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Thread: "Amazing Race" Is Not Family-Friendly

  1. #1
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    "Amazing Race" Is Not Family-Friendly

    'Amazing Race' is not family friendly
    By Robert Bianco, USA TODAY

    Never have I been happier to see a set of families leave the country.

    After a four-week road trip that took us on a long, dull drive from New York to New Orleans, CBS' ill-fated family edition of The Amazing Race is finally racing overseas. Tuesday (9 ET/PT) at long last, the six remaining teams leave their product-placement cars behind and board a plane for Panama.

    There's no doubt it's about time the only question is whether it's in time.

    After all, by this point in last fall's Race, we'd already visited Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Senegal. No matter how fond you are of oddball Americana, a televised visit to a giant Pennsylvania shoe and a super-sized Alabama office chair doesn't quite cut it, particularly on a show that has always functioned as a travelogue.

    Indeed, for many viewers, the idea of being trapped in the back seat for a forced cross-country family drive comes closer to a nightmare relived than a dream come true.

    The show does get partial credit for its visit to Talladega Speedway because of the emotional resonance the trip had for the Weaver children, whose father had been killed at a racetrack. Unfortunately, that was canceled out by the pre-Katrina trip to New Orleans, which, through no fault of the show, came across as creepy.

    Of course, things could pick up now that we're on the international move. And even at its worst, Race is still better than the cheap/scuzzy reality norm. Still, it's clear that this "special" edition of the Race - which substituted four-member, all-family teams for the usual sets of couples has been a monumental bust. Seldom has a show as good as Race hobbled itself with a worse idea.

    If the only thing duller than the race has been the racers, the blame may go to the sheer increase in the number of contestants (up to 40 from the usual 22). With less time available for each person, the only personalities able to emerge are the loudest and most annoying, three of whom are named Paolo. We were prepared to be horrified by parents screaming at their children, and instead we've faced a more modern terror: teenage children screaming at their parents.

    By restricting itself to a very traditional definition of "family," the show has limited its range and removed a major race pleasure. One of the joys of watching badly behaved teammates who are related by choice rather than blood is the ability to root for one or both to come to their senses. You can't do that with parents and kids.

    The best you can do is to root for them to stay overseas. With these families, only absence and distance can make the heart grow fonder.
    http://www.usatoday.com/life/televis...ing-race_x.htm

  2. #2
    What's a sitcom? Toxic's Avatar
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    Kind of a wierd direction for the show to go in. You would've thought they would float the idea out there first, and maybe they would have seen the widespread negative reaction. It's hard to win over viewers when they are already against an idea.


    I guess when you are making two seasons a year, there is some internal pressure to change it up, so you don't burn out the franchise.

  3. #3
    Peace MsFroggy's Avatar
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    The best you can do is to root for them to stay overseas. With these families, only absence and distance can make the heart grow fonder.
    Not a bad idea! Send these idiots to some remote, difficult to access corner of the world, and just, ooops, forget to bring them back.
    Won't miss them!!
    "Feel the sky blanket you/ With gems and rhinestones/ See the path cut by the moon/ For you to walk on" - EV

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    HIDDEN IN PLAIN SIGHT kraziladi's Avatar
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    I have to agree how strange it is that TAR would go for "giant shoes and chairs" as opposed to "Zorbs and Ziplines". It makes you wonder if the country's TAR has visited wonder why they went for that particular site or monument.

    I suppose one never knows until you try it. In this case I agree with Robert Bianco of USA Today.....not such a good try on TAR's part.

    It's likes our best friend has changed. While I am not thrilled with this season, I guess it's better than no TAR at all.

    Anxiously waiting for TAR 9!
    When you put your whole body into the dance, your spirit will follow.

  5. #5
    You Dare Question Me? OrangeDingo's Avatar
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    Boooo.

    I like this season, almost moreso than the previous season BECAUSE there are more people. Although harder challenges and better scenery would be welcome, I am more interested in the relationships with other families, and the relationships of the individual members of each team. I don't know about you, but I can name every single racer, and what team they are from (with one tiny exception - I can't tell the frat boy Linz's apart. They are all the same). The people are so deverse that is makes up for the lack of scenic diversity.

    We have a perfect little normal family with the Gaghans
    We have the foriegn Paolo's
    We have the emotionally unstable Weavers
    We have the annoying-as-hell wives and mothers in the Godlewskis
    We have the typical (annoying) frat boys (including Megan) with the Linzs

    ....the list goes on.

    Personally, I wouldn't mind them having another family edition of TAR. I don't see what the big fuss is about, really.

  6. #6
    what are you watching? iguanachocolate's Avatar
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    i am not minding this family edition of TAR - i still root for my teams, i like what they have seen so far. ok, the giant chair was a bit much, but it's not like they stayed there for a long time.

    and frankly, the kids are not nearly as annoying as i thought they would be! Paola's excepted, of course.
    A good book should leave you... slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading it. ~William Styron, interview, Writers at Work, 1958

  7. #7
    For Your Entertainment lobeck's Avatar
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    I guess in the end I don't mind the families all that much (with the exception of the Paolos and Weavers, that is ), but I do prefer the two-person teams overall. Plus...For the love of God, it's about time they left the country!

  8. #8
    LG.
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    FORT Writer LG.'s Avatar
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    oh Lobeck, I know you want to see all the families driving around rural Minnesota looking for the midwest's largest ball of twine, driving to Dyersville, Iowa to find the remains of the Field of Dreams baseball field in a cornfield, etc. If they don't make a trip to Wall Drug, I will be very disappointed
    Help fight cystic fibrosis or just learn more about it at the cystic fibrosis foundation website, www.cff.org and help give my little guy a better future.

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    FORT Fogey
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    The only thing that may save this thing is if an entire family is forced to shave their heads.

  10. #10
    FORT Regular jckatz's Avatar
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    Are you saying I missed a Giant Office Chair (was it ergonomically correct?) I am looking for a nice coffy ergonomically correct chair.

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