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The Amazing Race 8: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Episode 2 - "God Is Not On Your Side Because He Hates Idiots"by Mike DeGeorge -- 10/07/2005
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I really don’t have anything to say about this episode that I won’t cover below. I thought it was kind of a boring episode, but perhaps that’s because I was worried about getting my new DSL connected. Regular writers (and thanks to everyone for the great response last week), please note the address change at the end of the column.
And I should also point out that I’m typing this, watching NHL Hockey for the first time in I don’t know how long, and I can’t tell you how happy that makes me.
Respect the Family: I don’t think this is going to change any time soon… the Aiellos are still my favorites. It struck me this week that the boys seem so eager to win Tony’s respect. Matt said he wanted to make Tony proud. Just because they’re married to his daughters isn’t reason enough for such a display of respect. However, consider how much respect Tony probably gets from his daughters, and some of that has to have rubbed off on them. And it strikes me that Tony has to be a pretty great man to earn such respect.
Whatever the source, Tony and his sons-in-law are starting to appreciate each other. It’s become a cliché, such that I almost hate to say it, but this could be a situation where the Aiellos leave the race with a totally new appreciation for each other.
Leave Your Mark: Others have expressed contrary views on the site, but I love Mark Schroeder. See, I’m just like him, always with a smartass remark no matter the situation. Like you couldn’t tell, right? He’s cracked me up a couple of times already (“Are you sure the sky’s not blue?”), and it’s early yet. Sure, he’s not exactly tactful – I expected the old man to smack him when Mark called him “Pops” – but I can’t help but laugh.
Worst to Almost First: The Linz family are going to take the tenacious prize this year, that’s for sure. I had to make note of their great attitude and success in making one of the largest moves in Race history.
Love is a Battlefield: Love, LOVE the Civil War detour! See, this is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about. Explore the United States culture. Have some fun. Compete. I’m not saying this should turn into “Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego” (even though I consider this show and that game to be thematic cousins), but still.
I was actually shocked that filling the lanterns was the quicker task than carrying the bodies. But then, I expected the buggy task to be quicker last week. I will give credit to the Weavers for keeping open in their decision.
There’s a Sign Up Ahead: Road sign to Falls Church! Holla, Jenn!
God’s Fan Club: As my girlfriend’s father says, “I like God, but I can’t stand his fan club.” I have no problem with religion, but I think in some cases, it is a crutch for the weak and feeble minded when it becomes such slavish devotion. Like Mama “what state is D.C. in?” Weaver. For crying out loud, take some responsibility for your life, accept some credit for what you deserve and some blame for your problems.
We Don’t Need No Stinking Instructions! Yeah, I have to put Bill Gaghan in here for wandering around the wrong reflecting pool without once asking for help or even re-reading the freaking clue! How many teams realized their mistake once they re-read? Worse, you shut down your son when he said you should ask for help. It could have been a fatal mistake, like it was for the Rogers.
I Spy… A Crappy Roadblock: Technically, the Roadblock was pretty cool, even if it was just blind luck. What I object to is the silly “spy” motif. Yes, I’m sure there are hundreds of spies running around the capital, but with everything else going on in the city, that’s the best they could come up with?
With No Direction Home: Last week, I almost put Denny Rogers in the Bad section for claiming he was always in charge, but I thought it was a minor statement that wouldn’t matter. Well, that’s my first mistake of the year. I have to roast Denny for berating Brock for not finding the highway, and then brushing it off with “I can only do so much” when it turned out to be his fault. Yeah, he took the blame on the mat, but by then the damage had been done.
Look at Brock’s expression in the last shot of the episode – that says it all for me. That’s the face of a kid who could never please his father no matter what he did. I didn’t go through that first hand, thank goodness, but I’ve seen it enough to know that look.
Here’s hoping that the Rogerses watch the show together and figure this out. It’s probably their last and best opportunity to fix this problem before Brock leaves home and their parents wonder why he never calls.
Say It With Me… the Paolos: I want to give D.J. the benefit of the doubt, but I just can’t. Marion does seem like an insufferable nag, but I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if you had just pulled over and gotten gas already. Would she have moved on to nagging about something else? Maybe. But there’s a good way to find out.
Then there’s the battlefield performance. Your parents held out better than you did. The Gaghan kids did better than you. People almost three times your age did better than you with a hell of a lot less whining. Why don’t you take your own advice and shut up already.
Have a Heart: Wally Bransen. I understand that you probably came on the Race for your daughters. And maybe you weren’t a fan beforehand. But you almost gave up on a task that would make some past racers scoff. I just can’t imagine going into a show like this being so badly out of shape.
Mike DeGeorge is an Accountant from St. Louis and is also Associate Editor for RealityNewsOnline. You can reach Mike at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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