I cannot call myself a writer. Not really.
I used to write. I wrote all the time. I used to write articles on a freelance basis. I met interesting people, interviewed them, wrote articles, and those got published. I can't remember the last time I did that, let alone the last time I got paid for it.
I think it's a matter of finding time and space to write. This is what I tell myself, because the alternative is that I'm getting older and the relevant parts of my brain are eroding.
Last year, I was planning on recapping The Challenge: All Stars. I managed one full essay, and I couldn't continue from there. I'm working these days, so finding the time to go over the episode was tough. It did help that no one really cared whether I did it like I used to. I don't mean that in a "woe is me" way. The pressure to produce wasn't there, and that was probably good for me in the long run.
Right now, I'm just going to type what's on my mind. My hope is that if I do this often, I can get back in the flow
The Amazing Race
This season is broken, at least in terms of statistics. TAR33 went through a nineteen-month layoff thanks to COVID, and four of the teams that were in contention didn't come back when the race resumed.
Anyone that knows me will tell you that I will not shut the hell up about The Amazing Race. I feel it's one of the best reality series out there, and CBS doesn't give it enough attention because of the two other shows that coast mostly on name recognition (Survivor, Big Brother). A pandemic is the worst thing that could have happened to TAR without a major and sudden tragedy being involved. Big Brother takes place on a glorified soundstage, so putting people through the proper protocols was easy. Survivor wound up taking a year off before returning . . . .and, sadly, the game is still geared to entertaining host Jeff Probst. Too many twists, too many hidden idols, far too many chances for the game to shift on a producer's whim . . . or Probst's.
TAR33 hangs in there. Teams are now sent off in groups, as opposed to starting based on how they completed the prior leg. They travel via chartered plane, as opposed to buying tickets on their own. The plus side is that if something goes awry with the format, the producers and host Phil Keoghan try to correct it. In the previous season (which was on the proverbial shelf for almost two years), front-running teams formed an alliance, going so far as helping each other out in terms of completing tasks. A few seasons earlier, the "Head-to-Head" challenges were imported from the Canadian version of the series. They took place right before the end of a leg, negating most of the progress teams had made. Viewers only had two seasons of that before it was quietly folded.
The race itself looks like a two-team battle. Ryan & Dusty became the only all-male team racing when Michael & Moe were eliminated once again (having originally skidded out in the first legs before and after the series resumed) and Anthony & Spencer (heroes who helped stop a terrorist attack on a high-seed train bound for Paris) were unable to return. I've read complaints from other viewers about their excited "dudebrah" behavior, but I've seen far, far worse. For the record, I don't give them slack because Ryan was wrongfully convicted of a crime and spent almost ten years in prison. The only other person I can think that competed in TAR and gone through something similar is Ron Young. He competed in TAR7 years after he was a prisoner of war.
The other contending team is Kim & Penn Holderness. They found a niche in creating goofy videos with their kids. That's not my thing, but I see the appeal.They've finished first in four legs, three after the season resumed. Penn comes up as cheesy often, but I'm good with him.
After flight attendants Raquel & Cayla, we have Arun & Natalia. They're a father/daughter team, and they are not good racers at all. They don't suck as people, but they could be mistaken for plastic surgeons specializing in buttocks . . . because they always bring up the rear. (Shut up, I think that's funny) They were the last team eliminated before the race shut down, they were brought back along with Michael & Moe when things resumed, and they've finished last in two non-elimination legs. They're probably lovely people, but -- once again -- they aren't good at racing.
I'll stop here. I kept getting distracted by the Internet. Like I said, I'm going to try and write more often, even if there's no demand for me to do it. I just want to get back into good habits.
PS: One of the teams that didn't come back was Caro Viehweg and Ray Gant. They met on Love Island (another reality show CBS fawns over), they ran three legs, but they split before the season resumed. I'm only bringing them up because of Ray's yellow sweater that he wore in the second leg.
Please tell me I'm not the only one that thought of those two. Lie to me if you have to.