Before we start, let me just get this out of the way. This expedition is impossible. Why are we attempting this? Other shows have hopeful and inspiring titles. Survivor. Amazing Race. Expedition IMPOSSIBLE?! Do we really need to be doing this? Anyway...
We begin with a vignette of contestants arriving in Morocco. The voiceover of a female contestant boasts, "We can make it in New York. We can definitely make it out here in the Sahara." Then, clips of contestants struggling with future challenges intercut with official voiceover, which states, "Starting tonight, ordinary people will attempt the impossible." Thirteen teams of three will compete in "the most epic journey every filmed for television." If these teams can even surmount the hyperbole, they will have my respect.
A motorcade of thirteen white Ford Explorers drives through the Sahara Desert. On horseback, what appear to be the real-world equivalent of Tuskan Raiders with rifles escort the motorcade. That's just silly. If you want to make this whole thing have some gravitas and Middle Eastern mystique for the average American, surround that thing with angry-looking men who may or may not be terrorists -- not this romanticized bullshit.
The first team we meet is "Fab 3" from Los Angeles, introduced to us by AJ. The team is comprised of him, his little sister, Kari, and his ex-boyfriend, Ryan. This is the gay pride team. But they totally don't overstate it in teal and headbands.
Next, we meet "The Country Boys" from Mississippi who are all dressed in camouflage and conjure up memories of Bubba from Forrest Gump with their thick south-eastern accents.
"Latin Persuasion" is the saucy team of Latinas from the Bronx. I'm a Hispanic man and I can tell you it's no spoiler alert that this team will not be winning this competition. They're dressed in all black and insist that despite having never gone camping or anything like that, they come from the concrete jungle.
The drive through the desert continues with intercut peeks into the vehicles where various teams are commenting on the imagery and anxiety. The local warriors on horseback inspire intimidation, nobody knows what to expect and one of the members of the football player team from San Diego is so nervous his palms are sweating like it's game day.
We're introduced to "Mom's Army," the team comprised of two grown women who used to be in the Army and their mother. One of those women, Abbie, informs us through talking head that their strategy for winning the competition is to "knock 'em off one at a time." That doesn't seem so bad. "So when we first realized that there was a guy in the competition who was blind, I felt like 'Awesome -- one down.'" What? That's terrible!