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The Amazing Race 9: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Episode 1: De Nile is a Lakeby Mike DeGeorge -- 03/07/2006
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Well, we’re back to “normal” on The Amazing Race. Yeah, I am enjoying this season more already, but I think it has more to do with the lack of Weaverish people in this edition. The biggest reason – aside from the whole “never leaving North America” bit, which I’ll give you – people didn’t like the family edition is that it messed with the format. People never like change, especially in a popular show.
Long-Haired Freaky People: I usually hate hippies or bohemians or whatever you want to call them – hell, I think Rent is the biggest piece of cinematic garbage since St. Elmo’s Fire. Oh, you don’t want to pay your rent? Get the hell out. Aww, you have to get a job and actually face real life? Poor, poor, pitiful you. I understand the whole “creative” argument they’re trying to make, but anyone who thinks they have to starve for their art is either lazy or stupid. Get a job and do your art in your spare time until you can actually afford to support yourself. And if you don’t, don’t have the nerve to expect other people to take care of you while you “become famous.” If there was more to the movie than that, I missed it because after an hour, I didn’t give a rat’s ass about the idiots on my screen. That’s piss-poor writing.
But what really killed the movie for me was when Mark told his roommate Roger – who had AIDS because of his heroin-addicted girlfriend – should hook up with a heroin-addicted stripper neighbor because “she’ll be good for you.” I guess there are diseases you haven’t gotten yet, why not. Maybe the whole “being a whore” thing would let them turn the heat back on. And to top it all off, one of the two characters in the movie that I didn’t want to beat with a baseball bat wrapped in barbed wire (Collins being the second) dies. Great. You mean there’s one person who ISN’T whining and moping 24/7? They’ve got to go!
Anyway, I seem to have gotten off track there. Sorry. As much as I dislike hippies, I was quite amused to discover my favorite team is none other than B.J. & Tyler. Basically, all I need to like a team is that they have fun while being competitive. These guys are having more fun than anyone in a long time, not counting anyone named Linz. I particularly loved “We’re flying! We’re flying!” as they ran toward the helicopters.
Nerds!: In the immortal words of Donald Gibb: “NEEERRRRRDS!” I predicted it at the end of last season, and it’s coming true – I love the nerds! Any team with a secret handshake is OK with me! They’re also not afraid to show their emotion for each other, which I like (provided they keep it under control!). It also helps that they’re friends of friends, so I can feel a personal connection to them. However, and I almost hate to say it, but Lori runs like she’s competing in the “Upperclass Twit of the Year” contest.
Revenge of the… Frat Boys?: For once, the frat boy team isn’t annoying or overbearing, and I’m more than delighted that they’re breaking their archetype (see below). The reason they’re here is because of their attitude. They knew they were safe, so they knew that there was no harm in helping the other racers nearby. It’s just smart racing – the others will remember that later. Of course, they could have cost themselves first place, but they didn’t think they were out in front. Of course part two, it could just be them not caring, in which case they might be even more fun to watch!
Name this Season: Let’s see, you’ve got the hot chicks, the frat boys, the older couple, the gay guys, the dating young couple where the girl is adorable, the older white couple where the guy is a jerk, the spunky female best friends, the black couple, and the parent/child couple, along with a couple of random teams.
Now, quick, which season am I talking about? I mean, I realize that there are only so many relationship teamings one can make, but does almost every couple have to be an archetype of ones that have gone before? EVERY season has a set of cute frat boys. EVERY season has the hot chicks. I always wonder if some more interesting team isn’t chosen because the producers are in a room going, “No, wait, we don’t have a black couple yet!”
De Nile is also a Lake: All the Jonathan comparisons have been made, but I’d like to point out a valuable difference. Lake, at least so far, doesn’t seem capable of violence. It wouldn’t surprise me a bit to hear that he had turned violent. Lake just seems like an incredible egotistical ass. He refused to take more than partial blame for the ticketing mistake, which was entirely his idea. He claimed it when it seemed like a smart idea, then tried to share it when it wasn’t. I wonder what had happened if she hadn’t figured it out. I would have loved to see his reaction at the counter.
I suppose I can see a little of myself in Lake, in that he has absolutely no patience for stupidity. Unlike Lake, however, I was brought up to take responsibility for my actions and not to be such a prick, no matter how Michelle’s whining would have gotten on my nerves. Plus, I know the difference between a lake and an ocean, and I’ve never called my fiancé a name that two RNO editors won’t repeat.
Competition: Now, I’m all for being competitive. But some teams act a little stupid. As I’ve noted above, there’s no harm in helping a team at this point. Michelle yelled at Lake for trying to help Frankenberry, when it would be to their advantage. As long as you’re not in danger of being eliminated (yeah, yeah, you’re always in danger, stay with me), you want to help the weaker teams. If you help a weaker team, and keep them from getting eliminated, perhaps a strong team will go home instead. I know this has actually happened before. I just can’t recall. Plus, as I’m sure I’ve said before, racing around the world is a huge waste if you can’t enjoy it. So dance with the locals, Lake.
On the other hand, John & Scott wanted to help out Lisa & Joni, but they knew it would be a bad idea since they were both near the bottom of the back. Smart move. Didn’t help, but it didn’t hurt, either.
Cheep Cheep Cheep, Talk a Lot, Pick a Little More: No, you’re not glamazons because you’re not glamorous. QED. You’re annoying, loud, brash, stupid… look, I can sympathize that you’ve been a housewife your whole life and have had to suffer with nobody caring about your opinion, not getting any say, etc. And now you’re upset because of that whole “women in the workforce” thing came too late for you, and now there’s actually a hit sitcom on about housewives that millions of idiots just like yourself watch because you wish your life was like that.
I understand all of that. But it still doesn’t mean I care. So please, take your ugly short frosted hair, your stretch pants barely containing your huge butts, and your loud, crass behavior and go away. Just because no one listened to you your whole life, it’s no reason to announce to the world about your clothing mishaps or feminine problems in a loud shrill voice. Leave those of us who can live with a little quiet for five minutes at a time in peace, and go squawk to your friends like you did at the Mexican restaurant I was at tonight. Just leave me out of it – and by that, I mean SHUTTING UP once in a while. Lord knows, I’d ignore you if I could, but when you’re louder than your average Alice Cooper concert, it’s pretty difficult.
Hopefully the reason you were featured so much this episode is that the next episode will be your last.
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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