Monday, April 16, 2007

Non-elimination Sunday

Brief spoilers for "The Amazing Race" and "Entourage" coming right up...

A very meh episode of "Amazing Race," and not just because it was a Non-Elimination Leg that kept the odious Eric and Danielle in the game. (You could tell they knew it was coming, too, judging by Eric's lack of urgency in the final minutes.) The Fast Forward required even less skill than the step-counting one from a few weeks ago; once Danny and Oswald agreed to do it, there was no real way for them to not complete it. The kung fu Detour looked very cool, but the ninjas seemed there for decoration and didn't really affect anyone's ability to do it. (Good on Charla, though, both for insisting they do it instead of that awful needle in a haystack choice, and for getting it done with minimal drama. Her cousin is grating and hypocritical and awful, but Charla doesn't seem that bad.) The two teams I like are in the lead, but I worry that Danny's carelessness with the money on the previous leg is going to haunt the Chas, unless they're handed a huge wad of cash at the start of the next leg and/or they have some really valuable stuff in their packs to sell.

When I was making my complaint that "Entourage" had turned into two different shows, one good (Ari), one bad (Vince/E), Fienberg pointed out that it's really three shows, because Drama and Turtle are usually off doing their own thing. This episode made that three-way split especially obvious, with Ari trying to pimp out Lloyd ("Go grab your best dress and know today that your love of (expletive deleted) is a tremendous asset to this agency") before having a rare pang of conscience, Vince and E involved in a double date story that would not end, and Turtle and Drama trolling for dates at the dog park.

The dog stuff was mildly amusing for a few minutes -- especially the latest bit of Drama wisdom: "Finicky dogs have finicky owners, and finicky owners make you wait two weeks before they'll give you a tug" -- but the double dating stuff was pure pain. Ari and Lloyd, on the other hand? I could watch an entire series built around those two, even if the other guys never showed up again. Question: was Ari's impulse to save Lloyd something he always would have done, or has the split with Vince made him more concerned about chasing people away?

15 comments:

Dan Coyle said...

I think it was the split with Vince that made Ari go and rescue Lloyd. Or perhaps it's the time-honored TV tradition of making the mean characters a little nicer as a show ages. Because any successful Hollywood agent wouldn't think twicw about pimping out their assistant to a valuable potential client.

I loved Emmanuelle Chriqui's mile wide grin at episode's end.

Abbie said...

I thought it was the special Lloyd-Ari connection that made him do it. I didn't start watching this show until the second season, but Lloyd is the best part, the most down-to-earth person in this show, and I think he's grown on Ari. I'm not saying the Vince split didn't have anything to do with it, but Ari does love Lloyd.

Ted F. said...

Boy, nothing in that Entourage episode worked, other than the one Drama line, and Ari having a Vito moment at the club.

TAR was poor also. I can't recall a season where so many legs were resolved by the randomness of airport-fu. It's the only thing keeping Charla and Mirna in it, because their non-airport racing has been consistently abysmal. I wouldn't mind the airport-fu if the post-landing racing had any chance of shuffling the order, but that hasn't really happened for the most part.

Kristin said...

TAR has had pretty dull activities in the last few episodes. That part with pulling the boat across the pond seemed so ridiculously easy. What happened to the excitement of plunging into caves or trying to direct animals in that mud race from a few seasons back? Most of the tasks have been terribly boring. Where's all the adventure of previous seasons? Or did they purposefully make them less physical to give Charla a chance??? I don't quite get it.

Looks like next week gets a little better with Charla way up high doing something nuts. Also was happy it was a non-elimination round, because I really don't want the Barbies in the final 3. I just have never liked them and their smugness.

Loved how Mirna/Charla got all evil at the airport. The blondies whined that they were first on the stand-by list...but how could they blame Charla and Mirna for trying their best? Very smart of them to work with Oswald & Danny and get that code to use. Those 2 are becoming very airport savvy...and that sometimes determines the winner of the game.

BF said...

I don't get the BQ hate: they're competent racers, not above self-criticism, always picking the more physical detour (defying stereotypes), and they're the only ones left who don't see this as a friendly vacation with your best buddies. R-A-C-E!

Alan Sepinwall said...

Yeah, I've been kind of pleasantly surprised by the BQs, given that I heard bad stuff about them from their season (which I didn't watch). I don't see them as smug at all, just confident and a rare team that doesn't freak out when things are going badly.

In terms of who's left, I like Danny and Oswald better as personalities, but as racers, the Beauty Queens are kinda my favorite. Weird.

Teresa said...

Okay, I'm starting to not like Entourage. The woman as sex object storyline is getting really old and stupid.

Kristin said...

I think if you had seen the BQs from their first time around, you would be of a different mind. They were nasty, nasty players. Smug, never helped anyone, but were willing to ask for help from others without any bad feelings.

I am worried that they are editing them to be a little less nasty b/c they might win. That would be horrible. I would rather see ANY team win besides them.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Kristin, or maybe the BQs are just being nicer this time around, just as the Guidos and Teri/Ian were significantly more palatable than in their original race, and that obviously wasn't the producers trying to give them a sympathetic winners edit.

BF said...

I am worried that they are editing them to be a little less nasty

It's certainly not out of the realm of possibility that they were edited last season to appear worse than what actually happened. After all, ANYONE is going to look mean & nasty compared to BFF Kentucky & the Chos.

dez said...

I don't think the BQs are being particularly less nasty and smug than last time, but compared to the buffoonery of Eric and the shriekingness of Mirna, they're practically saints. Give me Danny & Oswald all the way!

rcobeen said...

Gotta agree with Alan. The BQ's, like the Guidos and Teri/Ian, are self-aware enough to realize how they came off in their first appearance and have changed accordingly (their main problem was getting cocky when they started winning legs). Mirna is above all else the most unself-aware person on the show this time. She thinks she is adorable when she is obnoxious and tiresome. I was very tired of the BQ's last year, but they have been enthusiastic and seem to understand that this is a competition that requires beating other people.

Blankity-Blank said...

How did they (Kandice & Dustin) come off in their season? Genuinely excited and interested in the detours and roadblocks? Able to divorce racing from normal social interaction? Just generally happy to on the show?

Except for an innate ability to lose their otherwise adequate sense of direction whenever they get into a car, I don't know that they aren't the best team to have done this. No one's ever handled this race with more imperviousness. They rarely let anybody else get to them. Though clearly the same cannot be said of everyone else in regards to them.

Isabel said...

I think it's always been shown that Ari has a "softer" side. I don't think that has to do with Vince being gone. But yeah...sick of everything about that show except Ari.

MORE ARI (and Mrs. Ari).

Crewgrrl20 said...

Yeah, I'm ready for Ari show.

This show has never been smart or deep but Vince didn't used to bore me so much.

Ari made me laugh really loudly and giggle uncontroably. Love Rex Lee too.