Susannah and I often speculate about how we would run The Amazing Race. We feel pretty good about our chances as long as we don’t hit a task that requires running or eating four pounds of eyeballs. Perhaps you join us in having an even better time watching from the couch and debating which Detour option is best, since a new season starts tonight on CBS (8pm Eastern). As we wrote last year, it’s time for the I Am Almost Always Wrong About This Amazing Racers Preconceived Notions Hate/Love-A-Thon. Last year we were pretty good about guessing who was reprehensible (one of the dating couples was delightful, but other than that…) and somewhat less successful in picking the lovable teams (grandfather and grandson were crudely adorable; the Goths couldn’t have been more fun). This year’s tally:
Couples Testing Their Relationships–Again. Still.: TAR‘s most enduring–and most annoying–category. Almost certainly cast for their ability to call each babe seconds before accusing each other of never really caring, these teams work on their couples’ therapy while taking up spots that could have gone to interesting people. One will almost invariably make it to the final three, which at least means there will be someone to root against.
Couples Testing Their Relationships, Your Cheating Heart Division: Creatively labeled “ex-NFL star” (well, he played) hopes to use the race to reconnect with the wife he cheated on. I’m hoping she dumps his cheating behind in the Outback somewhere and runs away with Phil. Yuck.
People Lookng to Jump-Start Their “Acting” or “Pretty Face” Careers by Appearing on TV: In the unfortunate tradition of Seacrest’s ex, we have an aspiring broadcaster, an aspiring actress (testing her relationship, no less!), the off-Broadway hoofer (The Fantasticks. Oof.)/Dallas Cowboys cheerleader team, and yet another cheerleader. Who is more annoying–the pairs working through their relationship issues, or the ones batting their eyelashes at the camera while they fail at milking a moose?
Isn’t there anyone with potential?
The Comic Book Geeks: Thaaaaaaaank you. While they may not be the most athletic team, one of these competitors helps run Comic-Con, and what task are they going to come up against that is more complicated or difficult than getting all the *&@!! Heroes fans out of a *&@!! room so the rest of us can see the *&@!! Battlestar Galactica panel?
Team Superbad: Like the pink Goths last year, this team is hard to pin down. Their dry geekitude could be a delight–if it’s real. Can you actually be Team Superbad if you’re so self-aware that you call yourself Team Superbad? The jury is out.
Hippie Beekeepers: No, seriously. Since we have to make room for more dating couples and famewhores, this team also serves as the token mature pair of the season.
Team Apron Strings: A single mom and her (apparently) only child look to the race as an opportunity to bond since college has come between them. Here’s hoping there’s lots of Mom getting in the way of flirting with the multiple cheerleaders.