Racing & Time Jumps Trump Family Drama   

I’m super excited about tonight’s TV. Not the ridiculousness that is three new shows in practically every time-slot. It’s just not possible to watch that much TV in one night. Especially when you have lots of crap to get done. BUT! I feel like I’ve been waiting years for Chuck to return and he’s finally back!! Unlike most of the online TV world, I have not watched the premiere yet. I resisted the urge to watch online because I want to wait until I can see it in all of its glory on my television. Plus, I didn’t want to have to wait two more weeks for another new episode.

Yes, I am strange.

As Seen by Rae: The Amazing Race, Desperate Housewives, and Brothers & SistersI also haven’t watched the Life premiere yet either and the prospect of a full three hours of back to back shows on NBC has me bouncing in my seat. Enough talk about tonight; let’s briefly take a look back at last night’s premieres. I loved The Amazing Race as per usual. I’m happy to have Phil back on my TV each week… and the race is kinda cool too. Desperate Housewives pleasantly surprised me. I didn’t enjoy much of last season and I hated the two minute glimpse we got of the flash forward in time so I expected to dislike this hour of TV. I didn’t. In fact, I liked it quite a bit. Brothers & Sisters, on the other hand, felt very much like more of the same. Apologies for the use of that phrase. More on my disappointment with the Walker family below…

The Amazing Race, 13×01: Siblings Soar as Beekeepers Get Stung
The teams take off at the beginning of THE AMAZING RACE 13 on CBS.First, did anyone catch the quick flash of a cameraman during this episode? I’m sure it’s happened before but this was the first time I’ve ever noticed it and I have watched this show for too many years. No real reason for pointing it out except it nicely illustrates how hectic things get with everyone running around in a tiny space.

I’m going to give the casting directors props this season. It’s been a long time since I’ve immediately felt attached to one or more teams. They did a good job of finding people I’d actually care about this time around. And it’s a good mix this time too. The beekeepers were the one weak link and, as is often the case on this show, they got weeded out immediately.

Sidebar: If you’ve applied for TAR and you know you’ve gotten pretty far in the process, shouldn’t you try to get into shape for it? Mo and I have this discussion all the time. If you watch the race at all, you know you’re going to have to race from place to place so it stands to reason that you have to do some prep work. Whenever I see people too out of shape to do well, I can’t help but roll my eyes.

Toni and Dallas of THE AMAZING RACE 13 perform Detour B - Soft Way Down in which they must descend a 240 foot cargo net off the Elevador Lacerda. Photo: Robert Voets/CBSBack to the teams. I was instantly drawn to Toni & Dallas (mother & son team). I’m sure it helps that he’s cute but they also seem to be genuinely close and care about each other. I like the way he kept encouraging her. You can see the team sports player in him during those moments. When they fell to the back of the pack, I started to freak out. Especially when the sheer number of teams meant that we kind got lost in where everyone was towards the end. I was worried they were racing for last place and I wasn’t sure how I’d handle having my favorite team being out during the first leg!

I also kind of like Nick & Starr. There were some moments there where I wasn’t sure but, overall, I liked how they stayed positive and they were smart enough to make an alliance… for TWO legs of the race. I like smart racers. Of course, I don’t really care for their alliance members Ken and Tina. I suppose it’s not a stretch to have a separated couple on the show since we’ve certainly had couples who should be separated on the show. I just don’t think a reality show race is the best marriage counseling tool. Also, Tina is shrill and annoys me.

I’m back and forth on Terence and Sarah. They seem to be getting the villain treatment but, more importantly, their little bickering has potential to get on my nerves. That or Terence’s neediness. I almost couldn’t see the TV for how far back in my head my eyes rolled when he was whining about her making friends with the other teams instead of hanging out with him at their overnight camping spot. Really? Yeesh.

Who else? I like Mark & Bill, the geeks, and I thought they did pretty well this leg. I hope that means they’re in for the long haul. I did not like the other guy team, Andrew & Dan. First of all, I think referring to them as the ‘frat boys’ team may be insulting to most frat boys. Second, they were getting on my nerves several times throughout the race. Somehow I expect it’ll only get worse before they get eliminated. It’s probably a bad sign when I’m hoping you’ll be the last team to arrive at the mat in the very first episode.

