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Thread: TAR 5 - overall assessment?

  1. #11
    FORT Fogey Super Goten's Avatar
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    I think that this TAR was better than the 4th one! In my opinion, the tasks in this one were interesting. Especially the underwater one. CBS picked really great places to send them too. And what about the [/B]great cast? [B] As much as I hated some of those guys (and loved some too! ) they were the reason the season was so good!
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  2. #12
    FORT Newbie Madeira's Avatar
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    I agree that the NELs would have been better for us, the viewers, if earlier. The locales visited were scenic and wonderful, and the tasks were fun. The eating challenges should've been less quantity and more weirdness, but I loved the casting this time. There were FAR fewer boring people, even the early people who got eliminated before we got to know them fully. I think this was the best casting this particular show has ever done, and to me, it made all the difference.

  3. #13
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    Brave Little Toaster Rab's Avatar
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    What I loved about this season was they visited every continent besides Antactica. TAR4 only went to 4.

  4. #14
    FORT Fogey
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    This is the first season I've watched TAR. I loved it! What I liked best was that most of the contestants seemed like ordinary people. I am bored with shows where the most athletic are always the winners.

  5. #15
    TV Fanatic Clippo_Puppet's Avatar
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    Overall I thought it was an exciting season and as others have said, there appeared to be a good group of racers.

    I dislike the yield, but if they choose to keep it, I hope two things: 1) they'll reinstate the FF also, as it was really missed this year, and 2) Instead of yielding one team, I agree with someone who suggested the yield should hold up ALL teams behind the yielding team.

    I also dislike the begging for money idea, period. Begging for money is NOT a normal part of travel, nor should it be. Since the very idea of the show was to put teams through the stress of traveling on a tight budget, the show has a certain responsibility to ensure that the teams are following their budgets in a legal and MORAL manner. Begging does not seem to me a very moral or ethical way to get money to travel. If teams choose to do it on their own, their own morals come into play. That the producers ENCOURAGE it by making it an actual rule really bothers me.

    I also would have liked to see more thinking tasks in addition to the physical ones. This year's race became about who could climb or push or row the hardest, and who could get the best flights. Adding an element of figuring out where they need to go, reading maps, figuring out clues, etc. was what made TAR a better reality show than others that require physical tasks in order to win. A mix of physical tasks, figuring out clues, pushing oneself to the limits of what one is comfortable in doing (facing fear, eating items one's not used to eating, etc.) is part of what makes the race exciting. It's a balance of these factors that make the race. Airlines, buses, trains, and taxis are just a sideline. The "reality" in this reality program is that the teams are just like us...only they're facing extreme situations in a very public way. If brute strength or speed are all they need, then we lose the feeling that WE could run this race just as well or better than the competitors, and that's why so many like TAR. We get to live vicariously through people just like us (only more so!).
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  6. #16
    FORT Fogey aname's Avatar
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    This season of TAR was definitely the best and a wonderful team won. It was nice not to have any Alpha male teams (gay or straight) who easily win without much competition. In fact, the alphas have won most of the races with the exception of the dim twins losing out to Zach and Flo (partially because of Drew's fixation on Flo).

    I like the male/female dating couple teams best because the combination of sexual tension and combativeness is fun to watch. I don't much like the Yields, and also think the Non Elimination Rounds should be more spread out - but they both worked well this time. I've enjoy all the TARs but this was the most fun of all.

  7. #17
    Probably cold hearted too ColdBlooded's Avatar
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    I didn't see season 2, but out of all the others, this was the one I found to be least enjoyable. There are several reasons for that.

    1) The roadblocks when Charla and Mirna were still in the race were average to downright bad. The scarab hunting and the chocolate roadblocks were completely based on luck, while the caviar and ostrich egg roadblocks were Fear Factor-esque more than anything. The flag/cow roadblock in episode 2 was uninspiring and the satchel roadblock in Egypt was average at best. Once Charla and Mirna were eliminated, the roadblocks seemed to get a little better and more difficult. I find that to be a bit convenient, as the producers likely didn't want Charla and Mirna eliminated due to a difficult/physical roadblock. Maybe, and hopefully, that was just a coincidence.
    The detours, generally speaking, were fine.

