Wednesday, September 15, 2004


Alright, my two readers know that I hate most anything related to reality TV. But I'm not stupid enough to deperately hate something without having tried it. Unless, of course, the main ingredient is raw onions, in which case you're shit out of luck--I'm not trying it.

Anyhow, there are a handful of reality TV shows that I can stomach: Survivor, Real World (due to its originality of being the first true reality TV show), Apprentice (original idea), and The Amazing Race. Anything else, as far as I'm concerned, is a dismal waste of production equipment and time. But there is one show that continues to piss me off, and it also happens to be one on my stomach list: The Amazing Race.

Now, the Amazing Race shouldn't be this entertaining; people running around the world, chasing a smug looking host and a million bucks is interesting in concept, but I would think it turn out to be a little boring. But it isn't. It's a physical race that actually gets you (well, me) rooting for some teams while lambasting others (especially the asshole guys that play dirty - I hate those guys).

But here's the thing: The game setup is flawed in one key area: eliminations. People come in last in a leg of the race, they get the boot. Simple, right? Adds emotion, drama...even authenticates the tense, fast paced music that heightens stressful parts. So why is it flawed?

These elminations don't always occur. Nope. Instead, some legs of the race conclude with the last team learning that, surprise, you're not out of it. Effectively they get a free ride. This oversight not only drives me insane, it takes away from the very basic idea of the game: a team wins, others lose. When you have teams that don't lose even when they should, it serves to piss people off. We don't watch this show because we want to see the winning team win, we watch it to see the losing teams lose! If there's no loser, why did you just waste time watching it? I want to see a team get the boot. Be merciless, for God's sakes! Survivor does it, why can't Amazing Race?

But I will (begrudgingly) give the show some credit. In past seasons, when a team got out of jail for free and was allowed to continue in the race, that was that. Nothing to it. But this year, they acutualy penalize teams for being last and not being kicked off: They have to start the next leg of the race without any money, effectively turning them into beggars for the majority of the show. I am okay with this idea in itself.

But under no circumstances should a show that's based solely on the premise of competition, with a defined winner and loser every show, should a team skate by because they (the network, the producers, or whomever came up withthis ridiculous loophole) want to extend the show a few more weeks.

Either shorten the length of the show or allow more contestants so that someone, somewhere is getting the boot. Because, believe me, there is nothing worse than hating one of those said assholes and seeing them finish last, only to have them continue on - it makes me angry just thinking about it.


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