Monday, April 02, 2007

The Amazing Race: Don't Let a TV Show Be Your Travel Agency

Last week, I complained that the producers didn't provide flights to the racers. This week, I'm complaining because they did. I'm just never happy. But really, something went terribly wrong here, in that they only gave the teams an hour to make an international connection in their provided flight. So the teams who are stuck on this final flight – Eric and Danielle and the Guidos – miss their connection on the way to Warsaw and end up over twelve hours behind the other teams. The other teams are actually starting the next leg of this two-hour extravaganza by the time the final two teams start to do the tasks in Warsaw. The déjà vu is not lost on the Guidos. As you'd expect, the first leg is non-elimination, and Joe and Bill are the ones who get the dreaded Mark of Elimination. Unfortunately, they have no opportunity to move out of the back of the pack. There's a Fast Forward, but it's gone by the time they get to it, and there's an Intersection, which just means that there are four teams battling it out for last place, and doing so all at the same time. With the 30-minute penalty, the Guidos' only chance to survive is some kind of staggering, earth-shattering incompetence on the cousins' part. Since they're only very incompetent this week, the Guidos can't pass them, and they're eliminated. And while part of what keeps the race exciting is the fact that circumstances can conspire against anyone, and knock even the strongest players out (see: Rob and Amber), but it's just frustrating to see good teams like the Guidos go home when other teams – okay, really just Charla and Mirna – remain. How are they still in it? Voodoo? It's voodoo, right?

Meanwhile, The Amazing Race becomes The Amazing Run-Through of Everything Americans Know About Poland. There's kielbasa, Chopin, Curie, and Auschwitz. I think they're just missing pierogies. Oh, I know Chopin is cool, and it's always nice to see them tackle serious subjects, if only because it slaps the petty bitching right out of some of the teams (Eric and Danielle, in particular), but I think one of the best things about The Amazing Race is learning new things about other countries. Like the trained rats in Mozambique. The only thing I discovered about Poland that I didn't know before is that Poles, in general, hate Charla and Mirna. (Sounds like my kind of people.)

So, for a two-hour episode? Pretty much meh. No real tension, and nothing terribly exciting, except for Oswald's romance with the piano player. I believe those kids can work it out. Go back to Warsaw and claim your man, Oswald!