Second, if you did watch, can you spoil the first half hour? Stupid goddamn NBC couldn’t figure out a way to fit a golf tournament into six and a half hours so I thought the start was going to be pushed back a half hour so I set my VCR to start recording at the half-hour instead of the hour, because NBC couldn’t be bothered to put up a five second announcement that they were going to cut Dateline in half. So I’m sitting ehre watching people I don’t recognize digging at rocks that I don’t know where they are, with no idea as to what the objective is.
Hi, Otto. I watched. (It’s no AMAZING RACE!)
Let’s see. . . in the first half hour we learned that there were five teams in Alaska and five teams in Hawaii. . . and neither group knew of the existence of the others. So. . . you saw the action from the Alaska teams. They started out in a camp of some kind and had to figure out their next location by decoding a Morse Code message. (All teams get a Motorola phone, over which they get instructions from the host, and a laptop computer with “special connection” to ask.com. They also get a Visa card, but we don’t know anything more about that yet.) So the Alaska teams had to figure out they were going to explore a glacier. On the glacier, their clues were buried in ice. The clue tubes contained a map of Alaska with specific locations highlighted and in the ice were the words STILLWATER WASHINGTON. From that, they needed to figure out they were to go to LAKE GEORGE. (Get it? Stillwater = Lake; Washington = George.) That’s where you saw them digging.
Meanwhile, in Hawaii, the teams started out on a boat named, I think, the USS Jefferson. Their Morse code message led them to coordinates in which they were to dive for their clue. First we had the daughter from the minister’s team (Fogel Family, I think) throwing up because she was seasick. Then we had the largest of the Brown Brothers nearly drowning because he couldn’t swim in the ocean. But all teams made their way to the dive spot, got their clues out of the sunken boxes, made their way to a downed airplane carcass, found their locked boxes, unlocked them and were off to Nebraska. And you probably know the rest.
I do not like the Fogel Family. I think the Brown Brothers are doomed. And the Geniuses aren’t so smart, so they should get over themselves. The Miss USA girls surprised me by not being total dunderheads. But I think this hunt belongs to the Air Force team or the ex-CIA team. We’ll see. It’s OK. Just OK.
OK, so as near as I could tell, the first half hour, absent any introductions to the teams I may have missed, was pretty much irrelevant. No one got eliminated on the way to Lincoln and no one got any time advantage for being the fastest to solve the Alaska/Hawaii portion of the hunt. Shades of ultra-bunching.
Obviously it’s a rip off of TAR, but in some ways it’s better that TAR. One thing I’ve never been totally sold on about TAR is that after the first season the vast majority of the clues are of the “go here, get this” variety. I like the semi-cryptic clues. I like how they’re given two possible answers from the clue, I like how they have to consider information from outside the immediate clue and I like how they’re given alternate solving methods. The anamorphic painting of Mt Rushmore as a backup answer was a really cool idea, even if none of the teams figured it out. TAR legs are often skewed to the teams who are more physically able; requiring some outside-the-box thinking levels things a bit.
One thing I didn’t get was when it was down to two teams with one map left. Presumably each of the two remaining teams had one of two remaining previously unopened boxes. So what if the team whose box was empty opened it first? Would they have just been screwed because the people who couldn’t figure it out happened to have grabbed the right but unopenable box? With the clue swiping in Hawaii apparently being acceptable (the Fogel guy ripped one out of someone’s hands and the “geniuses” swiped another team’s trunk) I guess the YPs could’ve just snatched the last map box away from the “geniuses” and won. Still, seems a little unfair, the idea that a team can figure out the answers first and possibly still lose. Not sure how I feel about their having access to a search engine.
Don’t have much of an impression of any of the teams yet except for thinking that the Browns are nuts for thinking they can compete over the long haul. Having to call in the rescue divers 40 minutes in to the first episode is not a good sign. I want to take a tour inside that one “Wild Hanlon” guy’s head. “Write down these numbers: 9; 3; 2; 1.” And the other Hanlon is like, yeah, then what? I’m desperate to know the thought process that went into coming up with those numbers. For now the teams are suffering from the TAR Family Edition Syndrome of too many players to get to know them individually yet. Maybe as the herd is culled a little more some favorites will emerge, but the “geniuses” are already my least favorite team.
Laird Macintosh on the best day of his life is no Phil.
