|by Mali Perl
Watching TAR so far has been weird. On one hand, I don’t feel that anything’s really happened yet and on the other, I want every episode to go for two hours. What’s that about?
This week’s show finally left Brazil with a biiiiig trip to Russia, which is exciting for several reasons. One, I was getting really sick of the same little area of Brazil. Two, this is the first time TAR’s going to Russia. Three, it somehow seems like it’s going to be more challenging (but don’t ask me why).
From the start the teams were divided into the “super cool we’re going to Russia” side (Hippies, Geeks) and the “oh, crap, not Russia” group (Lake & Michelle, MoJo). I didn’t quite get what their issues were but think it had something to do with the weather. Whatever.
Despite the fact that I still feel that nothing really happened this show, especially because it was a “to be continued” episode with no philimination (although we did get sporty Phil in a parka), it did showcase some very nice team spirit. Let’s take a closer look,
Mom and daughter haven’t been standouts yet. You get the dynamic – Mom’s high strung and the daughter’s there to talk her down from the ledge. But Mom truly freaked out this week when she had to dive for a clue in deep water. It was so beautiful to see how patient the daughter was, holding onto Mom’s hand and telling her how brave she was. When it was over, the daughter was crying she was so proud of Mom. A very sweet moment.
Same goes for Ray and Yolanda. Up until now, they’ve been so normal that they’ve almost blended into the background. The diving detour was great because we saw why they’re good together. Yolanda was freaking out about the dive, losing her cool for the first time. Ray stayed super patient and just kept shouting encouragement. I was very proud of her for diving despite what looked like real terror.
In contrast, Lake and Michelle were setting new records this episode for how many times they told each other to shut up. It started in Brazil and kept going when Lake yet again made an error in judgment which led him to freak out at Michelle which led her to be less than supportive. Couple of the year.
Now something really interesting happened with the Pinks. At the Brazil pit stop, they got cozy with the Frats, which was a given after the relentless flirting. How can you resist guys who when they ask someone if they’ve seen the Pinks, make the gesture for big boobs ? Class all the way. Anyway, after the diving thing, the Frats and Pinks were sharing a cab to the next task when one of the Pinks (sorry but the matching highlights, names and outfits confuse and disturb me) realized she forgot their fanny pack o’ stuff. They got out of the cab, the Frats raced ahead and the Pinks remained calm. One didn’t blame the other and they just kept on trucking. Very impressive teamwork, very touching friendship. At the same time though, a valuable lesson. The Frats, although they seem to be distracted by the possibility of hot Race action, stayed focused, while the Pinks allowed themselves to get sidetracked by two doofuses. Let that be a lesson to the ladies – it’s a race for a million dollars. Keep your mind on the money and the money on your mind.
One of the most interesting things so far this season (I know it’s only the third episode but still) is how well all the teams seem to get along with each other. I don’t remember another season where there was such camaraderie amongst the teams. Sure there were previous teams that played well with others and even shared but overall, it was less “Outward Bound.” I’m sure that dynamic will change as the tasks gets harder, the teams start to tire and the money gets closer. But for now, it’s great to see all the personalities emerging, the teams gelling (except for y’all, Lake & Michelle) and the race going strong. It’s a beautiful display of the human spirit. Now enough with the sweetness, TAR, let’s see some yelling, pushing and scheming. If I wanted touching travelogues, I’d watch PBS. I want a little less “one love” and a lot more action.
Mali Perl works in finance but her heart belongs to entertainment. She can be reached at email@example.com. Until she heard Lake say “dad gone it,” she thought that was an expression only used by Foghorn Leghorn.