Thursday, October 1, 2009

You've Got A Lot of 'Splaining to Do

Tom’s and my all-time favorite show is “The Amazing Race.” Ever since the kids were little, Tom and I have watched it on Sunday nights and given them the play by play on Monday morning. By the end of the season, the kids have all sorts of opinions of who should win and why, but it’s sort of like old timey radio, since they aren’t actually watching with us.

Now that they are 10 and 8, we hoped we could watch as a family. Tom and I dvr-d the premiere to preview it. This show is modest by reality show standards--none of The Bachelor’s making out, bikinis, and “let’s take it to the next level” stuff --but there is cursing. Lots of frickin’ and freaking and crap and ass and even a bitch thrown in here and there. That was enough for us to veto the kids watching last season.

I know I would curse too if Tom and I were trying to race around the world for a million bucks-- we argue when we try to go downtown for dinner. Put me on a bus in India? I don’t even want to think of my reaction, but that doesn’t mean I want my kids to hear foul language.

Then there are the couples they choose. One year there was a controlling husband who seemed borderline abusive to his former Playmate wife. And each year, it seems, there’s a gay couple. Now before you go and call us haters, let me just say please don’t. We just don’t feel like having to do a lot of ‘splaining during our reality show escape. I didn’t feel like explaining the gravity defying, enormous boobs of several contestants last year, but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-implant.

If you’ve noticed with these reality shows, whichever way a couple has been labeled at the beginning comes back time and again throughout the competition. Last year we had a mother/son team in which the son was deaf. They’d show a competition and then cutaway to the mini-interview: “As a deaf person, how did today’s challenge effect you?”

I think it will be the same this year with an interracial couple, a team who has a member with Asperger’s, and the dating born again Christians. This painfully pretty couple, on one of their mini-interviews said, “We are committed to being chaste so we aren’t going to have sex before marriage.” I imagined sitting there with Jake and Molly. “Well, duh. Of COURSE they aren’t having sex, and none of these other people are either.” I mean, how many times this season will their sex life, or lack thereof, be mentioned?

So, even though the language in the first 5 minutes meant that we probably wouldn’t be watching this season as a family, we were wondering if we’d have more gay contestants. We’ve had the lesbian ministers (boring!), the stereotypical middle-aged gay couple who made a strategic mistake by choosing to stay in a quaint little resort celebrating how far ahead they were but ended up last. Last year we had the gay father/son. They were our faves and we hated to see them eliminated.

As they introduced the couples this season, “Inter-racial couple!” “Best Friends Since Childhood, one of whom has Aspergers!” “Married Yoginis” “Dating On and Off for Years—Will he Commit? (NO.), Professional Poker Players!”… we saw one more couple coming down the pike. They were male. They were young. They were hot and well groomed. Could it be? “Brothers!” Tom and I high-fived.

Cutaway to the mini interview: “So how did it feel to come out to each other as Gay Brothers?”

Oh well.


Sokphal said...

I love, love, LOVE "The Amazing Race". I would love to be on it but I don't want to whole world to see "that" side of me. Instead I choose to keep it to the chosen, boyfriend, close friends (aka the people who love you no matter what). I was not impressed with the guy who said he wanted to "rip his gf's head off" when she wasn't successful rounding up the ducks. Glad they got eliminated.

Anna Whiston-Donaldson said...

I know, Sokphal. She needs to get out of that!

Glennon said...

i am grateful for you because you make me smile.

i just read your comment on my post today about abundance and i have a confession. im jealous of your craftiness and ability to change your staircase into a mousy pumpkiny paradise. your house is REALLY cute.

there. i feel better.

i dont watch the amazing race but kind of feel like im running it every day.

Design A-Peele said...

good call not having to explain that to the kiddos. your blog is beautifully simple and elegant. thanks for stopping by!

Kate Coveny Hood said...

Anna - you are SO funny! I've never seen this show (I can barely keep up with the 5-6 that I follow with or without DVR). But I could picture all of this. Hilarious.

Lynn said...

Glad to hear there are still parents like you.

I'm having an excellent give away! Please join in the fun.

K A B L O O E Y said...

The Amazing Race is the ONLY reality show (besides Top Chef) that my partner will watch with me without a running commentary about how inane it is and how he can't believe I watch this cr*p. I had a DVR malfunction and thus haven't watched yet, so thanks for the update. And I HATED that guy Jonathan who used to abuse his poor ex-playmate wife. HATED. I'm tense now just picturing the jerk.

Deidra said...

It's our favorite show. The labels always crack me up. But do you remember the season where there were families and the African American family's last name was Black? When they were eliminated Phil had to say, "Black family, I'm sorry to tell you you have been eliminated." How he did that with a straight face I will never know!

L said...

I used to be able to watch Dancing with the Stars with the kids, but then the rumba got to be a little much. I was glad we had nixed the family watching since this year there was a bleeped out reference in the first episode that I would've hated to have to explain. Thank you Macy Gray.

bernthis said...

You gotta love reality TV. I watch the biggest loser and I swear to you they must hire someone to score the music b/c these days it is so freaking dramatic. Oy!

Kelee Katillac said...

ADORE AR!!!!!!!

Fav so far?

NOT the lawyer who tells us constantly he is a lion. Ugh.

Not sure..... my all time fav friends/alliance scenario was the gay couple and the appalachian coal miner and wife....with her quote

"We ain't never known no gay folks before....and gosh darn-- we like em!"

love, kelee

Heidi said...

I was TAR on and off. Right now it's off. For no reason other than I can't keep up with all of my stories. I have a lot of shows stored up in my DVR and I can't possibly add one more. It is a great show though.

Funny post by the way!