A good way for me to decide how I felt about a show is how I’m feeling towards the end of an episode, or a season. If it’s a horrible show, I usually struggle to make it through episodes, and that is a sign when it’s time to stop watching it entirely. There have been times when the episodes have a lot of enjoyable moments, but when you look at the way it was all put together in a season long arc, it’s still possible to have a lousy season despite enjoyable moments.
That’s how I feel about The Amazing Race 18
The race started off with some decent potential, a bunch of “all-stars” coming back for a second chance at the game. As I stated in my original post, they threw a lot of good, well liked teams together for this race, but was that a bad thing? Thinking back at the cast, there were no clear cut fan favorites, and no “villains” stopping those favorites from winning. Every team started off with likable qualities, even the teams we barely knew, like Amanda and Kris. Going through the race, it was only after certain people started growing really annoying did I find myself really rooting against anyone, and it was usually for silly reasons like Ron saying dumb things, Kent acting like a baby, or Zev gradually growing more annoying as the season progressed. Even those people were paired with very likable people like Justin, Vyxsin, and Christina which in a way offset their behaviors. The same can be said about Big Easy acting like a dick at times, with Flight Time being the mature teammate (referring to the chocolate gnome challenge).
Not only did they feature those people, then they had some real neutral teams that could have been dropped off without nobody even noticing. The cheerleaders, Amanda and Kris, and even the winners, LaKisha and Jen were fairly dull to watch. Reality shows generally have a group of neutral people to offset the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’, but in a cast with generally all good people, there was almost nothing to offset which gave them just an ‘extra’ vibe.
With the casting aside, then you had to deal with the show itself, which scored some pretty low marks for me this year. Challenges were extremely simple for the most part, where nearly every team finished them in the order they arrived, giving fewer opportunities for people to pass others. It basically made it a game to try and score the most competent taxi driver who can get you to the next destination quicker than the other teams. Look at the screw job Mallory and Gary got last night because their driver sucked. The underwater challenge, walking across the ocean, the dry dock, building the trailer home, and even the bike ride were all very straight forward challenges where only the unplanned nature made them moderately difficult. There was absolutely no chance for a team to catch up on the challenges, it was all essentially out of their hands last night.
That’s how the entire season was. With the exception of a few pretty challenging puzzles (putting the dinosaur together for one), the entire season was very straight forward and it took teams getting unlucky like requiring Zev to dance during road blocks the ability to pass others. While some were physically exhausting (digging in the snow for a body), again they were just straight forward and were even given tools to find the body quickly. Sso it was just a matter of who can dig faster, and whether or not you had a partner working against you, like a Zev pushing snow back in as Justin was digging them out.
I don’t want to spend the whole article bashing The Amazing Race, like I said, individual episodes were fun to watch at times, and had quite a few enjoyable moments, but as a whole I think this season failed largely due to a horrible casting selection, and some of the easiest challenges I’ve seen to date making it more of The Amazing Cab Ride than The Amazing Race.
Hopefully next year will be better, but there is no word yet on The Amazing Rae 19. I’ll be sure to post about it if I hear anything.
What did you guys think of this season?