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The Amazing Race


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Is anyone watching The Amazing Race, which has just started up on CBS? It is, IMHO, the most fun show on TV, and without question the best reality show. It's fun and exciting, showcases actual skills by contestants (travel skills, mostly) and doesn't wallow in the sex and backstabbing that every other reality show trades in.

It's (by and large) good, clean fun.

If you're not watching, you should be.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Yup, I watch this one, too. It's the only reality show I would consider being on. Although I'd be in big trouble with anything involving heights, like the zip line across the two hotel buildings, then down into the pool .... ohmy.gif

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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My brother and I applied to be contestants on this Race. We would have been "brothers who don't really know each other". I'm a Christian, he's a pagan. I'm conservative, he's wildly liberal. I've never left the USA, he's been everywhere and done everything.

I thought we'd be an interesting team to watch.

Of course, we didn't get in...

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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It sounds like you would have been a great team to watch. Keep trying. If they're taking Big Brother rejects, they must be running low on applicants!

If I could afford to ditch work for several weeks, I'd apply in a minute with my buddy Steve -- he's the extreme risk-taker, I'm Mr. Play it Safe. He'd be dragging my butt across the zip line telling me to stop being a wimp.

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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I like the show a lot. I've been watching fow few seasons (but not faithfully). Caught the first episode and while the premise is truly engaging the production value is not as high as Survivor. That Mark Burnett knows what he's doing.

I'm a little frustrated by how the show is obviously editted with events clearly out of chronological order to keep you guessing about what order people are in. I can them trying to keep us guessing ON OCCASION, but every three groups the bundle together like they're neck and neck and then when they show the one team at the finish, the other team is no where to be found. This annoys me.

But I still like the show.

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It

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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I just caught the show for the first time last week, and I am quite impressed. It looks like it will be a lot of fun to watch, and a place to see interesting places in the world that I would never have discovered otherwise. I thought the hand sculpture in last week's episode was particularly interesting.

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Now how could God care so much about who wins the Super Bowl, but not give a flip about reality TV?

He works in mysterious ways, that God does.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Anyway, glad to see this discussion. Is anyone else afraid that the couple who

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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My favorite show -- I've been a devoted fan since the first season. I mainly like it for the sense of "place" -- I get to see what it's really like on the ground in a market in Tunisia or at a temple in India. Sure, some shots are set up for TV, but these people really do get lost and they really do run out of gas at night on a strange highway; I love it.

There is usually a 'Christian' couple, and there has tended to be a gay team -- either friends or a couple. (There was some controversy about Chip and Reichen being referred to as "married" last time, remember?) This season, there don't seem to be as many memorable characters, but the "just trust in the Lord" contestant is going to wear us all out before long.

As to whether the shows are better put together... I don't really think so. I have found the shooting and editing to be a remarkable feature of the show since the beginning. I admit I have taped numerous episodes and re-watched... the editing seems even better when you know how it turns out. To tell up to 12 stories simultaneously in such uncontrolled circumstances is terrific. And so many people all moving as fast as they can, and yet I still have only seen one cameraman in any shot.

Having said that, there are some things about the show that are weak, such as the way the producers use airline schedules or the operating hours of an attraction to wipe out the leading team's advantage. But the new elements they've introduced, such as the 'yield', could be great.

tw

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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Models, models, models.

(sigh)

If God doesn't care what His Models are doing, then do any of us less-attractive servants of the Almighty stand a chance?

God bless the really, really good-looking.

He already has.

"I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full." (Matt 6:2b, NIV)

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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My favorite show -- I've been a devoted fan since the first season. I mainly like it for the sense of "place" -- I get to see what it's really like on the ground in a market in Tunisia or at a temple in India. Sure, some shots are set up for TV, but these people really do get lost and they really do run out of gas at night on a strange highway; I love it.

That is awesome. I loved the sequence when the teams were all driving diesel SUVs through Europe, and have to stop for gas. You watch in horror (and in some cases, delight) as the teammates ask themselves whether the cars are diesel or not, and they reject the idea, even as the cameraman focuses on the "Diesel Fuel Only" label on the dashboard or gas hole. (Is "gas hole" the right word? It sounds really naughty, but I can't think of the real term for it). One of the teams that did this was Ian and Mindy, whose abrasive and passive-aggressive approach made their ignorance here more sweet.

(There was some controversy about Chip and Reichen being referred to as "married" last time, remember?)

Then I guess they had to get a "divorce", didn't they, since before the race even aired they were no longer together.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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(Is "gas hole" the right word? It sounds really naughty, but I can't think of the real term for it).

That's funny -- thanks for the laugh!

Then I guess they had to get a "divorce", didn't they, since before the race even aired they were no longer together.

Who knew?

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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The issue which I find most frustrating is when a team gets a HUGE lead and just ends up waiting at the airport for everyone else to show up.

...They may do that on purpose to make the production easier to manage, but it's still very frustrating.

Actually, IIRC, on the first run of the Race, the team that finished first finished a full day ahead of the team in second. So there was NO suspense to the finale at all. I think they organize the bunching in order to make the end a real race.

