exciting. As Kate/Pat said, "The Amazing Race is a love letter to the planet." I'm so glad it's back!

Stef said...

Did you know one of the blondes is Ryan Seacrest's (ex)girlfriend???