Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Where's the amazing food?

So I've started watching "The Amazing Race," my very first reality TV show. (Just in case you're not all familiar with it: teams of two race around the world following clues and completing tasks, with the team arriving last eliminated at the end of each show.) Now that it's down from 11 teams to only 5 to cover in the hour-long program, I had been hoping that we viewers would get to see more of each place that the contestants visit. I want to see them struggle with the language, miss buses, meet locals, have their credit cards unexpectedly rejected--you know, like the rest of us when we travel. But most of all, I've been eager to see what they eat in the likes of Perth, Oman, Moscow, Buenos Aires, and so on--but the show has been extremely stingy with the food shots. We glimpsed a Sicilian market once, baked lamb last week (in ovens dug into the desert sand) and candy bars this week, but that's all. How sad that this otherwise decent and engaging show is neglecting potentially fascinating cuisine!


Blogger Dr. Write said...

I like "The Amazing Race" but I haven't watched it much, as it overlaps with The Idol (blame Lis for this addiction. I do!).
But I also wonder about all the problems one might have. THEY never have to take the slow train from Bangkok to Surat Thani with no bathroom (okay, there was a bathroom, but it was covered in bodily fluids that I won't describe), and only british biscuits and warm beer to drink. But the show would be a lot more amusing if some of their tasks were more like real tourism: find vegetarian food in Germany; find a free bathroom in a country where you don't speak the language, etc.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I agree with Dr. Write about the true challenges of travel!

The May 9 episode did show two unusual cuisine-related tasks: one required eating a bowl of deep-fried crickets, a Thai after-school snack (this didn't faze one contestant, who proclaimed, "We're from the South. We'll eat anything fried"). The second one, decidedly whimsical, involved preparing a feast for the sacred monkeys. Fruits and veggies had to be cut and placed on a table in a certain way; every time a contestant turned his back on the in-progress display, however, monkeys would scurry over and grab carrots and bananas and ruin the design. I must say that I'm glad that monkeys don't interrupt me when I'm prepping in the kitchen.

9:54 PM  

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