The Amazing Race started up the other night. A few random thoughts:
:: I never know teams by name this early on. In fact, I won't know teams by name until half of them are gone. So I end up referring to them by characteristics or by things that happened to them.
:: I like that the teams had to drive themselves to places. That was great. Most of th time over the last few seasons, teams are told to rely on taxis or the like. This really started to grate on me in the consecutive seasons (a regular one, and an "All-Star" one) that featured Dustin and Kandace, the annoying blonde friends, who would invariably get right where they needed to go by hopping off the airplane and then flirting like crazy until they found some wide-eyed guy compelled by his Little General to personally drive them where they needed to go.
:: But I think this year's teams are stupid. A lot of 'em, anyway. Especially at the starting line: Phil has just told them they have to get to the airport fast, because only three teams will make the early flight to wherever it is they're going. So, time is of the essence right off the bat. Then he yells "Go!", and everyone's off. They run to their bags, and then each team stops right there to read the first clue. Huh?! Phil's just told you to move your asses, and you already know you're going to the airport! Grab your stuff, get in a car, and start driving! Read the clue in the car! Seriously, if anyone had done that, they would have had a 60-second head start, guaranteed.
:: I thought I'd like the biker team, until one of them said, "Wow, until today I'd never heard of Stonehenge. And it's a bunch of rocks!" Now I hate that team.
:: They may get annoying later on, but the one lady taking a watermelon right in the face from a misfired slingshot gets a ton of respect from me.
:: A new thing this year: an "Express Pass", which allows a team to skip a Detour or Roadblock if they don't want to do it. I wonder if this replaces the Fast Forward? And I wonder if they're allowed to use it to negate the effects of a U-Turn?
Next week they're in Ghana. From England to Ghana? They're not messing around this time!