This coming Sunday will mark the 20th anniversary of the premiere of CBS’ The Amazing Race. Premiering on September 5, 2001, The Amazing Race was a radically different concept for network television at the time. Fresh off the success of Survivor, CBS brought The Amazing Race to televisions around the world.
And it was the fact that the show brought everyday Americans themselves around the world, 11 teams of two Americans to be exact, that really captured the imagination of viewers everywhere.
It hasn’t always been a smooth ride for The Amazing Race. But 20 years later, it has spawned several local adaptations around the world, traveled a million miles. And, perhaps against all odds, is still hanging on and surviving ahead of what should be its 33rd season.
COVID-19 has kept us locked up for more than a year and a half now. And living vicariously through The Amazing Race, traveling the world along with the contestants, has never been more relevant and welcome.
While COVID-19 has put the Race (and the world) on indefinite hold, The Amazing Race‘s return will be one of the biggest signals that we can get back to normal. Or whatever “normal” will look like in the future.
Until then, we will have to rely on the 32 previous seasons and the many other international versions (if you can find them) to tide us over. But to celebrate the show’s 20th anniversary, I’ve decided to re-watch season one for the first time in years. Actually, I don’t think I’ve rewatched the season completely since I first purchased the DVD set in 2005.
Having gone back to watch and then recap seasons three and four in the last year, I found it such a different experience. Actually recapping the episodes instead of just watching and enjoying them for what they are made me look at every detail and be more critical.
But for season one, it has been such a long time since I last watched it. Knowing the difference between season one and every other season, I know it will be a fascinating experience to follow along again 20 years later. Especially when also keeping in mind how season one was filmed before September 11th. And the freedoms back than when traveling that we now take for granted or even have forgotten will be just an eye-opening experience.
Another interesting bit for me is that recently, I popped in the DVD to watch the premiere again. And wow, was I bored! To be very honest. I didn’t expect it to be such a jarring experience watching again. But that’ll be something I’ll be looking at every week as I rewatch the season.
Originally, I hoped to post each recap 20 years to the day those episodes first premiered. But the original airdates will fall on Sundays in 2021 and my Sundays are reserved for Kamen Rider and Sentai. So! After posting the premiere recap on Sunday right after the episode would have aired back in 2001, I’ll be posting the recaps on the Fridays before instead. 😊
So follow along if you would like I was rewatch the very first season of The Amazing Race!