It’s That Time of Year Again!

Yup, Emmy season if in full swing as networks and studios are revving up their Emmy campaigns for 2011. So it is time once again for me to offer up my own humble suggestions for Emmy consideration this year.

First FYC is this Thursday! =]

Review: How Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger Helped Fill My Power Rangers Void

Last year, when the future of the Power Rangers franchise was still up in the air, I decided to finally give its source material, the Super Sentai franchise, a go. I jumped head first into Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, the Sentai series which would have been adapted for Power Rangers after RPM.

And thank goodness I did. Not only did I get a great formal introduction into the world of Super Sentai, Shinkenger helped successfully fill the void left by Disney’s cancellation of Power Rangers .

However, a few months later and the man behind the creation of the Power Rangers brand, Haim Saban, announced he’s bought back the franchise and production will continue with Nickelodeon its new home. Thus, Power Rangers Samurai came into existence.

And yet, even with new episodes of Power Rangers debuting every week on Nickelodeon, I still feel that void. Or a black hole really. (And that discussion is worthy of an entire post.)

But thankfully, Super Sentai still exists as well and thank goodness a series like Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger (海賊戦隊ゴーカイジャ) exists. Continue reading

The Amazing Race 18 Season Wrap-Up

The Amazing Race 18 Wrap-Up
Another season, come and gone.  It was pretty obvious early in the TAR18 development stage that it would be at the very least, some sort of All-Stars-type, former Racers season.  What was unexpected though was its theme of being”Unfinished Business” and the exclusion of any pre-TARAS team.  Right off the bat, the season was starting to leave a bad taste in the mouths of many long-time TAR fans.

But as the season went on, and now that it is over, The Amazing Race 18 ended up not being bad at all.

Better Than Expected
TAR18 had pretty low expectations to begin with, but it did deliver enough entertainment to at least save it from becoming an irrelevant mess. 

But it was also no TAR17. 

Season 17 is arguably the best season since TAR12 (save for the winners of course) and TAR18, though still great, lacked some of the freshness and spark of last season.  And even worse, TAR18 slipped slowly back into simplicity.

The tasks this season were mostly uninspired with only vaguely interesting, but not so memorable Detours and Road Blocks.

The zero-hour non-elimination Pit Stops were the only tweak this season and they are definitely a great idea.  But it brings to light how the Speed Bump as a non-elimination penalty is great on paper, but has been very poorly executed. 

The leg design has been alright for the most part, though the show seems to be increasingly disregarding uniform Pit Stop durations in favor of letting teams go whenever they feel like.

For a pseudo-All-Stars season, this should’ve been much harder, much more difficult because these people have Raced before and know and ins and outs of the Race, no matter what new twists (and there weren’t any) are thrown at them.

Beautiful HD
Best part about this season though has to be the High Definition.  Finally.  The Amazing Race in crystal clear HD.

The show looks absolutely beautiful in HD and that alone might help Emmy voters lean towards TAR.  The scope of TAR is now fully realized in HD.  Even if the tasks are less than stellar, at least their surroundings look stunning. 

It is so great to have The Amazing Race in high definition.

Hopes and Dreams for TAR19 and the Future
Once again, I hope Bert and Co. step up their game for TAR19.  It is the show’s 10th Anniversary (officially), so TAR should pull out all the stops next season and really take TAR to the next level.

Looks like the Fast Forward is officially dead.  And that is incredibly unfortunate.  Every season, I hope TAR brings the Fast Forward back to importance on the Race as it provides great drama as well as gives teams hope of staying alive.

As for the simplicity of TAR, their Emmy loss last year should’ve been a wakeup call to step up their game and really deliver.  They did well this season, but nothing that might excite Emmy voters and some fans.  TAR needs to make TAR19 more challenging, more fun, and more “amazing” in the travelogue aspect.  There needs to be more interaction with the locals as well as more fresh countries to visit instead of the old standbys.

And finally, the Final Task.  The most disappointing part of the season has to be the lame final leg tasks.  When other seasons have had memory tasks (Road Block or otherwise) as the final challenge before the Finish Line, it is a letdown when a finale comes down to some random, mundane task.  The memory Final Tasks have always been exciting and helps make the finale that much more meaningful.