After scanning through the episode again to add info to Wikipedia’s article, I find myself rooting hard for Team Wyld Hanllyns. Pat is just amazing. I love how he wanders up to random bits of garbage and rocks and examines them with great care, just in case they’re significant. Plus, he totally conned the “geniuses” into giving him the code to open the final box thingie. TWoP should recap and offer Wyld Hanllyns t-shirts.
I’ll give it a 60 out of 120. In other words, it took 60 minutes for me to get turned off to the show, and then I turned off the television.
The host, whatever the fuck his name is, is a waxen automaton. I’d say he was parodying M or the voice from Mission Impossible, but he seemed to be taking himself seriously. Put this guy back in his box.
The product placement was incessant, conspicuous, and distracting. Can’t go anywhere without a PC with a special link to Ask.com, can we? I wouldn’t use Ask if… well if you gave me a PC with it preloaded. One of contestants should have asked, “why can’t we just Google?”
But the deal breaker was that I don’t think there was any contest taking place. None. Take a look at the Brown family arriving on the beach. There are about 85 production people in the water basically towing these guys to shore. Fuck, man. If you have to be rescued, so be it, but you can’t have a team of production people as your posse.
The scene where they run around the building was completely staged. Just try to convince me that the 5 Alaska teams all ran, as group, in one direction while the 5 Hawaiian teams all ran, as a group, in the other direction only to arrive simultaneously at the monument. Corn puffs covered with creamed corn. It was less obvious, but it looked to me like some teams got hints regarding the key and the box, and the Miss Americas inexplicably went from thinking they were eliminated to arriving in Nebraska at the same time as everyone else.
I watched, because I miss the Race. This is no Race, but I didn’t think it was irredeemable. I actually kind of liked it, and I’ll keep watching for at least a few more episodes because (1) I want to know what the Great Big Treasure is, and also (B) I’m a sucker for Southies until they turn completely into Boston Rob and piss me off, and also (III) there’s not much else on anyway and this beats the hell out of weeding the garden.
I don’t have much to add that other people haven’t said, except to mention this:
We are not sure yet about whether clue-swiping is OK. I don’t much care for the Fogal Family anyway, and what they did was Not Nice and definitely Wrong. So far they have not mentioned a penalty, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t one. Perhaps they will review the footage between sections and assess penalties at the start of the next portion. (Hey, it could happen – we don’t even always know how things are going to shake out on the Race.)
But I’m on the fence as to whether the Geniuses actually “swiped” the Grads’ clue at the wrackage – it looked to us like each box had a unique key, so part of the puzzle was to match the correct key to the correct box. But, then again, it also looked like one of the Geniuses (Charles the “Eagle Scout,” the only person still left whom I can correctly identify*) might have taken part of one of the other keys (hard to tell with the Editing), so they’re not off the hook yet.
Anyway, in my house this show is going to do OK, I think. I miss Phil, of course, but I will just have to deal with that. On the other hand, my husband likes that so far there have been tasks that he would like to do, and he’s been able to solve the puzzles (quote: “See, Mt. Rushmore, that I can figure out. I wouldn’t know the map of Oman if we wallpapered the bathroom with the World Book!”)
= The only other person I could correctly identify, period, was Drew from the Young Professionals, so there you go. As soon as I figure out a name, the team is toast, so I don’t care which Southie is which at this point.
I think it’s fairly accurate to say that there was no race going on in the first hour. The way the trip from Lincoln was structured, all ten teams had to be there. Considering that the guy almost drowned I don’t have a problem with production people being there. Part of it too seemed to be that the boat was supposed to pull away dramatically but the guy was so wrecked he couldn’t get to a safe distance. I’m hoping that with the silliness of the “Meet Me in Nebraska, Raska” meet cute out of the way we won’t get that sort of thing again.
Sure it was. They all got the message at the same time and I’m sure the producers gave them a “go” signal. I do believe that each set of teams didn’t know about the other set.
Remember though that when the 4th Alaska team found their clue they stuck around and helped the Miss USAliens find theirs so they ended up getting the “you’re not out of it yet” message pretty close in time to the other team. But since nothing that happened in Alaska or Hawaii mattered, I’m pretty well ignoring anything to do with either locale.
Three hot Southies including a set of twins. I’m right there with ya.
Well, “swiped” isn’t quite the right word I guess. The Grads sort of wandered away from the box and the “Geniuses” (I can’t refer to them by that name without the quotes) tried their key. There wasn’t anything that I recall from the editing indicating that each of the keys was unique to a single box. No one else switched boxes that we saw and no one seemed to dig around in multiple canes for key parts.
And I’m sure you can identify Pat from the Wyld Hanllyns. That mullet is visible from space.
