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Monday’s TV March 1, 2010

Posted by mrcatdog100 in Uncategorized.
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Before I get started on TAR, I feel I should talk briefly about the week in television that I forgot to write up on, despite the Olympics making the television landscape a barren wasteland filled with re-runs. The only things of note were a ho-hum episode of Damages (S03E05: It’s Not My Birthday), which didn’t reveal much and would have been graded a B, and a crappy BBC Four docudrama about the expenses report, On Expenses, centering on US ex-pat Heather Brooke’s quest to expose MPs’ expenses and Michael Martin’s attempt to stop her A truly awful script meant that even Brain Cox and Anna Maxwell Martin couldn’t salvage the dreck that was placed in front of them (although their performances left a lot to be desired, which seems strange in hind sight). Despite a disclaimer at the beginning saying that whilst they’d changed stuff, “you couldn’t make this stuff up”, the desire to ram the events into a Syd Field three-act structure meant that the whole journey became convoluted and boring. The best bits were when the script actually allowed the hysteria of the situation speak out for itself in the tribunal. Sadly, this was an oasis in a murky sea  of “character development” and other pointless TV conventions. Had it been graded, it would have received a C.

The Amazing Race S16E03: Run Like Scalded Dogs

But onwards and upwards, so the cliche goes. A slight step down from last week, if only because there were no llamas are were LOTS of Travelocity Roaming Gnomes (Ugh), the Teams’ foray into Argentina saw TeamCowboy pretty much retain their lead, whilst everyone else fucked up their position in one way or another.

Drama started in about the fourth minute when TeamMactor, who had been suffering some sort of ‘food poisoning’, pretty much rushed themselves to the hospital. Whilst the sadist in me laughed up this development with glee, then relative ‘angel’ side of my personality reasoned that if this was their way to go out, it’d certainly be a very empty and hollow way to do so. Thankfully for my schadenfreude heart, the first clue required a massive bunching of all but the top three teams, so if they did leave, it wouldn’t be because of their illness. YAY, BUNCHING!

Still, despite being TeamMactor – which never ever manage to create any sort of empathy – I’m not hating them as much as TeamEllen, who I am starting to actively despise. Upon arriving in Argentina, the teams had to play poker with a TRG (which… what? On the scale of crappy product placement, there’s Biggest Loser product placement, and then there’s that!), which seemed to be the only task that TeamCowboy struggled with, surprisingly. This then led to a roadblock involving cattle ranching, which TeamCowboy aced (though not on the first try, which seemed to anger one of them… I can’t tell them apart as of yet!) and TeamEllen then proceeded to call ‘unfair’. TeamCowboy retorted that that was a stupid excuse, saying they weren’t saying the other teams’ knowledge of Spanish was unfair, which: good point!

The roadblock also seemed to trouble TeamLawMomma, who resorted to praying to Jesus to help them throw a friggin rope around a fake cattle in order to stay in a competition. If God cared that much about you winning The Amazing Race, then you’d probably not need to pray for it… that’s all I’m saying. This predicament seemed to happen to them throughout the race, so its eventual conclusion (they were eliminated), whilst not the ideal one – TeamDouche are still bringing up the rear – wasn’t completely unsatisfactory.

The roadblock then led into a detour involving polo (I didn’t even know this existed oustide the Home Counties!) or compass reading. And this was where TeamEllen became the stereotypical bickering gay couple (along with TeamHoBro, whose driving antics reared their head again), arguing about directions in the car, directions with the compass and general unpleasantness all round. The polo detour involved ramming a polo ball towards a finish line whilst on a fake horse; the compass reading detour involved using said equipment to find a bag of loot, of which it should be given to a bandit (which TeamBigBrother really couldn’t get their head around, thinking that the first Argentinian they saw was automatically a ‘bandit’). Indeed, it was only Teams Big Brother and LawMomma who managed to complete this, alhough this seemed to take a long time, if the editing is to be believed.

Overall, TeamLawMomma dropped behind and never recovered, TeamCowboy – after a small ‘slip-up’ involving a TRG – kept a hold of their lead, TeamDouche remained their douchey selves in their pigheadedness and only avoided elimination because of the ineptitude of TeamLawMomma, and – most delightfully – TeamDaddyDaughter managed to rise above everyone killing themselves with polo mallets to take second place! It was a serious left-field development which brought a little bit of excitement to a generally ho-hum episode.

Grade: B

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