But overall, a good season.  
1. TAR3
2. TAR5
2. TAR8
4. TAR1
5. TAR11:AS
5. TAR17
5. TAR12
5. TAR2
5. TAR6
5. TAR18: UB
11. TAR4
12. TAR16
13. TAR14
14. TAR15
15. TAR10
16. TAR13
17. TAR9
*huge gap*
18. TAR7

(regardless of winner)
1. TAR3
2. TAR12
3. TAR8
4. TAR5
5. TAR2
6. TAR1
7. TAR16
8. TAR15
9. TAR14
10. TAR6
11. TAR17
12. TAR11: AS
13. TAR18
14. TAR9
15. TAR13
16. TAR4
17. TAR10
18. TAR7

1. TAR3
2. TAR8
3. TAR5
4. TAR1
5. TAR11: AS
6. TAR2
6. TAR12
6. TAR17
9. TAR6
9. TAR4
11. TAR18
12. TAR16
13. TAR15
14. TAR14
15. TAR13
16. TAR10
17. TAR9
18. TAR7

1. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
2. Teri & Ian (TAR3/AS)
3. Charla & Mirna (TAR5/AS)
4. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
5. Dan & Jordan (TAR16)
6. The Linz Family (TAR8)
7. John Vito & Jill (TAR3/AS)
8. David & Margaretta (TAR1)
9. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
10. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
11. Nat & Kat (TAR17)
12. Brook & Claire (TAR17)
13. Erwin & Godwin (TAR10)
14. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
15. Michael & Kevin (TAR17)

1. Ron & Christina (TAR18)
2. Teri & Ian (TARAS)
3. John Vito & Jill (TAR3)
4. The Gaghan Family (TAR8)
5. Linda & Karen (TAR5)
6. Meredith & Gretchen (TAR7)
7. Charla & Mirna (TAR5)
8. The Paolo Family (TAR8)
9. Gary & Mallory (TAR17)
10. Joseph & Monica (TAR9)
11. Jim & Marsha (TAR5)
12. Mel & Mike (TAR14)
13. Zev & Justin (TAR15)
14. Toni & Dallas (TAR13)
15. Steve & Allie (TAR16)
16. Michael & Kevin (TAR17)

1. Brook & Claire (TAR17)
1. Kris & Jon (TAR6)
3. Teri & Ian (TAR3)
3. Charla & Mirna (TARAS)
3. Ronald & Christina (TAR12)
6. Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
7. Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
7. Gary & Mallory (TAR18)
9. Dustin & Kandice (TARAS)
10. Eric & Jeremy (TAR9)
11. Nicolas & Donald (TAR12)
12. Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
13. Ken & Tina (TAR13)
14. Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
15. Sam & Dan (TAR15)

WINNERS (subjective; as a team)
1. Nat & Kat (TAR17)
2. Dan & Jordan (TAR16)
3. The Linz Family (TAR8)
4. Flo & Zach (TAR3)
5. Rob & Brennan (TAR1)
6. Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
7. Chris & Alex (TAR2)
7. Chip & Kim (TAR5)
7. Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
7. Kisha & Jen (TAR18)
10. Meghan & Cheyne (TAR15)
10. Tyler & James (TAR10)
10. Nick & Starr (TAR13)
13. Reichen & Chip (TAR4)
14. Freddy & Kendra (TAR6)
15. BJ & Tyler (TAR9)
16. TK & Rachel (TAR12)
17. Eric & Danielle (TAR11:AS)

WINNERS (with respect to final 3)
 &nbsp  &nbsp Winning Team
 &nbsp  &nbsp  &nbsp Who I wanted to win
1. Dan & Jordan
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp Dan & Jordan (TAR7)
2. Uchenna & Joyce
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp Uchenna & Joyce (TAR7)
3. The Linz Family
 &nbsp  &nbsp &nbsp The Linz Family (TAR8)
4. Tammy & Victor
 &nbsp &nbsp Tammy & Victor (TAR14)
5. Nat & Kat
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Nat & Kat or Brook & Claire (TAR1)
6. Rob & Brennan
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Rob & Brennan or Frank & Margarita (TAR1)
7. Chris & Alex
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Blake & Paige or Chris & Alex (TAR2)
8. Chip & Kim
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Chip & Kim or Brandon & Nicole (TAR5)
9. Tyler & James
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Tyler & James or Lyn & Karlyn (TAR10)
10. Flo & Zach
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Teri & Ian or Ken & Gerard (TAR3)
11. Kisha & Jen
&nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Gary & Mallory (TAR18)
12. Meghan & Cheyne
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Brian & Ericka (TAR15)
13. Nick & Starr
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Nick & Starr or Ken & Tina (TAR13)
14. Reichen & Chip
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Kelly & Jon (TAR4)
15. Freddy & Kendra
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Kris & Jon (TAR6)
16. BJ & Tyler
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Eric & Jeremy or Ray & Yolanda (TAR9)
17. Eric & Danielle
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Charla & Mirna or Dustin &Kandice (TAR11:AS)
18. TK & Rachel
 &nbsp &nbsp &nbsp Ronald & Christina or Don & Nicolas (TAR12)
My Final Subjective Team Rankings