I watched most of this. I’ve seen < 10 min total of The Amazing race so it is relatively fresh for me. I know Morse code isn’t common knowledge, but NO one knew it? Not even Air Force people? (Avaition beconsand such ID themselves with Morse). It was pretty slow, I probably could have copied it (at one time I could do 13WPM, not anymore)
Ya “Geniues” definitely needs quotes. - It was clearly stated that “where you have been” (places named after presidents) would factor into where they were going.
Well, yeah. I mean, I know what team he’s on, anyway, which I suppose is … something. And since you’ve started spelling it “Wyld Hanllyns,” I’ve started hearing air guitar riffs and "Excellent!"s every time I think about them, which I’m sure was your intent, no?
I guess we projected the “one key per box” idea when we saw that the “Geniuses” couldn’t open their own box, and the Grads couldn’t open theirs, then shaa-zaam! The “Geniuses” had no trouble opening the Grads’ box all of the sudden. In retrospect, nothing specific was said; we just assumed from that particular sequence of events.
And the “Geniuses” kind of remind me of my sister, a brilliant aerospace engineer who speaks in algebraic equations but can’t find her way home from around the corner. I want to like the “Geniuses,” and I hope the that Mount Rushmore Incident will forevermore be a humbling experience for them, but from my earlier comment about the Southies, I guess can you can tell who my favorites are, for now. One of the “Geniuses” whips out a Simpsons reference, though, and I’m back on the bus, y’all.
At least the Race makes a pretence of having the whole show be a “race,” from start to finish. I hated how the entire first hour meant nothing at all, because they just piled all the teams into a plane and took 'em to Nebraska all at once.
I do like the emphasis on puzzles and problem-solving, although I think the puzzles have a lot of room to be cleverer–the random dig under the cairns in Alaska, for example. That was a puzzle? Still, could be promising, so I’ll keep my fingers crossed.
This has the potential to be better than AR in terms of more brainpower needed.
I hope they continue with starting each leg with all the teams together. Let’s face it, that essentially happens with AR bunching anyway, so just get it over with. The first team to arrive gets more rest anyway.
I kind of like the Air Forcers; hate the preacher man.
Too many spoilers in the previews showing who will be around for awhile.
My TV Guide has the recaps of the first two hours followed by episode three tonight, then episode four next Monday (6/26). With the Hockey game preempting, I checked NBC, and they have it on again Friday and Sunday as well as Monday, so I’m totally confused.
I lovelovelove that any team could have gotten Mount Rushmore from the animorphic drawing at any time.
I hate to say it because rockle might kill me, but I think I might like this better than TAR. It takes at least a little bit of brainpower, and me yelling “Roosevelt’s in the wrong place! That’s what it means!” at the television was certainly entertaining to my roommate.
I was pleasantly surprised by the Misses USA–not as dumb as they look. And of course I love the Southie Boys, but I realize that I’m too late for dibs because I didn’t watch it until last night.
The Fogals, I think, might end up as a replay of the Effing Weavers. Little Fogal screaming about her broken thumb–anybody see a bandage or a brace later in the show? No, because her thumb was fine. I love overreaction. The Browns aren’t long for the hunt, I think, but I kind of hope I’m wrong. The Wyld Hanllyns (Otto, you’re freakin’ brilliant) are a boatload of laughs–picking up every rock and piece of dirt on the path. Fantastic. It may look stupid now, but they’re not going to miss the truly tiny clue later. And I love the mullet.
I don’t hate you for thinking this. I have to say, I don’t entirely disagree with you, actually. There are aspects of the Race that I prefer – e.g., Phil, monkeysmonkeysmonkeys!, and exotic locales – but I like that the clues on Treasure Hunters require critical thinking. It’s kind of a little bit awesome that there were two possible answers to the map/cylinder clue. It’s like a Detour AND a Clue Box, all in one! (It’s no “Flotillas or Chinchillas,” though.)
Much as I lurve the Race already – because, let’s face it, the likelihood of there being any broken oxen on this new show is slim to none, sadly – I’m hoping that TPTB over at CBS are paying attention to what fans like about Treasure Hunters, and they incorporate that into Race. Cockeyed optimist that I am, I am looking at this as not just summer entertainment, but also a potential opportunity for the Race to improve. (Do you hear us, Bruckheimer?)
Oh, and believe me, you are NOT the only person who thinks the Wife of the Preacher Man is Ma Effing Weaver’s long-and-unfortunately-not-so-lost sister or something.