You just have to think of it as a series of short races, rather than one long race.

In case you were wondering, my name is spelled "Denes House," but it's pronounced "Throatwobbler Mangrove."
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Alan, that's frustrating to watch, isn't it? But it also feels like a good equalizer, i.e. not just the fastest/most athletic pairs get a great lead and then keep it for the whole race. Because when teams get to the airport or train station they have to use their smarts to figure out how to beat the other teams by getting earlier flights or some other advantage.

spoilers1.gif

Was anybody else really, really, sinisterly thrilled last night when Allison the Big Brother reject got eliminated? Next to the obnoxious pizza-making brothers she's my least favorite racer this time. I felt really bad for her boyfriend, although my wife thought he was as big a creep as she was ... I felt like he was just defending himself.

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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Not sad to see them gone, since I dislike the notion of character assassination as entertainment. A few weeks of them ripping each other apart would have been a bit much.

But who else is interesting in this race so far? Charla and Mirna, I guess. But on second thought, Race 3 co-winner (I should say shirt-tail rider) Flo was invisible until about half way through... so maybe this bland buch will get better.

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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I'm kind of leaning toward the father-daughter duo as well as Charla-Mirna. They seem like a decent and interesting pair. Agreed about the character assassination - that's why I gave up on Survivor. And never have watched any of the other un-reality shows!

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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Mark you beat me to the post. I also like the father-daughter duo. But I only like Charla and not so much Mirna. Charla is a gutsy little thing, and this is emphasized the most by how she has to deal with her team-mate who is just a ditz, a scaredy-cat, and a wimp. Charla is just really cool under all of that pressure.

I also like Colin and Christie. They're very under-the-radar right now, and I think that I like them as a counter-point to the very vocal "we're Christians" couple. It's just that, whether Colin and Christie are Christians or not, they have been really kind with each other so far. Not that Nicole and Brandon haven't been (my wife and I were impressed by their performance last night), but Colin and Christie seem to be the same way without feeling the need to flaunt it.

Don't like: The twins. The bowling moms.

I don't really have a problem with the brothers so far. No other teams have really made an impression.

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Found this handy list of Who's Who:

Season Five Teams

Brandon & Nicole, a dating Christian couple from Los Angeles

Kami & Karli, identical twins from Eugene, Oregon

Linda & Karen, best friends, mothers and amateur bowlers from Palmdale, California

Marshall & Lance, brothers who run a pizza restaurant in Dallas, Texas;

Charla & Mirna, cousins from Baltimore, Maryland

Bob & Joyce, widowers who found each other on the internet, from Mount Laurel, New Jersey

Colin & Christie, dating from Corpus Christie, Texas

Chip & Kim, married parents from Orange County, California

Jim & Marsha, an ex-military father/daughter wanting a closer relationship from Florida

And, eliminated already:

Alison & Donny, an on-again, off again-couple from Pennsylvania.

Dennis & Erika, formerly engaged, now trying to find their way back together from New York

And this handy-dandy reference to previous characters:

Season One

1. Rob & Brennan (friends - lawyers) WINNERS

2. Frank & Margarita (separated black couple whose love was re-kindled)

3. Joe & Bill ("Team Guido")

also ran: Kevin & Drew (bald fraternity brothers)

Season Two

1. Chris & Alex (friends - bouncers) WINNERS

2. Tara & Wil (separated couple - she hooks up with someone from another team)

3. Blake & Paige (brother & sister)

also ran: Oswald & Danny (friends - gay, non-couple)

Season Three

1. Flo & Zach (friends) WINNERS

2. Ken & Gerard (brothers)

3. Teri & Ian (older couple)

Season Four

1. Reichen & Chip ('married') WINNERS

2. Kelly & Jon (engaged couple - fiesty)

3. Jon & Al (friends - clowns)

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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Caught the show last night since I needed a respite from all that's going on. Christian's right, though. I'm a huge fan.

So sad to see one of my favorite teams go home last night. That emotional speech at the end was quite touching. I so, so, so wanted those brothers to get the boot, and the editing toyed with us just enough so that it seemed possible...but no such luck. Also, how funny was it when the identical twins swam across to that island? Phil's "That was really dramatic; everyone else just walked across through the shallow water" comment was nice. But then again, I'd probably do something dumb like that, especially if I was in such a hurry I couldn't think straight.

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Good comments, Dianne -- those brothers are pretty ignorant. I kind of enjoyed watching them struggle through the chocolate factory.

There is one this this show does better than any other on TV -- it provides us with some of the finest unscripted moments between family members and friends on the elimination mat. Over and over again, these exhausted, stressed competitors tell Phil that what they have learned about themselves and each other is worth way more than the jackpot that goes to the winner; last night was a great example of that.

"Could we ever know each other in the slightest without the arts?"

« Nous connaîtrions-nous seulement un peu nous-mêmes, sans les arts? »

Quoted on Canada's $20 bill; from Gabrielle Roy's novel La montagne secrète. The English translation, The Hidden Mountain, is by Harry L. Binsse.

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