The Amazing Race

Friday, June 27, 2003

There's a lot of talk of The Amazing Race being the product of Jerry Bruckheimer, but really, other than a brain-hurting, overly-editted intro bit, this doesn't feel like anything associated with Mr. Bruckheimer. For a better idea, take a look at the other producer. Yes, that's right: Bertam Van Munster.

In addition to having what may be the SINGLE BEST NAME IN THE WORLD, Mr. Van Munster (I love writing that name) is the creator of Cops. (Editor's Note: Bertram Van Muster is not the creator of cops. John Langley is.) If you're going to talk about modern reality TV, it's Cops, The Real World, and Survivor. Clearly Van Munster has been surveying the competition and has come up with the perfect fusion.

Follow around couples under unbelievable amounts of stress as they try to follow clues and go to amazingly impressive (but not overexposed) location around the world. You get the backstabbing of Survivor, plus you get to watch existing relationships crumble before your eyes. You get to see the absolute worst of people as they do what everyone does on a trip (i.e., try to get cabs, directions, tickets from people whose language you do not speak) This past week, the couple that arrived at the destination last (and therefore got eliminated) did so because they couldn't change money. Who can't relate to that?

Really, I think this is about as good as reality TV can get. Whoever did the selection of couples did an amazing job. The incredibly smarmy and arrogant life partners. The utterly insanely aggressive personal trainer and his enabling ex-wife. The bald NYC fraternity brothers who are, without a doubt, the most caring couple on the show, despite occasional "Swing you fat bastard" comments and a tendency to use the word "Jackass" when addressing each other. (Let me take a moment here to reveal that, in our household, we have taken to appending "Jackass" to as many statments as possible. We love Kevin and Drew. I want a sitcom with them in it. It would have no script, just like Curb Your Enthusiasm. Just Kevin and Drew doing their NYC thing calling each other Jackass. Actually, you could combine it with Curb Your Enthusiasm. They could get internships at Larry David's company and the three of them could just wander around doing their thing. I'd watch it.)

So, great choice of contestants. Beautiful locations. The joy of watching ugly Americans incapable of changing money or dealing with cab drivers. Thank you, Bertram Van Munster!

Rating: A (Perfect Reality Programming. Jackass.)

Reviewed by Padgett Arango
Contents
The Hills Have Eyes 2

Hostel Part II

Six Degrees

Shark

Jericho

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip

Justice

The Hills Have Eyes

Love Monkey

Out of Practice

Head Cases

Crunchwrap Supreme

The Exorcism of Emily Rose

Batman Begins

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Hero

13 Going On 30

LAX

Starman

quirkyalone.net

Kill Bill, Vol. 2

Line of Fire

We Shall All Be Healed

Happy Family

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Love Actually

A Minute with Stan Hooper

Tarzan

Karen Sisco

Stop All the World Now

Cold Case

Skin

10-8

Joan of Arcadia

Eve

Luis

Lost In Translation

House of 1000 Corpses

Bubba Ho-Tep

Darkness Falls

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Amazing Race

Treasure Island

FearDotCom

Adaptation

To Hit Armor Class Zero

Without A Trace

8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter

Life With Bonnie

Jalapeņo Cheeseburger

The Mothman Prophecies

Happy Campers

The Man Who Wasn't There

Kiss of the Dragon

Josie & the Pussycats

Hedwig and the Angry Inch

Dr. Pepper

Know By Heart

Waking Life

L.I.E.

Thirteen Ghosts

Earthlink presents Chang and Eng

New York and Country Bar

Change

Motivation and Water Tower Grammar

Crossing Philly

Makeout Club

Undeclared

The Gap

The Abolition of Work

3000 Miles to Graceland

Kolobos

Duets

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Diesel Sweeties

The Cold Six Thousand

The Grilled Stuft Burrito (Rebuttal)

60 Second Wipeout

The Patriot

Grilled Stuft Burrito

Cowgirls

Crystalline

Frankenfinger E.P.

One Force Down

Shake

Both Our Secrets

Happy Birthday Captain Columbus!

Fight Club

Whatever It Takes

Committed

That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?

Joe Dirt

The Veggie Whopper

Taco Bell Nachos

Palmetto

Godzilla vs. Monster Zero

The Terror of Mechagodzilla

To The Center

Infiniti+Infiniti

American Psycho

The Del Shredder

What Lies Beneath

The Cheesy Gordita Crunch

Bring It On

Chill Factor

Alan Mendelsohn, the Boy from Mars

Bad Company

The Blair Witch Project

Hyacinths and Thistles

Lake of Dracula

We'll Have a Time

Home Depot

Snow Day

The Virgin Suicides