Recap: The Amazing Race 8, Episode 1 – “Mom and Dad, I’m sorry I couldn’t contribute.”


Okay… when Phil announced in February that season 8 would be a family edition, I was pissed. ‘What the frack?!?!?” I thought to myself. After the mess that was season 7, I was dreading TAR being driven into the ground….

So tonight I went into the TAR premiere getting ready to just hate every single thing about it… and while most people are voicing all their criticisms tonight and wishing TAR8 the lowest ratings possible… I am here to proudly say that I enjoyed tonight’s season premiere very much.

Yes, you can say that I am one of the biggest TAR fans out there (hey, I bought the season one DVD today after school)… but that doesn’t mean I can’t be critical about this 3 time Emmy winner.

For me, the only differences between Family Edition and the regular seasons are the opening sequence (which, to be honest, both sucks and is very nice at the same time), there are twice as many RACErs, and there are a couple of kids running around with the adults.

And of course the biggest difference will be the lack of exotic, international destinations. But no matter, the United States has just as many beautiful, interesting places for them to visit. After tonight though, I don’t see why these kids couldn’t have traveled to London or Paris or cities like that.

The tasks, route markers, and detour were still challenging, mentally and physically. An added bonus was that the tasks highlighted American history as well, and it will probably be that way throughout the season. Driving through New York or trying to navigate the confusing Pennsylvania highways were reminiscent of the scrambles at the airport or trying to find your way in the African bush.

The teams fit the TAR mold, while creating new ones. Of course the kids were always noticeable. The Gaghan children, especially Carissa, stood out as being enjoyable as well as strong competitors. Then there were the “villains” or the people you just root against… what the hell was up with the Paolo Family? They just encompassed all the fighting from TAR6’s Jonathan & Victoria and TAR2’s Tara & Wil.

And how about the Schroeder Family dad? What a jerk!

The Linz Family was disappointing becuase they were an early favorite of mine, and just “look” like a strong team. Hopefully they pick it up in the next few legs. Another team that should be a strong contender is the Rogers family, works well together and has enough energy to pull through.

Overall, I loved the episode… it kinda beat out TAR6 and TAR7’s bloated 2-hour premieres. And the cameo by TAR1’s frat boys Kevin and Drew was a nice plus.

QUOTES (more soon):

Billy Gaghan: “Mom and Dad, I’m sorry I couldn’t contribute”

Carissa Gaghan: “Get used to it, dork!”


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