Monday, May 10, 2010

An Amazing Race Catfight

Yet another TAR season has come to a close and it ended with quite a bang.

I'm not sure why others felt it was a really lousy season (from most that I've spoken to) but I thought it was a decent enough season. Sure, there were some obnoxious personalities (hello: Caite, Brandy, Jeff/Jordan, the alleged "detectives"), but that's part of the fun of this type of show - not just racing to get to the pit stop first but also dealing with each other.

Here's a brief recap of the finale:

Dan and Jordan squeezed in between Caite/Brent and a sleeping Jet/Cord to "claim" second spot in the lineup for tickets at the airport, even though they arrived six hours later. What an asswipe move. But that, along with a plea to be moved up to first class, got them out well in front when the plane from Shanghai arrived in San Francisco ... and it was a lead they would hold all the way to the pit stop. Cord and Jet ran a good race, but took a little too much of a casual attitude with some of the tasks instead of playing to kill (so to speak). Caite and Brent were practically out of it once they arrived in San Francisco with thing after thing happening to them - leaving their backpack with money inside in a taxi cab, getting the one cabbie in San Francisco that didn't understand English, and basically spinning their wheels throughout.

In the end, it was Dan/Jordan who breezed to an easy win with Jet/Cord in second and Brent/Caite well back in third.

I thought the challenges were interesting in this finale. The funkadelic posters of each of the teams were a great touch as they had to remember who were eliminated in what order along with the non-elims. Liked the Lucasfilms Star Wars roadblock where each of the teams had one person wearing a body suit with sensors and the other person directing their partners using a virtual reality game on a monitor. Nice touch at the end to have each person spin in order to decipher the message directing them to their next clue. Would have liked to see more of the Coit Tower rappelling up and down, but saw little of it.

In the end, there was a nasty little catfight between Brandy and Caite after Brent/Caite ran up to the pit stop, passing by Brandy who just stood there with her arms folded. Caite is still a big-time twerp and a spoiled brat, but Brandy was way out of line with her squawking at Caite after Phil commented that there were others who weren't happy that Caite was the only female in the final three. To her credit, Caite said "Well, I'm the one up here and you're not."

Monday, April 19, 2010

Are You Lost Yet?

Or-- Lost 666

Why 666? ABC's "Lost" is in its 6th season (heading for a big finale). There are approximately 6 hours left (depending on what is measured as an hour). NBC's "Lost" only lasted 6 episodes. Hey, wasn't that a reality show? Why, yes, it certainly was. It premiered at the same time as CBS's "The Amazing Race" and quickly turned out to be a not so amazing race, an exercise in begging one's way around the world in order to reach the Statue of Liberty, but it must be admitted that the first 20 minutes or so where the players actually were lost were interesting.

ABC's "Lost" owes more to CBS's "Survivor" than CBS's "Amazing Race" or NBC's "Lost," so hey there's another reality show connection there. Want another one? A long time ago in Japan they had a sort of amazing race show which started with 1,000 players and slaughtered most of them until only one winner got back to Tokyo. There was also this thing called "Eco-Challenge" which had teams racing across land and sea, serious injuries like sucking chest wounds and players simply disintigrating for various reasons were great sport in that one.

So, let's ask the question, who do we think is going to win ABC's "Lost" (besides ABC)?

The premise was simple, an airliner on its way from Australia to California crashed on a mysterious island, 71 people and a dog and a ghost and an unborn baby survived the crash. Fortunately most of the living survivors were extras, fortunately since they started dropping out of the game almost immediately. One guy got sucked into a jet engine in the first few minutes, it was gnarly. Seth Norris, the pilot, was the next to buy it, killed by a monster. Some other characters showed up along the way, we can dismiss most of them as extras as well. Okay? So who are the players? The important ones I mean.

Already eliminated. Christian Shepherd, I mean he was dead to begin with, that was a gimme. Died along the way: pilot Seth Norris, marshall Edward Mars, Boone Carlyle, Shannon Rutherford, Michael Dawson (who previously had escaped but came back, I suppose technically he should be presumed dead), Charlie Pace, Mr. Eko, Ana-Lucia Cortez, Libby Smith, Nikki Fernandez, Paulo, Daniel Faraday, Charlotte Staples Lewis, Ilana Radzinsky, Danielle Rousseau, Alex Rousseau, Tom Friendly Ethan Rom, Martin Keamy, Naomi Dorrit, Leslie Arzt, Scott and Steve. Juliet Burke. Speaking of bizarre, Juliet somehow survived suicidally triggering a nuclear explosion, dying decades later from injuries from being crushed under rubble. Oh, John Locke is also dead, the current John Locke is an amazing simulation. Sayid Jarrah also died but was resurrected somehow, personally I think that means he's eliminated (ghost tribe was one of the worst twists ever in "Survivor").

The following players managed to escape the island and not come back: Walt Lloyd, Aaron Littleton Austen (born on the island), Eloise Hawking, and the Kwon baby (conceived on the island). They are eliminated. The following dummies managed to get off the island but came back: Jack Shephard, Hugo "Hurley" Reyes, Sun-Hwa Kwon, Kate Austen, Miles Straume, Richard Alpert, Charles Widmore, Ben Linus. They get the Darwin awards for being too stupid to win. They are eliminated.

So, who does that leave, our potential winners pool?