    2) The entire concept of the yield is terrible. Basically, it's there to punish a dominant team and to artificially create drama. If there's a dominant team, I want to see them win, or lose on their own merits. I don't want to see them lose because the others realized that they were too big of a threat and decided to yield them. Derek and Drew were the strongest team on TAR3 and they lost because they completely missed a cluebox in Vietnam, which is perfectly fine. Had Colin and Christie gotten eliminated (largely) because of the yield, I would've been extremely upset because it's something they have little to no control over.
    I also think it's silly to purposely do poorly in some legs to avoid being seen as a big threat (and eventually yielded), as some have suggested.

    3) The removal of the fast forward in each leg was a very bad decision. Not just because some of them were fun to watch, but it brought a more strategic element to the race. With only two fast forwards for the entire race, it's set up that either: a) A team that knows they are in first place will use it, because they don't have to worry about another team having already done it or b) No team will use it for fear of it already being completed, which would likely lead to their elimination. The fast forward was pretty much useless this past season and that's a shame.

    4) There was a severe lack of "drive yourself to X location" type tasks. I realize the race designers likely didn't have that option in a lot of countries they visited this season, but they could've delayed going to a few of those countries until later seasons in order to balance it out. One of my favorite parts of TAR4 was when the teams were in France and had to drive something like 500 miles to the next pitstop. Steve and Josh ended up going the wrong way, which led to their elimination.

    5) I'm sorry, but I have to mention the teams as well. The variety, or lack thereof, of the teams was troubling. Four young couples teams out of eleven? That's way too much. Having Dennis/Erika and Alison/Donny get eliminated in the first two episodes was the best thing that could've happened. After that, there was a little more variety.

    6) Charla and Mirna were merely a gimmick team, which is something I despise. What's next, someone in a wheelchair? How about a team which consists of a blind person and a deaf person? It's sad that the powers that be felt they had to reduce themselves to such an obvious publicity gimmick.

    7) Some may disagree, but in my opinion there was only one team this season, Colin and Christie, that could call themselves good racers. In TAR3 and TAR4, the final five teams were all competent and had their own strengths and weaknesses. All five of those teams in each season would've made worthy winners. Contrast that to this year, and does anyone really think that the twins or even Linda and Karen would've made deserving winners? Brandon/Nicole and Chip/Kim weren't bad racers, but I didn't feel they matched up well with any of the top 5 from previous seasons.

    I didn't mind the NEL "twist", but I think they can come up with something better. What that is though, I don't know. But it was about time they did something for teams saved by a NEL.
    Even with all that though, I still enjoyed watching TAR this season. I just hope season 6 is a little better.
    Last edited by ColdBlooded; 09-23-2004 at 08:44 PM.

  8. #18
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    I thought it was a good season, but I don't like the new rule that requires the teams to forfeit all of their money when they come in last on a non-elimination leg. Watching Americans beg for money in other countries, many of which are quite poor, is not my opinion of entertainment.

  9. #19
    *Until Next Season...* karalott's Avatar
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    Coldlooded, I have to disagree with just about every thing you said.

    1. I think it is just a coincidence that the RB seemed easier when M&C were still around. But the RB only requires one person, and they had Mirna who could have done a lot of the ones down the road (and probably would have had to.)

    2. The Yield and the FF to me are the same thing; they give another team an advantage and put others at a disadvantage. When it comes to FF, even if there was one on every leg, what's not to stop the team who arrives first from taking it, just to make sure they'll be around for the next leg? And I'm sure most last place teams wouldn't dare go for it anyway, unless they knew they would be eliminated if they didn't. I don't think the drama by the one and only Yield this season was artifical, but if something like the Yield is what brings in the viewers and keeps the show going, I'm all for that. As for Derek/Drew, had they not taken the ferry across the river, they would have ran into Flo, who would have told them were the clue was, and most likely would have beaten Ken/Gerard to the PS, and then we'd have 4 alpha male winners. The Yield is part of the game, and the FF may have lead to some teams elimination as well.

    3. I didn't find Steve/Josh getting lost in France to be that exciting. Frankly, the moments we've had with taxi's this season has been worth it instead of having the teams drive themselves. Especially if it meant they got to visit new countries.

    4. Last seasons group nearly put me to sleep. This year casting finally knew what they were doing. While the first season will always be my favorite, when your talking about casts, this year's is #1 on my list. And the couple's this year were more entertaining than last year (except for Kelly/Jon.) I don't care what a person's relationship is, what race/sexuality they are, or what they do for a living; as long as they're entertaining, that's what I tune in for.

