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Expedition: Impossible – Premiere – “There’s Sand Everywhere, Yo.”


Welcome to Expedition: Impossible, forever to be known as EI in these pages. Or not-TAR. Because, really, it’s not The Amazing Race. Stop saying that. Mark Burnett will find you and make you watch Coach and Danielle’s movie if you keep saying that. (There really is one)

No matter how many times Burnett tries to say this is not like The Amazing Race, it will forever be compared to the seven-time Emmy winner. What this show really is can be described as what would happen if The Amazing Race had sex with Eco-Challenge and produced an offspring who liked to hang out with Survivor. That’s what this show is – The Amazing Race in one country, and will insane challenges, and gorgeous camera work.

That’s not to say that EI makes some tweaks that The Amazing Race should pay attention to – namely the really, really good consequences for being wrong, and the grueling tasks. EI is not as overly produced as TAR, the editing is less frantic and as a result the pacing is much slower. That is both good and bad. TAR editing has gotten crazier with each season to the point where TAR18 barely resembles TAR1. EI is closer to TAR1 in feel – and that is a high compliment. I think the show has a much better chance of becoming TAR than becoming one of the failed similar concepts like “Lost” (not that one – this one ) and “Treasure Hunters.”

But enough of my yammering, time to get back to TAR19, as the teams arrive to the starting line in various vehicles in a remote location. Oh wait, sorry. It’s time to get on with Survivor 23 as we get amazing cinematography of the picturesque Moroccan desert, along with a sprinkling of confessionals from people who we haven’t actually been introduced to yet. Oh, that’s right. This is EI. Expedition: Impossible!!

An aside, I always get two thoughts when I say the name of the show. First, is “never heard the word, impossible” – and this is the second consecutive column where I have linked to the “Laverne and Shirley” theme. The second is that instead of “Impossible,” I keep thinking about Expedition: Inconceivable. (speaking of, RIP Grandpa, aka Peter Falk) I would love Expedition: Inconceivable. It would be a bunch of suits sitting around talking about sending teams of three to Mars, or Valhalla or downtown Baltimore.

One thing that I wished they had done differently – it is almost as if they created a computer program to spit out the most stereotypical groups of reality show contestants. Gay team? Check. NY firefighters with cool accents? Check. Boston guys with cool accents? Check. Midwestern sisters? Check. Southern guys with a drawl? Check. Person overcoming a handicap? Check. Old guy? Check. The list goes on. Ex-athletes, horrid Latina stereotypes, dudes with porn staches, all there.
Another problem – 13 teams of 3. That’s 39 people to get to know, and the first episode spent a lot of time talking about three who are now gone. The Cops team had one line in the first hour – and it was reading a clue. Basically, I am not even bothering to learn too many names right away because, a) many will be gone soon, and b) I have nothing to base it on. In fact, I would love to trade in my knowledge of Team Latin Persuasion for maybe knowing the names of The Cops.

Because if I were a Latino man, I would be writing an angry letter to ABC and Mark Burnett after this show aired. It would read, “With the growing Latin population in America slowly but surely becoming a force to be reckoned with, why did you decide to cast three ladies who would make Rosie Perez say, ‘that’s too much.’? Why would you cast three women who confirm every fear and thought that the general public has of Latina women and the Bronx? Thanks for setting us back many years – all you needed to do to make the package complete was put them in maid uniforms.”


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