Monday, September 26, 2005

AMAZING RACE GETS TRASHED IN PRINT

Wow, when people start to turn against The Amazing Race, that's a sure sign that the whole reality genre is in trouble, because Race is one of the better reality shows. It keeps winning Emmys.

But you know, I agree with this guy. This show is starting to go downhill, even before I see the episodes for this season. In its first incarnations it was a really good show, a thrilling race around the world. What was great about it was the fact that you got to see the world and see how people reacted under pressure to the different languages and the problems they encountered travelling everywhere. You didn't have backstabbings, you didn't have phony "taglines" ("You're fired!"), you just had a race around the world. And what an adventure it has been to watch. No wonder this show eventually became a hit for CBS.

But in the last few incarnations the usual heavy-handed reality-show elements have taken over and I think that's the beef regarding this show. They'd bring in idiots who'd appear on other reality shows, plus they brought on quarreling couple like Jonathan and Victoria (remember them?) "Victoria" is actually Victoria Fuller, former Playboy Playmate of the Month. ( I guess she was cast because the show wanted to keep up with Survivor and all these other reality shows that had people pose in Playboy all the time). Guys were universally confused that she was hooked up with that awful guy she was with. Then you had Rob and Amber and their dirty competition, which further frustrated the fans of the show who were truly fed up with the Jerry Springer elements of reality television.

Now ten families of four are going to compete in the latest Race, and the diehards are going to be FURIOUS because this is bound to be a recipe for a lot of fighting. This is a show that looks desperate. And it shouldn't be desperate because the show has become a hit, finally, after being the best-kept secret of reality TV. People finally caught on to how great the show was and instead the show has been going in the tank.

This show clearly is trying too many gimmicks and needs to get back to basics. I think that's what Donald Trump is trying to do with his show this season. He has to, because his show is in trouble after his show got away from the basics to champion the Jerry Springer elements, too. There is only one show on television that can get away with Jerry Springer elements, and that is the Jerry Springer Show. Since TV Guide has declared Jerry Springer to be the worst show in the history of television, I suggest that reality TV should forget about looking to that show for ideas on how to improve their own series.

Reality TV needs to get rid of the "reality elements" and the backstabbings, and the "taglines" and other contrived gimmicks, and get real again. Because when people start to trash Amazing Race for those very reasons, well, that says a lot.

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