Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Amazing Race 14

As this is Travel Tuesday, and as I haven't gone more than about 5 miles from home in the past week, I decided it was time to talk about the new season of CBS's The Amazing Race.

I know that it's not for everyone, but I absolutely love the show. It's the only so-called "reality" show which I watch with any regularity. And everyone I know knows not to bother me while it's on, because I'm bound to be pacing back and forth across the floor while I'm watching it.

Why does this reality/game/competition show keep me watching when so many others bore the heck out of me? Because people win or lose on The Amazing Race based almost entirely on their own smarts and luck. This isn't a competition where plotting and backstabbing takes place on a weekly basis. Instead, it's simply a team against team sprint to the finish of each leg. (In fact, the one season where a team did try to plot and plan to win, they lost in the final leg. If that's not karma, I'm not sure what is.) 

Okay... There's also the fact that the scenery is gorgeous, which doesn't hurt. 

As for this season... The first episode found all 11 teams trying to carry 20-pound wheels of cheese down a hill in Switzerland. This week's episode included teams throwing cakes at each other in Germany. Both were quite funny to watch, but would have been frustrating as all-get-out to complete. 

** sidenote ** Although many of my friends have suggested I should try to get onto the show, I could never do it. Between the physical exertion and the flat-out frustration levels at some points... well... I'd be a wreck by leg #3. On the other hand, if there could be a "follow in the footsteps of The Amazing Race" tour, which you could do at your own speed, I'd be all over that, because some of the things they get to do are... well... amazing. ** end sidenote **

But, even more importantly, the best moments of the two episodes were the "ohmigosh" moment or two during these legs of the race when we found the teams enjoying the world they were covering. In this week's episode, time was taken to look out the window of a tram to enjoy the scenery of "fairytale" Bavaria. It was breathtakingly beautiful, and although this was a race to the finish, enjoying the journey was somehow just as good as coming in first. 

Okay. Coming in first is probably better on a competition show. But coming in first after having taken time to enjoye the race is probably best. 

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