Claire Littleton. But should she win? She got on a plane when she was eight months pregnant, think about it.

Frank Lapidus. Yeah, he left the island and came back, but unlike the others who came back his return was purely by accident, not intentional. He loses points, though, for not turning his plane around and kicking off the dummies who were returning intentionally.

Desmond Hume. He got off the island but was brought back against his will. Really strange guy, though.

James "Sawyer" Ford. The ladies love this guy, don't see it myself. He's tried three times to get off the island, by raft, helicopter and submarine. The raft blew up, but he loses points for having intentionally gotten off both the helicopter and submarine.

Jin-Soo Kwon. Poor guy, the island experience has been a real nightmare for Jin, couldn't even speak the language at first, separated from his hot wife, never seen his daughter, almost killed with Michael.

Cindy Chandler. You show up one day for work, end up surviving with tailies then get kidnapped by others and forced to be a babysitter.

Emma and Zach. Because the others kidnapped them but then got tired of babysitting.

Bernard Nadler. Nice guy, retired from the game though, just gave up trying to get off the island.

Rose Henderson-Nadler. Retired, was never really into the game anyway.

Vincent. Pretty much the only one who can survive on his own, even survived being in with the luggage, and they wouldn't let him on the raft! They really could have used a dog on that raft.

My vote is for Vincent! How about the rest of you?

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs Villains - Episode 7 Picks

After much pondering, many cups of coffee, and many, many more margaritas and glasses of wine, reviewing previews, vidcaps, spoilers, inside information, and our vaunted early broadcast reception facilities in Nova Scotia, ACME has concluded that this week's episode will unfold as follows:

The Villains will once again trounce the Heroes in the Reward challenge, sending Rupert into the pit of despair.

However, in the Immunity challenge, Colby rises from the dead (or at least the "sucky Superman in a fat suit" zone) and rallies his troops to a much-needed victory to avoid having to reduce their already scarce numbers.

The pre-TC camp drama will all be at the Villains camp where many surprising events will emerge to provide some shockers at Tribal Council:

Russell will continue searching for another Hidden Immunity Idol
... he will not find one... at least not yet.

Russell and Rob's distrust and enmity will erupt in camp, testing loyalties and tearing what had been a cohesive tribe apart.

This will result in what may be the most surprising turn of events as they go to Tribal council...
Rob and Russell will have a confrontation that will result in the stunner...
Coach will be torn between his loyalties to both Rob and Russell, and unable to choose between two masters will cast a meaningless "rogue" vote narrowing Rob's 5-3 numerical advantage to a mere 4-3, and sensing how close that makes it, Russell will plant a "Russell Seed" in Jerri's mind, causing her to flip sides and Rob is voted out in a shocking 4-3-1 vote.
Rob and Russell will conclude that their best chance to win in front of the jury is to face each other, and will agree to vote out Parvati as Russell and Rob become a new formed secret alliance!



To get our real boot pick scenario, click-hold and drag between the two "Rob and Russell" lines above to reveal the "invisible text" between them.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs Villains Episode 6 picks

With apologies to William Shakespeare...

Double tribal, oh what trouble!
Who's in danger, on the bubble?
Scheming Russell, such a snake?
Will Russ, on Rob, his vengeance take?
Is Colby on the chopping block?
Or will James' knee his alliance rock?
Or will an ally feel the sting?
And see their chances take to wing?
Will Tyson's loyalty cause him trouble?
Parvati's flirting burst her bubble?
Dourble tribal, oh what trouble!
Who's in danger, on the bubble?
Russell's idol comes to play.
For Parvati, it saves the day.
Votes are split and with Rob immune,
His new Amber pays the piper's tune.
Tyson takes the walk of shame.
Then Villains dine to watch the same.
As Heroes now must air their trouble
And by their vote, complete the double.
JT and Rupert make it moot
And vote Sir James a mercy boot.
So there you have it, my good friends.
That is how this week will end.

Monday, March 15, 2010

U-Turn to Oblivion

One of the things I most love about The Amazing Race, it's an actual competition. Cross the finish line first, you win. Of course a lot of things can happen along the way, you have to make decisions and live or die with the consequences, but in general the better talented more adept teams come out ahead.

Last night was not a prime example of TAR, not even a standard or typical episode. It had some amusement, The Red Baron spent all afternoon buzzing France as Carol and Brandy continued to gripe their way around the world. Still, it was a short leg (pardon the phrase), not much to it.

And in the end the team that was eliminated, Joe and Heidi, suffered not from a bad decision of their own, or bad luck, or even Joe's swollen knee. They got U-Turned, something the producers came up with to make lackluster legs a little more interesting, nothing else. Kind of a shame but even the best TV shows are, in the end, just TV shows.

This season will probably get better and better from here on out.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Surprise Boot?! A monkey could do it.

Our little monkey says James hurts his knee. James doesn't like losing. Have you heard?

So the Villians win the combined Reward Challenge and Immunity Challenge. We'll see if bananas are a part of the reward.

Now about that boot...

...the Pride of Williamsburg.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Survivor: Heroes vs Villians Episode 4 -- ACME Sez...

A wee limerick with this week's picks.

The Heroes are physically strong
So the reward is theirs for a song
But IC has them puzzled
By the Villains they're muzzled
And Cirie gets idoled. So long!

Requiem for a couch potato...

Hat tip to dabo for the couch potato pic.