    5. Charla/Mirna are not the first nor will they be the last "gimmick" team. I don't think it's right to exclude someone just because they may have a disability or be a dwarf. If I remember right, the casting department put a message on the Little Person's of America's website looking for dwarfs to apply. But again, why not have something that will get people to tune in?

    6. I don't consider David/Jeff to be good racers, and am surprised they did as well as they ended up doing. C&C may have been good racers, but they lost, they got behind, and they got Yielded. Whoever crosses the finish line first deserves it, and since I'm a fan of the mom's and the twins (both of whom did better or as well than any all-female team in history) I would have had no problem with them winning. It's not Survivor or Big Brother, so what they overall doesn't matter to me.

    But you have your opinions, I have mine, and I guess it wouldn't be so much fun if we all agreed on everything.

  10. #20
    pop culture whore pg13's Avatar
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    Welcome to the party, folks...

    What I liked best about this year was the interest that this show has now earned...it isn't like we're the weirdos watching some little watched show and hoping against hope that it won't be cancelled--we're watching something great and we've got more people every week tuning in to see what we're all so excited about.

    I remember when friends of mine invited me and my then-girlfriend over to see the finale of TAR2. We'd made fun of them for watching one of the dozens of post-Survivor reality shows...and one that nobody seemed to watch, even... But, we accepted their invitation...and by the first twenty minutes, both of us newbies were jumping up and down, shouting at the screen...as if the teams participating could hear us warning them about what a horrible mistake they were making. By the end of that show, we were exhausted and thrilled...and we couldn't wait for TAR3...TAR4...

    Now, this year, TAR5...my then-girlfriend is now my ex-girlfriend...and my new girlfriend had never watched a minute of TAR before. She immediately fell in love with cheering on the Bowling Moms... Co-workers of mine, who had only heard me describe Flo and Zach...Jon and Al...Ken and Gerard...Teri and Ian...Reichen and Chip...Derek and Drew...Tian and Sheree...all of them knew that the new season was starting, and all of them watched religiously... Even my ex- would e-mail me and tell me about who she and her new boyfriend were rooting for (and surprised me for liking a team I hated...thank you, fate.)

    So, good for Entertainment Weekly for pushing the show every week. Good for the rest of the world to catch up with the FORTskateers for loving TAR. Good for us for getting a year of great personalities and amazing locations...

    Now the bad...

    I know why the Fast Forward was so limited--but having only two of them...and both being on legs which ended up being NELs was not a good plan by the race designers.

    I know why the Yield was implemented--and unlike what I've read here, it isn't designed to be used against a dominant team...after all, you can only use it on someone behind you...but it is designed to create tension and animosity between the teams about its use (why else would the picture of the team you've been yielded by be so prominent?) To that degree, it worked to a minor degree...although I would have loved to have seen Colin's face as he watched the finished show to find out that every team had planned on yielding C&C (which WAS, as luck would have it, a chance to use against the dominant team...) I almost wanted to see all of them use it at once...to see him have to turn the hourglass over three times in a row... That said, its spotty implementation (was it only available when we saw it...or did we only see it when it was easy to edit it in?) meant that false drama was created. Who here, who was rooting for Chip & Kim, worry that both C&C and B&N had reasons to yield C&K on the last leg? If there was no Yield on this leg, we weren't informed...and thus, no payoff to the tension.

    I also agree that there's a difference between "if you're willing to cut your hair, you can skip the remaining tasks and head for the pitstop" and "if someone ahead of you chooses you to sit here for a period of time, you have to." But, that's what the game designers wanted...and the conflict seems good for ratings...

    I did feel that there should be more reasons to delay choosing a detour--almost everyone chose the faster but possibly more dangerous choice this year. (Well, there WAS the mud instead of sledging...but even the Bowling Moms sledged.)

    I did feel obliged to accept that the arrival times for the previous episode and the first half of the show didn't matter at all this year, because there would always be an airport catch-up...

    I did feel that too often teams were led by the nose to completing tasks--either by clues that were too obvious, or cab drivers who "happened" to be waiting at odd hours who knew exactly where to go and how to get there, or by locals who made certain tasks much easier than they seemed they would be. I like the tasks where teams who rush through the directions or can't use their resources to get riddles/questions answered are at a disadvantage (the puzzle on the map, the flag on the island, etc.)