Ron & Christina Ron & Christina – They were on their way, but one horrible leg is all any team needs to get eliminated from the Race.  I definitely enjoyed them even more the 2nd time around and am grateful to have been able to enjoy them for one and a half seasons.  They were hilarious, sweet, charming, and strong Racers (when they didn’t fail like they did in India).  I would love to see them come back for TARAS2, but I know that is highly unlikely.  They officially became my all-time favorite team though thanks to TAR18.
Kent & Vyxsin Kent & Vyxsin – I definitely do not remember them being this hilariously random and frantic in TAR12, but I enjoyed a lot more now than I did back then.  Even though they may have been playing up to the cameras, at least it was hilarious and enjoyable unlike other teams.  Little mistakes always continue piling up until that last straw that breaks your back.  And it happened with them here.  Still, their drama and hilarity make them one of the more interesting teams this season.
Gary & Mallory Gary & Mallory – Major props to them for Racing back to back seasons and doing even better the 2nd time around.  (Though the BQs did a better job between TAR11 and TARAS.)  Mallory definitely had more sugar this time around and most of them, she was hilariously jolly and goofy.  Gary is definitely a strong Racer and both he and Mallory would’ve been great winners and a great team to be the first parent/child to win.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
Amanda & Kris Amanda & Kris – The 2nd attempt at Kris & Jon 2.0 gets the unlucky draw and gets U-Turned again.  I would have loved to have seen them go far into the Race because they would’ve otherwise been a strong team.  And maybe, finally, they could be the one non-annoying dating couple to have won.
Kisha & Jen Kisha & Jen – The most consistent team this season, Kisha & Jen definitely are deserving winners.  They remained under the radar, but they Raced well, faced their fears and got the million dollars.  It would’ve been nice to have seen more personality from them this season though.  Other Kisha’s hilariously contagious laugh and the incredibly forced Globetrotter flirting the last couple of eps, they were so under the radar, some legs would have them on for maybe a minute or two.  Still, despite the lack of airtime, they at least Raced well and deserve the cash.
Mel & Mike Mel & Mike – We know one time, Mel has incredible fighting spirit a big heart.  Like in TAR14, Mel struggled, but pushed on and at times showed a stronger drive and will to win than his son.  Of course, one’s health takes priority over a reality show, but Mel especially Raced well and proved it doesn’t matter what age you are.
Jaime & Cara Jaime & Cara -One slip-up and you’re out of the Race.  After narrowly losing TAR14, this was their chance to be the next all-female team to win the Race, but it wasn’t going to happen.  They Raced sloppily and eventually got eliminated because of it.  Would’ve been interesting to see how they competed further into the Race.
Zev & Justin Zev & Justin – They may have won plenty of legs (and a Ford Focus!), but they were very erratic and inconsistent on the Race.  If it wasn’t either of them whining and getting frustrated, it was their bad luck with delays.  They let frustrated get the better of them and it eventually caught up.
Margie & Luke Margie & Luke – TAR18 proved how strong Margie is, both emotionally and physically, and how Margie is the ace of her team.  Taking charge and completing tasks Luke would breakdown in, Margie showed her strength and to positive results.
Jet & Cord Jet & Cord – They flamed out earlier than the many new/casual fans had hoped for, but I think they left at the right time if not a little later than they should have.  An inconsistent Race wasn’t going to propel them in the final 3.
Herb & Nathaniel Flight Time & Big Easy – Incredibly annoying.  They’re bullies who are loud and have no consideration for other people’s belongings.  So happy they did not win.  As if they needed the money anyway.
<font face="georgia" size="4"Relive The Amazing Race 18!

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