“The Amazing Race”: The Lowdown
CBS, Tuesdays at 9
I’m fairly indifferent to the new season of “The Amazing Race.” There are some nice teams and great moments, but the challenges are just not up to par (shining shoes and moving books?). Here’s the lowdown on the remaining teams and what I love/hate about them:
Brian and Greg (Brothers) — The token eye candy for the ladies are none-too-bright. Their inability to choose the easy tasks (biking four miles instead of taking a boat) won’t keep them in the game long, and their lack of smarts is more often annoying than cute. However, their ability to recover so quickly after their rollover and not be eliminated does give them a few points in my book.
Lynn and Alex (Boyfriends) — I like these guys a whole bunch because of their wittiness and their ability to get through anything the game throws at them. (I was gagging as Alex stuffed down those kidneys.) If only their obsession with loathing Rob and Amber was simmered down a few notches they would be perfect.
Meredith and Gretchen (Retired Couple) — It looked like they would just be like most of the other elderly teams who hung around the back of the pack doing nothing memorable before disappearing about halfway through the game.
However, Gretchen is quite the find because she can always be counted on for a witty line or come-on to her hubby. (Was anyone else just a little unnerved when she was talking about taking care of Meredith as soon as they got to the hotel? Or how about that face-lift comment as her forehead gushed blood?) They aren’t going to win, but I like them.
Rob and Amber (Engaged from “Survivor”) — I thought they would be much more annoying than they are, so at least that is something. Rob and Amber are great players and always witty, but I wish Amber would get off her ass and do something!
Ron and Kelly (The ex-Army Guy and the Beauty Queen)— They have no personality whatsoever, and I could care less what happens to them. Every week they fade from my mind until the opening credits, which is never a good sign.
Uchenna and Joyce (Married) — I didn’t like them when the game started because they tried to build up a lot of sympathy before sucking their way to near-elimination in the first round, but since then they have been growing on me, especially Joyce’s quiet strength and confidence when she kept getting on that horse after it threw her off over and over.
“The O.C.”: The Doomed Newbies
Fox, Thursdays at 8
Let me get this straight: Producers shove three new characters down viewers’ throats for 15 episodes before removing two of them in the space of three episodes and making sure the other one is relegated to the backburner? Sloppy, especially because Alex and Lindsey (see, I even remembered their names!) had finally won over this viewer’s heart, and I was looking at them for the first time as a viable part of the show.
Yes, Lindsey and Ryan had chemistry together and I found their offbeat pairing sweet, albeit a little icky considering they were sister and brother in-law. It took me longer to warm toward Alex and Marissa, (mostly because Marissa is becoming less and less likable) but Alex’s personality won me over and had me rooting for the lovely lady to stick around.
This sudden slashing of all the characters we care about doesn’t bode well for the show’s future. The show has gotten rid of likable characters before, (Anna and Luke, for example) but my threshold for giving a damn about any more newbies is becoming dangerously low because they will be gone, and they are less likable than ever. So no, I’m not going to be talking about Ryan’s brother Trey any time soon (whoops, dang it!)
The episodes are becoming more predictable as well. As soon as Julie said they would be showing a video to help promote an upcoming magazine launch, I knew her porn movie would be up there larger than life when they hit the play button, and low and behold it came to pass.
Well, at least Seth is showering again, always a good thing.
“Desperate Housewives”: Die Mommy !
ABC, Sundays at 9
ABC recently gave “Desperate Housewives” two extra episodes for its first season, and it really shows the producers were scrambling for an extra two episodes worth of plot line because the last batch of new episodes have been extra padded with subplots about hunky construction workers and porta-potties.
We waited five months for Mama Solis to wake up from her coma for a measly two minutes of her wandering around the deserted hospital halls and a deadly tumble down the stairs? That doesn’t even resemble a payoff under any circumstances, and the writers decided to gloss over the fact that Andrew is now (supposedly anyway, the hospital wants everyone to think Mama died in her sleep) a murderer.
But at least the devil’s child is getting his comeuppance. I was literally screaming at the screen in joy when those agents came into haul his hateful ass off to the detention center with the electrified fence.
Contact Pop Arts reporter Robert Taylor at [email protected]