    I also think that care must be made so that there isn't only one option in regards to travel--everyone gets on one flight...the best one. Good legs have people taking risks, making their own choices, using their awareness, their skills...as well as their physicality...to stay in the race from week to week.

    Overall--I liked this year...and I especially liked the team that won... (Waves at Dave B, who certainly doesn't agree with me.) (Also waves at Coldblooded, ibid.) I also especially hated other teams...which is part of the hook that the show producers are relying more on to catch new viewers. I was prepared to hate Alison & Donny...I despised Charla & Mirna...I was annoyed by Marshall & Lance...I was astounded at the awfulness of Colin & Christie and I flipped off the television more times than I wanted to count at the lame religious platitudes and woeful priorities shown most of the time by Brandon & Nicole. There may never be a TAR moment as awesome as "My ox is broken" or "I've been electrocuted." (And I'll add in Kami & Karli's "we're clueless" to that.)

    Every season, I've wondered "what would I do?, how would I play that?, would I have done what I say those on the show should be doing?" That's what makes this show great...and it was in abundant supply throughout this season.

    Can't wait for TAR 6...and yes, I'll buy every TAR when CBS puts it out on DVD.

    pg--seattle

    PS--To those saying that Colin & Christie were the best team ever. Watch the season again. Colin made lots of airport mistakes--although only the last two mistakes really cost them a shot at winning, Christie was a detriment on nearly every task that she was involved in, and Colin's temper could have easily forced them out of the competition much earlier. To point merely at how many episodes they won is just a reflection of how teams now realize that there is little benefit in coming in first...as long as you don't come in last. I don't deny that Colin is a solid athlete and an intense competitor. I liken him to be a lot like Kellen Winslow Jr and his comments after a U-Miami game last year, about being an f'n soldier and that he wants to kill the other team and can't accept losing. Some admire those characteristics...while others are appalled with such outrageously misappropriate priorities. I'm glad to see him act very graciously at the end of the race...and that perhaps in his more quiet moments, he is a better person to Christie than he showed during what we saw on screen. On the other hand, I hope this show has opened Christie's eyes as to how the rest of the world must see her relationship with Colin...and that if she stays in the relationship, she must continue to try to assert herself over Colin's insane moments.

    PPS--To those who cheered on Brandon & Nicole and felt they deserved to win...let me ask you one question. Did either of them ever have a good idea on the entire race? Did either of them ever make a decision that helped their team, solve a riddle that no one else could solve, or strategically think of something that would better their position? I can't think of any. I saw them make mistakes and luck out time and time again--walk to the clue, pass the flagged entrance to the airport, go snowbiking, search the mud, not cut their hair...etcetera. The fact that they relied on the smarts of other teams is why they lost...because if they had not followed Colin & Christie's lead about checking baggage from Calgary to Dallas, they were certainly better at physical tasks than Chip & Kim. That said, Brandon supported Nicole in a way that Colin could never imagine...and despite his constant reliance on prayer to help him find clues in a race (as opposed to Chip who prayed for strength to continue trying...which seems much more appropriate to me for some reason)...I respect him for that. But as a team, I think they made more with less than most of the teams I've seen on TAR.

    PPPS--And in case people think I have no filters, I know that Chip & Kim weren't perfect. I'm not concerned about the taxi debacle with the twins, I'm not concerned about when they should have yielded and when they shouldn't have...and I'm certainly not concerned about lying to Brandon. Chip performed the physical tasks...Kim was not very strong in those sections--but amazingly strong in the snowshoe task. Their ability to work with each other, even during difficult stretches, was amazing--and probably didn't make the editors happy, who couldn't find moments of conflict to build around them... Money problems?--no huge fight like B&N, Chip & Kim accept each other and keep working together. Tired and slow--no yelling screaming meltdowns, just silent acknowledgement that each is trying to do the best that they can. Add to that the fact that they always had their eyes open to what they were seeing around them and appreciating the experience all it had to offer. I get the feeling that they would have been thrilled, even if they hadn't even made it out of Egypt, much less won the million dollars, with what they had seen and what they had been able to do. I wonder if Colin & Christie ever talk about how amazingly beautiful the Phillipines were, or how difficult it must be to live in some of the poorer stops on the trip... I wonder if Brandon & Nicole have bothered to pick up a book and read up on some of what they've seen or where they've been... I think Chip & Kim won the race...AND the won the Race...and that's truly amazing.

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