The Telefile
<i>Great American Road Trip</I>: Even More Terrible Than <I>The Amazing Race: Family Edition</I>

Honestly, I didn't think it could (or should) be done, but someone finally found a way to make the most appalling season of The Amazing Race look halfway decent. So thank you, Great American Road Trip, you've fallen well below the very, very low bar I had set for competitive reality programming. Seriously, I watched Superstars AND America's Got Talent last night and this show was worse than both of them combined, and I pretty much hate both of those shows.

Problem 1: The Host
This guy Reno Collier, he's just outright terrible. He's got no discernible personality, which is a bad thing for someone who is supposed to be a comedian. At least TAR: FE still had the amazing Phil going for it.

Problem 2: The Challenges
On the premiere episode, families had to roll giant tethered hamster wheels through miniature versions of the St. Louis Arch and don presidential bobbleheads to run through a simple obstacle course. Neither of these was particularly challenging. I watched enough Legends of the Hidden Temple, Double Dare and GUTS growing up to know that kids can handle physical tasks that are not totally lame. And the fact that there was a family who took 40 minutes to complete the stupid arch challenge is mind-boggling.

Problem 3: The Families
Don't think I've forgotten how annoying the Weavers and some of the other TAR: FE teams were, but god, the pampered Katzenberg family literally made me want to get up off my couch and punch them, and the others were completely forgettable. Except for that little kid with the weird peculiar voice. I won't like him, but I'll remember him.

Problem 4: The Destinations
One of the main issues with TAR: FE is that they barely left the country, and so all of the chaos of flights and travel were pretty much eliminated, and the travel porn that is a normal season of TAR was nowhere to be found. Here, they've limited that even more by confining the seven teams to Route 66. Not to say that America doesn't have some lovely scenic vistas and charming locations, but having them drive one road which is only a small portion of the country feels like its a little bit lacking in scope.

Problem 5: There's No Actual Race
There's no sense of urgency, or fight to the finish. The teams just ride along in their pimped out RV's and drive down Route 66, stopping at various locales and competing in the aforementioned pitiful challenges. It makes for a tediously boring show when the outcome has nothing to do with who gets to a location first.

Problem 6: It Exists. Period.
Here's the thing. It's pretty much universally known that TAR: FE was a failed experiment in taking the critically-acclaimed globe-trotting competition and bringing in kids and families. So why try something similar again? Time does not heal all wounds. Especially when you come up with something as excruciatingly boring as this show as a result. No one ever should have tried this show in the first place.

Your thoughts on this Road Trip? Did you enjoy or fall asleep watching it?




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