So, it turns out I may be slightly addicted to television...

Sunday, October 29, 2006

10 seasons later I'm still hooked on The Amazing Race

So it's been 10 seasons and you want to know something - I still love The Amazing Race. This fact is probably more amazing than the race itself and as I watched tonight's leg I asked myself why it is that I keep tuning in - despite the fact that the family edition almost made me puke.

I will say this - my allegiance was born the day I watched, completely by accident, and the teams were traveling through Scotland. I had just returned from going to uni in Scotland and was suffering from a severe case of reverse culture shock and anything remotely Scottish had my full attention. But that was season 2 (I think) and almost 4 years ago and not really a reason to keep watching (since they haven't been there again).

It's not really the contestants because, let's face it, they've all been the same from day 1: married couple with kids, older couple, recently dating, recently split up and hoping to reconcile, couple deciding whether they should get married, best friends, moms, dads, models/actors/beauty queens, the token gay couple, parent/child. This year they did at least try to spice it up by adding 2 Muslim men and a Hindu couple but by the end of the first episode the ethnic cleansing had already begun and we were still left with our traditional teams of 2.

It's not the challenges because, let's face it, they've all been the same from day 1: heights (going up or going down), eating gross stuff, finding landmarks in foreign cities, navigating with taxi drivers who speak little or no English, putting puzzles/buildings/things together, searching through things to find something small, boats and water, local manual labour.

And the yields, fast forwards and non elimination rounds are all confused in my head and may as well be the same.

And Phil, well, his accent is cute but he's not really a reason to watch for 10 straight seasons.

Maybe it's because in my offline world I own a tour business and travel is near and dear to my heart. I can tell you that (almost) every episode I watch gives me a bad case of wanderlust. And my views on certain countries have changed from watching the show (for the better). And I cheered with the best of them when teams raced through Calgary in the final leg of season 5 and again through Toronto and Montreal in season 8 (which proves I did watch the family edition - even with one hand covering my face).

It's certainly not typical of my viewing habits to still be watching a reality show (though at least one of my friends would argue strongly that this is a game show, not a reality show - so let's call it a reality game show and have a truce shall we?).

Survivor only held my attention until season 2 and after Colby lost so did my interest (though I did tune in to at least the finale of Survivor All Stars where Rob proposed to Amber and I watched "Rob and Amber Get Married" and cheered them on all the way on the Amazing Race season 7).

The Apprentice was never the same after Kwami, Bill and the infamous Omarosa. Though I watched season 2 it felt much more commercialized after the success of season 1 and I felt used and dirty just watching it. I didn't even bother with Martha Stewart. And I never watched any of the knock offs - whether it was Tommy Hilfiger choosing a protege or Richard Branson and a hot air balloon or Debbie Travis and a big painted house (no offense to Debbie - love her work but she's no Ty Pennington)

Dancing With the Stars held me the entire first season, but I'm sorry to say I haven't even watched Mario Lopez strut his stuff. I may have watched half an episode of Skating with the Stars and I tuned in and out of So You Think You Can Dance but that was really only for Cat Deeley and once for a performance by Nelly Furtado.

I never watched Big Brother after the season I watched in Britain. I have it on good authority the American version isn't up to snuff. Likewise for American Idol, though I did watch my first ever Canadian Idol this summer (go Eva!!)

The Bachelor had me in season two, Trista and Ryan captured me for my most devoted season ever and I had an on-again/off-again relationship with Dr. Travis in Paris. But the romance is pretty much over for me.

So, now that I've upset the devoted fans of all those reality/game shows let's get back to the topic at hand - The Amazing Race. Since going through all those other shows all I can say is that, even though I know the couples and the challenges will be stereotypical since season 1, the scenery is gorgoeus and when it's over I feel like I learned somethign new and that, if I pushed myself enough, I really could do anything I set my mind to. I never get tired of people using their brains and brawn in a race that at least helps us understand each other, rather than exists solely for the humiliation of the people on TV. And there's just something about a race that has me on the edge of my seat, rooting for the underdog (or a coalminer and his wife) and yelling at the screen. Anything that stirs me up like that makes for good television in my books.

Plus it's not like I get tired of listening to Phil's accent.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Happy Couple

I really thought the Lorelai/Christopher relationship would be unsettling, but lately I find myself rooting for Christopher (Luke fans - please don't hate me and stop throwing rotten apples at me in the street...). I know the devoted fans of Luke are very, um, devoted but he lost me last year with his sketchy behaviour surrounding the whole April-is-my-long-lost-daughter-debacle.

When Lor woke up in Christopher's bed at the end of last season I thought this season would be awful, but you know, he really redeemed himself last year. I think it's time we gave Christopher a chance.

And just how adorable were Rory and Logan last night? Having done the long distance relationship thing between North America and the UK I can appreciate everything Rory is going through (except it was me in the UK and him in Canada but I was going to uni).

Speaking of Logan - did you keep watching to see him appear on Veronica Mars as "Charlie Stone", supposed half brother to Logan Echolls? What a cutie in his wetsuit!!

And that really is it for me right now. I missed almost everything last week because I was away with a group to Cape Cod (I own a tour company in my offline world) and sometimes work gets in the way of even the most devoted of prime time tv watchers...

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Don't Mess with LoVe

Finally, after what seemed like an eternity had passed, Veronica is back!! And Logan is back!! And LoVe forever (that's Lo for Logan and Ve for Veronica for those of you not quite as obsessed as I am...)

I also recently discovered how to embed video clips and where to find clips of future VM episodes so I'm posting my new talent here for all to see. The clip is from next Tuesday's episode called "Wichita Linebacker" and it looks good. And if you're new to Veronica, than take a moment to watch my spunky modern day Nancy Drew. She rocks. I hope teenage girls everywhere watch Veronica because I am distraught at the thought of yet another season of the Simple Life coming back.

I'm not kidding. In my offline world I volunteer with Junior Achievement and the number of teenage girls trying to act like Paris or Nicole is shocking to me. Our girls need role models (and not just on TV, but I won't get into that here, since this is supposed to be about tv)

Okay, back to my point. Veronica's in college this year so it's cool that the set has changed but I am not cool with the change in the theme song. What is wrong with people this year and theme songs? First ER messed with 13 years of tradition and now VM??? If I tune in to Law & Order and don't here the familiar sounds I will stage a revolt.

Maybe this is bad, in a totally-judging-a-book-by-its-cover way, but I actually started watching some shows solely because of their theme music. My So-Called Life - all about the theme. I started watching Charmed because one day I was flipping channels and I thought if the theme music was that good the show must be too (and that was back in the days of Shannon Doherty so you know I must have really liked that theme song). And for me the theme song to ER is part of the experience. It would be like watching The Golden Girls without first hearing "Thank You for Being a Friend" or the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air without Will Smith's iconic "Now this is the story all about how my life got flipped, turned upside down. And I'd like to take a minute just to sit..." I won't bore you, I know you can all sing along.

I actually own 3 CDs of just theme songs. I also have a homemade tape I did in the 6th grade of over 100 theme songs.

I still listen to it.

Is that sad?