Monday, March 23, 2009

Amazing Race, "Alright, guys, we're at war!": Dreaming of painted elephants

Don't have much to say about last night's obligatory "The Amazing Race" stop in India (and am glad I mostly watch the show on, as my recording at home was mostly Obama, thanks to the NCAA tournament pushing "60 Minutes" into the 8 o'clock hour), but I do want to make one quick point after the jump...

I again want to point out how awesome Mel White is in the way he debunks traditional modes of reality show behavior as unnecessary. I was already on board the Team Schneebly train after Mel refused to pray for the winds to change, because God has more important things to worry about than a game show, but now they're one of my favorite "Race" teams ever after Mel explained that being on a game show isn't an excuse to yell at cab drivers or other service people for working slowly. The man rules, and not just because he smoked all the young'uns on the Roadblock.

Was hoping the knuckleheaded brothers would finally go home, but it seemed fair that the flight attendants just missed surviving because they had to do the Speed Bump.

What did everybody else think?


Anonymous said...

ITA about Mel. Jamie & Cara could learn a good lesson from him. If I were their cabbie, I would have taken off, too. Any of the other teams and I would have been, "Damn cabbie!" but for them, well, it served them right.

I was cracking up everytime the Mini-Men were calling for the elephant, as if it would come if it heard them. I hope either they or J&C go next.

Does CBS have a poll up about how fans like the new changes to the show? Because I would really like to tell them to get rid of the "Coming up on TAR" crap at the beginning of the show. I seriously doubt they are pulling in enough viewers that way to justify irritating the long-time viewers. And now I'll stop talking about it since I think I've complained every week since it started happening (sorry!).

Anonymous said...

The Whites are the whole reason I tuned in this season and even though it's actually been a good ride so far, they're still the #1 draw for me. They're awesome and Mel is just the best. The fact that they're both showing class, bonding *and* having a good time actually makes me enjoy it a little more than I normally enjoy the tedious, backstabbing reality tv nonsense. Then again, it's not like I'm not going to be watching the glorified clip show that is this week's edition of "Survivor", but at least I know there are nice, normal folk out there who want to do these shows.

BF said...

To be fair to the cheerleaders, there's been a couple times where they've said "There's nothing we can do, so we're not going to get too worked up about it", advice MANY previous TAR participants would have been wise to take.

Oh, and camels kicking people? Always funny!

Stef said...

I loved this episode. Melon Mike rock the world!

I was really growing to like the flight attendants and their just-do-it, relatively low drama attitude. I'll miss them.

I was so glad that after showing many, many scenes of India's poverty, they made a point of saying the 100 rupees each team was collecting was going to the Red Cross. The second before they said it I thought it was terrible that they were asking for money, but making it for charity rather than their cab rides made it sit a lot better.

Anonymous said...

-Mel smoking the competition and Mike's niceness to the cab driver makes Jamie/Cara look more and more pissy every week. I also think it's great they actually have a chance at winning now, whereas before we assumed they might get kicked out early.
-Every time I start to grow on a team, they get kicked out. Darn.
-Next week: Bet the brothers might get kicked out. They keep getting lost and have no real strategy except "Let's run really fast!"
-Victor has no character growth, no matter how much he talks about it.

par3182 said...

My fondness for Mike White's work made me a Team Schneebly fan even before the race began, but his relationship with his lovely father has pushed them to the top of my list of favorite Racers (all seasons).

I don't really enjoy the India legs but this was a good episode; I was tense during the Roadblock when Mel was faltering and even more tense at the end as I so wanted Jodie & Christie to beat the annoying brothers.

I hope Jaime is embarrassed by her actions while watching these episodes; for a pretty girl she sure is acting ugly

Anonymous said...

Man, the flight attendents just missed it. I loved last season where a team overcame the Speed Bump to stay in it.

Whereas last season there was a clear favorite to win (who did actually win) I think it's anyone's game right now.

I'm a flag-waving Team Shneebly fan right now.

I can't wait for the episode where Victor and sister lose and he will put the blame all on her while having a fake smile on his face.

Anonymous said...

Victor has no character growth, no matter how much he talks about it.

Jeez, does he ever shut up? I would like to hear from Tammy every once in a while. That header she took was pretty funny, though (glad she wasn't hurt!).

Anonymous said...

ITA on all the Mike/Mel comments. I vacillate on Luke and Margie, but his heartrending sobbing was so real that it brought me to tears. Can't tell Cara/Jamie apart still but her crying about the animals was pretty moving too. I would be totally happy to see them gone anytime soon. I will miss the airline attendants. They totally grew on me as the weeks went on (and i think some of her botox was wearing off and she was starting to look more natural and real). I just don't dislike Victor as much as most. He is literally overcoming a lifetime of being in a certain cultural mold and relishing opening up. His ugly moments have been very real and he seems to own up to them. Tammy "gets" him, i think. Finally, the stuntmen don't bother me at all. Considering their size, i am VERY impressed with their strength. They were the only ones to do the obviously much harder detour (roadblock?) and powered through it. I for one would not be unhappy seeing them there at the end.
(also agree with the opinions about the horrible "coming up" junk. Come on CBS - we deserve better).

Anonymous said...

[Victor] is literally overcoming a lifetime of being in a certain cultural mold and relishing opening up.

The real cultural mold he's trying to overcome is being a law firm partner. Somehow I get the feeling that his behavior is more attributable to this.

Hyde said...

I generally agree that the changes made to the show this season have been positive, but one thing they ought to reconsider is the practice of having the team that is doomed deliver out-of-context personal remarks in the middle of the episode. When the one flight attendant started in on the "I'm trying to set an example for my daughter" talk, it was the equivalent of dressing them in red shirts--you knew they weren't going to make it.

Anonymous said...

The red shirts thing just gave me an idea...

I think it would be kinda cool if the leaders at the end of each leg got to wear yellow jerseys for the next leg like the Tour de France.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE LOVE LOVE this show, but I have to say I think they cheated us a bit this episode. It was clear throughout the show that there was NO WAY the flight attendants were going to have time to complete the additional task. For crying out loud, they were one of the last teams (if not the last team?) to finish the camel task. The stuntmen, who started the Detour at about the same time as the other groups, seemed to be quite efficient at it and, although it took them a little while to find the elephant, they seemed relatively pleased with the amount of time it took them to finish up (high-fiving and such). The flight attendants, on the other hand, did not seem to do the dancing task any quicker than any of the other groups, and CLEARLY the painting the elephant task was quite time consuming.

The dead giveaway, of course, is the sun. When the caption below the stuntment said they were in last place at the end of their Detour, while the flight attendants' caption said they were in 6th, I called foul. There was just no way. As we switched back and forth between the two, the deception was evident. Clearly the sun was much lower in the sky when they showed the flight attendants. And notice how they never showed the flight attendants and stuntmen in the same shot at the pit stop. Indeed, when Phil added the "here come the girls now" line it appeared to have been added after the fact.

I hate to be a conspiracy theorist, as I truly think this show plays it straighter than most "reality" shows, but this set of events smelled funny to me.