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Thread: 'Amazing Race' May Lack Polish, But It Is Fast-Paced Fun

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    The race is back! John's Avatar
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    'Amazing Race' May Lack Polish, But It Is Fast-Paced Fun

    'Amazing Race' May Lack Polish, But It Is Fast-Paced Fun

    By Vince Horiuchi
    Salt Lake Tribune TV Critic
    http://www.sltrib.com/2003/Jun/06112...esda/64975.asp

    It's no wonder that a show like "Amazing Race 4" would move at the same breakneck pace as a Hollywood car chase -- the CBS reality show is produced by popcorn movie producer Jerry Bruckheimer ("Bad Boys I and II," "Gone in Sixty Seconds").

    Having missed the first three "Amazing Race" installments -- there is only so much reality TV one can digest -- it was high time to join the chase. So far, I'm glad I'm along for the ride.

    "Amazing Race 4" may lack the polish of "Survivor" but this worldwide race for a million bucks is a quick hour that breezes by like a real-life version of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World." It airs Thursdays at 7 p.m. on KUTV Channel 2.

    The rules: A dozen teams of two start in Los Angeles and race across the globe to win $1 million. During each episode, the teams are ordered to move to a checkpoint through a series of conventional and oddball means of transportation. Last week, for example, the teams had to sled down an icy hill on a raft then jump on a train bound for their next checkpoint.

    The last team to make it to the final point is eliminated from the race. Sometimes, the teams encounter a spot where they can take one of two paths (usually one is harder, but shorter, than the other). And a team can take a shortcut, called a Fast Forward, to the next checkpoint but only once during the entire game.

    Along the way, viewers get to know a little more about the participants, which this season include a pair of sloth-like middle-aged air traffic controllers; a rebellious son and his father; a pair of NFL players' wives; a married gay couple; several other nagging couples; a pair of circus clowns; and a couple of virgins who have dated for 12 years. There also is that one team you love to hate, in this case a pair of self-absorbed models who so far are self-absorbed buffoons.

    Most of the time, the series shows the teams running maniacally through the cobblestone streets of Europe, abruptly asking the poor natives for directions -- just like real American tourists.

    It's not a lot of substance stuffed into 60 minutes, but Bruckheimer, who is taking the TV industry by storm with hits like "CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" and "CSI: Miami," knows how to keep up the tempo -- throw in a lot of quick edits and pack it with clips of people shouting, "No, this way!" Then, he includes a rousing musical score.

    If we're not careful, watching "Amazing Race 4" may suck out the remaining brain cells we have left, thanks to an already frothy summer TV schedule. But at least that lightheaded feeling might leave you with a smile.

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    Retired! hepcat's Avatar
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    RE: his last paragraph

    Why is it TV critics have to make it clear that even when they like a show like TAR they are putting aside their big, big brains and that's the only way they can enjoy it?

    I watch with a group of friends, and there are several college degrees between us, even a few PhD's. Don't patronize us, please.
    You've gotta hustle if you want to earn a dollar. - Boston Rob

  3. #3
    JR.
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    Hep, because critics are really really smart

  4. #4
    Yoffy lifts a finger... fluff's Avatar
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    Exactly

    I think it's a great show and I don't see why enjoyment of it involves anyone having to dumb down.
    "That's Numberwang!"

  5. #5
    FORT Fogey
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    I agree and there are plenty of ways to intelligently debate and discuss the show.

    Actually, this is one of the most intelligent reality shows out there with much higher standards than most of those reality shows, even the ones on the same network.

  6. #6
    Leo
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    I'd like to meet one of these so-called critics and introduce them to a ClueBat.

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    FORT Fogey
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    I can't believe they'd say this show isn't intelligent and that's it dumb and whatnot! Grrrr....I think this show does have a lot of substance! Grrr I hate critics, they just do not know what they're talking about, really.

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    Soccer Kicks Balls cali's Avatar
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    ya know, the funny thing is, if he were talking about brain cells being sucked out while watching Flom of AJ, I'd agree 100%

    TAR on the other hand is a great show, and the first couple paragraphs sound like he likes it for what it is.... a damn good show.

    Oh, and I think it's polished just fine.
    "Rice is great when you're hungry and want 2,000 of something' -- Mitch Hedberg

  9. #9
    FORT Fogey
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    Originally posted by cali
    ya know, the funny thing is, if he were talking about brain cells being sucked out while watching Flom of AJ, I'd agree 100%

    TAR on the other hand is a great show, and the first couple paragraphs sound like he likes it for what it is.... a damn good show.

    Oh, and I think it's polished just fine.
    Completely agreed!

    I actually use my brain when watching this show, whereas most other reality shows I just watch for pure fluff entertainment (Fame and American Juniors - not touching any of the other Summer reality shows so far). And what exactly does it allegedly lack in polish? Can't he admit that it's an intelligent reality show for once - they do exist, albeit few and far between...

  10. #10
    FORT Fogey CantGetNuf's Avatar
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    Shows like Joe Millionaire and For Love or Money and contestants like Richard Hatch and Jenna Morrison have givein reality shows such a bad name that no one wants to admit to watching them much less to liking them. Reality show is a catagory and a lot of people seem unable to differentiate good quality shows from the stupid ones. I still can't get my mom to watch TAR or the Mole even though I know she'll love them just because of the damage all the back stabbing of Survivor1 did to her. So this idiot critic is to scared to just say he watched and enjoyed it. He had to get his little reality tv barb in there too.
    "You better watch your mouth sunshine."-Daryl Dixon

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