Desperate Housewives, 5×01: You’re Gonna Love Tomorrow
Neal McDonough, Nicollette Sheridan, and Kathryn Joosten star in the season premiere of DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES on ABC. ©2008 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. Photo Credit: ABC/RON TOMLike I said, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I liked this season opener. This was a break or make episode for me and it was enough to keep me around. I don’t have a lot of commentary (no, really!) but I do have to raise an eyebrow over Edie’s new husband. Didn’t Marc Cherry say they were going to get away from the soap opera-ish path the show had taken? It sure seems like Mr. Williams is going to bring the crazy back to Wisteria Lane, literally.

Susan’s storyline actually made me tear up there at the end but I’m not sure how I feel about the split between her and Mike. I think I’ll be ok with it once it’s clear whether she’s going to be falling back into her old patterns of trying to get him back or not. I may prefer it if they let the separation between the two stand long enough that I have time to get over the constant tug-o-war between those two characters.

I don’t care much for Bree’s current story but that’s not all that surprising since I struggle with liking Bree and her family at the beginning of every season. I was a little surprised to see Katherine taking such a backseat in Bree’s story as well. I suspect that’ll change (you don’t keep Dana Delany on your cast and regulate her to a meaningless role) but I was expecting her to have more of her own arc. I’m also not too sure about Lynette and her demon children. I used to love Lynette but over the past few seasons the show has beaten that out of me. I wish they could find something more interesting for Lynette and Tom than starting the season with the two drawing apart only to realize they still love each other by the finale. Or having their kids being impossible to control.

That leaves Gabrielle and her daughter. They did a great job in frumpifying Eva for this storyline and, though I suspect she’s probably going to return to her glory before too long, I love it. I do have some issue with her naming her daughter Juanita. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a perfectly lovely name but it’s not a name I’d imagine Gabrielle would pick. Other than that, I loved how loyal she was to her and yet how screwed up she is in her approach to help her lose weight. It helps that Juanita is a mini-Gaby from seasons past. The child actress nailed her scenes. As much as I love Gaby, it’s great to see her get her comeuppance from her own daughter.

Hmmm, ok, now that I’m thinking about the storylines it sure sounds like I didn’t like the episode much, huh? But, really, it was more that it felt like a return to the DH I’ve always liked. I haven’t always liked all parts of the show but I like enough that my attachment to the characters keeps me watching.

Brothers & Sisters, 3×01: Glass Houses
Look, I love the Walkers as much as the next crazed TV fan who watches too much TV and I typically enjoy a good Walker family gathering/meltdown. I’m just sick of that being the only story these writers have got for this family. I have lost all perspective on these characters because there never seems to be anything else in their life beyond their family. That feels like an odd complaint given the title of the show but I feel like it’s gotten a bit stale from their lather, rinse, repeat formula.

Besides that I don’t have a lot of commentary. Kitty’s sudden inability to Sarah seems out of the blue. They probably needed to sow the seeds for that a little longer than one episode. Maybe have her showing us examples over a several episode span so that it was more than just Kitty telling us all how she felt.

Emily VanCamp and Dave Annable star in the season premiere of BROTHERS & SISTERS on ABC.  ©2008 American Broadcasting Companies, Inc. Photo Credit: ABC/RANDY HOLMESRebecca and Justin don’t bother me like they do others and the kids catching them in the act was funny. Especially with the oft-muttered, “Oh crap.” On the other hand, it feels like the writers were trying to do exactly what they had the characters do… sneak it into tiny segments of the show so it’ll be lost among what else is happening. If you’re going to put two controversial characters together, own it.

What else? I really don’t have much else. I live in hope that they’ll consider my casting choice for the role of Ryan but I know I’m bound for disappointment. Still, I know that we won’t see him for a long time so the back and forth about where he is, etc., didn’t do much for me. I wonder who will finally break down and try to get in touch with him?

And that’s all she wrote. What’d everyone else watch last night? What’s got you excited for tonight?

One Response to “Racing & Time Jumps Trump Family Drama”

  1. 1
    Harper47 says:

    I completely agree with your TAR thoughts. I really dislike the frat boys and the needy couple. But the one thing I disagree on is I wish there were more couples I liked immediately. Some I may grow to like but I immediately loved Danny/Oswald, the Bald Snark Brothers and I wanted more couples like that. Right now I would think my faves are Geeks and Mom/Son. Nick and Star may be part of it, I think I need to see another week with them before deciding. I did like his eye roll at the airport at Mr. Frat.

    And yes, I saw the cameraman too. It was quite a whoah moment because other than when the brothers crashed in Africa (not sure what season, the one Rob/Amber was on), I don’t recall ever seeing a cameraman either.

    And I loved DH. Best premier since Season 1.