Thursday, September 29, 2005

Amazing Race: Family Edition - Episode 1


I've been concerned about the new season of The Amazing Race since I heard that it would be featuring four-person teams that included children. I had visions of squealing kids ruining what was probably my favorite show. Well, Tam and I watched the first episode last night, and I was right to be worried.
While not all the teams include children, there are at least a couple of teams that include kids under 10. Their inclusion really weakens the show. I guess there's a chance that I'm in the minority, and that most viewers will find the kids' antics endearing or "cute", but I sure as heck don't. Watching two tykes sing "She'll Be Coming 'Round The Mountain" as they are pulled by their parents in an Amish buggy just about made me want to puke.
I don't ask a lot of the Amazing Race. I just want to watch different personality types deal with no sleep and difficult conditions, all the while being treated to some of the most breathtaking locations on the planet. By increasing the team size to four, the inter-team dynamics have been overcomplicated. Instead of being able to say "That's Colin and Christie. They are intense and he possibly has a personality disorder and rage issues", you now have to take into account each players relationship with three other family members. Reality television is all about caricature. You need to give the viewer easily identified personality types, so they can pick favorites (and more importantly, least favorites).
Also, apparently the producers felt that, for logistical or emotional reasons, the Family Edition race should be confined to North America. This is the biggest problem I have with the show. The Amazing Race needs to be global. Are they seriously having a season where we won't get to watch the teams fall apart as they are brought to their knees in India (otherwise known as 'the widowmaker')? That's a damned disgrace.
I might just be over-reacting, though. It does usually take at least an episode or two to get into the swing of the race. I just found this episode kind of boring. New York to Pennsylvania? *yawn*
On the positive side, they did get rid of one of the "little kid teams". And the little kids cried, which was awesome. I'm evil.

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