Sunday, October 09, 2005

early look on the amazing race: family edition

Current books read: Catch Me if You Can by Frank W. Abagnale

Yes, I am aware that thanks to an ungrateful friend, I am possibly spoiled for this show. But I'd written the concept for this entry before that darn spoiling occasion happened.

"Carissa, we need wheels outta you, girl."
- Bill Gaghan

I looked at The Amazing Race: Family Edition (will be noted furthermore as "the race") with one eye closed, seeing a half-empty glass. Because a lot of reports said that the race is only done in northern america, traveling roughly half miles of the previous races. From the first episode, Phil Keoghan the host said that airfare and gasoline do not have to be paid by the contestants. I guess they will drive a lot. And seeing the contestants, I doubt that if the Linz family doesn't easily fly to finish line. Duh?

Race Elements

The producers will really need to create a detour and roadblock which will benefit some families that already have strength disadvantages. It is shown in the first episode. Detour Buggy Itwas definitely not meant to be done by strong and heavy team. It's the perfect choice for Gaghan and Black family. Gaghan did it, but Black did not. On the other side, most of the family did the right choice by doing Build It. Including the Weavers when they chose to change their detours.

However, on the second episode, the detour didn't created as good as the first episode. I think both of the detour would hurt families will small children. And the roadblock is simply weird.. I think they wanted to reenact old spying game. But it's just weird. It's not meant for the children because the area is too big, and it's too silly to be done by the adults. One bad point for race element.

Show Element and Issues

OK. The producers has the right to say that interaction between family members are one of the most interesting things to see on the show. And I agree to that. I never never get bored watching family dynamics. First of all, it's super interesting to see motivations for each families to be on this race. The Gaghan for example. I have a feeling that they enter the race with a side mission to teach the kids about competitiveness. The Paolos are in there to win, but probably chosen because they kept bickering. The Weavers needed something to hold them together as they lost their head of family. The Rogers tried to prove that southerners are not that slow. And so on.

On the first two episodes, dynamics of the families are really shown successfully. How Danny Rogers tried to lead the family all along (and hurt his son, on the run). How the Bransen daughters started to think, maybe it's time that we take care of Dad. How Bill Gaghan kept being motivator for their kids, saying things like the one I quoted up there, resulting to the one of the sweetest scene in reality TV: 9 year-old Carissa Gaghan outrun one adult and two teenagers to the pit stop.

Favorite racers

Yes, every family is unique and has reason to be the favorites. But I kept choosing early favorites based on smart racers. For me, they are the Weavers and then the Gaghans.

Weaver family did a great job of a responsibility distribution. Rebecca, the oldest daughter is the driver. Linda, the mother is the navigator and decision maker. Rolly, the youngest is the main physical and speed strength of the family. Rachel.. humm.. I still trying to figure out what Rachel is all about. But keep this distribution and did no mistake, I hope the Weavers can go all the way..

The Gaghans come into the race with a very competitive attitide and strategy. One of the most distinct strategy is how their backpack is packed. Carissa didn't carry one. Billy had a small and light one. Smart. Compare this to the Black family who had backpack on each member's back. However, seeing the navigation and choices in the detours, the Gaghans needed still to think about their advantage and disadvantages.

Another family needs to be reckoned is the Linz family. They are strong, smart, and solid. Most decisions are made correctly, and it has three alpha-male. They bicker brotherly, and that's why sometimes the sister seemed like outsider of the group. For me, they are good racers, but not special enough because they don't do something remarkable in the race. But one thing for sure. If this family wins the race, the editors have to work very hard to make everything looks interesting, if not, it's going to be the most boring amazing race since the first one.

Personal Likes and Dislikes

The family dynamics are really really interesting to watch. No, we may not watch another heart-wrenching testimonial from teary-eyed Lynn as he and his boyfriend Alex were eliminated at the last season. But look at the second elimination where Brock Rogers said a typical male last child. Go, Brock! Or how the Paolos kept communicating. That's family dynamics I'm talking about.

One other thing. The mothers of the family is really the mediator of them all. Char Schroeder profile is already stating that she's the mediator. Linda Weaver said, "But I'm not and we're fine.." after her girls were so afraid of being orphan after an accident with the buggy, in the first detour. Tammy Gaghan said, "She's trying, honey." when Billy accused Carissa of not doing anything in the super tyring second detour. "I'm the glue that'll hold us together.." said Renee Rogers after they were eliminated, and sensed that there are tense between the males of the family. That's why I am confused to see Marion Paolo handled things.

In the family full of characters of adventurous individuals like the Linzes or the Godlewskis, I read somewhat disappointment across their faces seeing that the first two legs of the race was only roaming around the east coast. You know the disappointment like, "Awww.. I thought we're going to see the world.." And seeing that in a racer, make me feel not watching the race.

Also, I don't like how the producers created the show. For me, it is way too american. And I got easily squishy seeing something too american. Because of this, I may not continue watching the show.

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