RACE DOWNHILL (TAR 26)

By now 4 episodes of the current season have been shown to the dwindling audience, so everybody who cares to know already knows what’s the “catch” in this season. Gone are the times of established relationships, gone is diversity of the relationships – the whole cast this season is made up of dating couples vs couples on a race-long blind date (the matchmaker is being played by TAR production). No parent/child, no friends, siblings, co-workers, spouses – this season it’s a dating game, baby!

I actually considered calling this post “Race to the Altar” (that’s what the production is counting on, no?), but then I discovered that there has been a show with that exact name. Check this out (courtesy of Wikipedia):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Race_to_the_Altar

If there must be a twist, a “catch” – can it be something original? Or all the production can do is recycle old ideas?

I also considered a quote from Hamlet for the title: “Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.” Seriously – why else TAR would be so desperate for some (any!) novelty, for some (any!) sparks between the dating and blind-dating couples? Why all these pathetic annoying selfies we are “treated” to? Why let the camera linger in the bedroom of blind-dating couple instead of over some exotic landmark?

TAR 26

And I can’t help but feel that TAR is trying to imitate Survivor. Survivor has those great mud challenges, so TAR now makes the contestants crawl through the mud right off the start line. The only difference – on Survivor mud is part of the challenge itself, on TAR it was a completely pointless unnecessary exercise.

Then – Survivor has all these “…vs…” seasons – “Blood vs Water“, “Blue Collar vs White Collar vs No Collar“, so of course TAR now needs “Dating Couples vs Blind-Dating Couples.” They say – imitation is the greatest form of flattery, and true – Survivor has been great fun the past few seasons while TAR has been racing downhill. Only imitation will never lead to greatness.

I have not finished watching the last season of TAR. It was too ho-hum for my taste. I know a female team won, but I hardly remember who they were, let alone their names. This season I dutifully watched the first four episodes. I still don’t know who is who. Some athletes. Some ex-members of ancient rock band. I hardly know anyone’s name. The personalities are just too bland to stand out in a crowd. I won’t forget Charla and Mirna, or the Cowboys, or the Twinnies (btw, congrats to Natalie for winning the last Survivor! Great game! Loved you on TAR and loved you on Survivor!)…or Jonathan/Victoria, or Rob/Amber, or the Globetrotters, or Kynt/Vyxsin…You can like some of them, hate the others, but you know who they are. They have never been the specks of drying paint on the wall. Unlike the contestants of the past few seasons.

What else can I say? Challenges so far are so-so. What’s with the two back to back dance challenges? Can we do something else but the dance routine? Oh yes, and we got “treated” to a cheesy proposal at one of the Pit Stops. It felt like it was staged by TAR production. Maybe not, but it felt that way. Corny, awkward, insincere. But I bet the production finds it great success nonetheless.

It genuinely pains me to see the show coming to this. I used to love it so. And I wonder if maybe the Race needs to reach the very bottom to start finally crawling up….

And here (in case you still care) you can find the most up-to-date links on all things The Amazing Race:

http://www.sirlinksalot.net/amazingrace.html

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