Sunday, February 14, 2010

TARdy to the Party

The 16th(!) season of The Amazing Race kicked off Sunday evening and I have to say it was one of the more refreshing episodes in recent memory. I'm holding off on picking any early favorites (still stinging over the Team BroYay debacle of last season) but there do seem to be some interesting couples this time around. However, what got me about the premiere was the fantastic leg construction.

I imagine that the two most challenging jobs on TAR would have to be editing and mapping out the events that take place in each leg. The editing is almost always top notch, but not all legs are created equal. If there are too many events in a leg it can get confusing to keep track of each team's progress. If there are not enough events then there is the risk that teams will not shuffle in position. Also, some legs just serve as a means to get a team from Points A to B, such as having them drive 7 hours through a mountain range.

The worst leg ever on the show was episode six from season nine. The team standings did not shift once over the entire course of the leg. The show has so many artificial ways of causing teams to bunch up or slow down and yet that did not happen in this particular episode. It was very disappointing.

Tonight's episode, however, had teams constantly shifting places, so much so that at one point I thought the show may have miscounted the number of teams still waiting to check-in at the mat. The team that arrived in 2nd received a penalty and ended up checking in in 7th. The team that was in last when it reached the roadblock ended up finishing the leg in 3rd. This sort of shuffling makes the show that much more exciting to watch. I really hope that this is a sign of legs to come for the season.

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