Amazing Race
Counting Bears Is Not Rocket Science

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Miss Alli: B+ | Grade It Now!
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Bale out

And that takes you directly to the back of the Spazpants cab, home of the most uncomfortable Race scene of all time. Jonathan is indeed screaming at Victoria, and the quarters are very tight, because they've of course got their sound guy crammed in the back seat with them. At the absolute top of his lungs, he yells, "WILL YOU SHUT UP AND LET ME TALK?" She starts to point to where they need to go on the map, and he grabs away what she's looking at and leans into the front seat with the driver. "We've got to go there," she insists. "We are there," he snarls back. "We're not -- no," she says, reaching over to fuss with the papers he's holding. He, with elbows and arms, shoves her hard to the side, out of the way, and into the sound guy, of course, as he yells, "Can I TALK to him?" "It's not right," she says as she rebounds back toward him. "We're --" And then his arm comes up. One arm, elbow cocked, in such a way that if he flings his arm sideways, his elbow will crack her jaw. And when he does, she unmistakably flinches to the side with her head. And...it's not just the arm that stayed with me. It's the flinch. It's not just a startled jump. It's not really even a startled jump. It's protective, the way you'd put your arms in front of you in dodgeball so you could take it on the forearms. You would hope she just moved out of the way of the elbow in case she got caught with it accidentally.

It's just so sad that they made the decision to bring these people. It's such a good show, and I think the casting is much better, in an overall sense, than it's been for a couple of seasons. They haven't had this many likable, basically competent and functional teams in several seasons, and...I mean, you know I adopted this show the first time I saw it, and you know how much I love it. I would be so pleased with the season so far if not for this. But bringing these people? This is trashy. The rest of the show isn't, but these scenes are just trashy. It isn't entertaining to watch a woman -- a real woman, who really exists -- look like she's flinching in fear. This isn't fun. What are we supposed to do? I mean, with guys who just yell a lot, you can hope the woman will break up with the guy, but you can also say, "Well, I wouldn't have dinner with them, but some people yell and it works for them; whatever." I didn't like Colin, and I didn't like the way he and Christie talked to each other, but I never got the impression that she was afraid of him, or that she had any cause to be. But when an expression looks like it might be fear, it doesn't leave a person much of a logical response. Do you...feel concern? Do you decide to not feel concern? Are you supposed to wonder if you're being had by a guy who wants to be famous? Is it...supposed to be funny if you are? It's just a horrifically bad decision on somebody's part. Everyone knows by now the psychological testing these people go through. I'm never going to believe they didn't know about this. Or at least that there was a vibe of this, or that there might be. Whatever, there's nothing that can be done about it, I hope you don't mind if I don't dwell on it. Future incidents of screeching, berating, and hollering will probably be dealt with in as little space as possible. The recaps are plenty long enough without giving you the details, and really, I wouldn't know how to begin to make jokes, because it's...upsetting.

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Amazing Race

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