The Thursday Report

I Rhyme The World in 80 Days
Once again, it’s time for the return of the three-time Emmy Award winning Reality Competition, ‘The Amazing Race’. Although I do have to say, the only other show that would stand a chance at toppling our favourite race around the world would be The Mole. I love Survivor, but I’m thinking that the “lose based on your own merits” holds more weight with the Emmy voters than being kicked out by others.

Anyways, there’s been a bit of a change, as Season 8 is a “family” edition with ten teams of four instead of eleven teams of two. But as always, Phil Keoghan is the host, and that’s not a bad thing. But… what IS a bad thing, you ask? Glad you did, because it’s time for a look at the teams and my (probably faulty) predictions.

Let’s look at the teams:
Aiello – We’ve seen what happens when there’s a two-person Alpha Male team. What happens when it’s a four-person Alpha Male team? We’ve got one father and three sons-in-law, and I’d expect some personality clashes along the way, but I also expect we’ll be seeing them reach the Finish Line.

Black – Two boys under twelve + Racing around the world = recipe for disaster. Like the Gaghan family, I expect the Blacks to hit Sequesterville early.

Bransen – One of the tougher calls for me here. The girls remind me of twins Kami and Karly, in that they seem athletic enough that it can carry them far, but they might stress out mentally as the game goes on. Which would mean that Walter will need to be the calming influence in the group. I don’t see them reaching the Finish Line, but fourth or fifth sounds about right for this team.

Gaghan – Parents Bill and Tammy have traveled along extensively, but they’ve got a couple of problems – they’re bringing their kids along. God bless ya, but if you’re dragging along preteens, not only are you not going to win, but you’ve punched yourself an early ticket to Sequesterville.

Godlewski – Four sisters, the Godlewskis seem to be in pretty good shape, but I think that they’re likely to have some personality clashes along the way. The question here is how they’ll be able to work through that. If so, a Top 5 finish is not out of the question.

Linz – OK, we’ve got three brothers and one sister, all between 19 and 24, all who look extremely fit and able to withstand the rigours of this competition. What this adds up to is a team that almost HAS to reach the Finish Line, given their competition. The one thing that could trip them up is a lack of common sense, but after the first episode we should be able to see whether they possess it or not.

Paolo – Apparently, they’re “lovable New Yorkers”. Which is all well and good, except that parents Tony and Marion don’t seem to be physically ready for the challenge. I don’t think that they’ll last long, but I expect that they’ll live up to the “lovable New Yorkers” moniker.

Rogers – The Rogers family contains our token beauty queen, but I don’t take that as a detriment here. The whole family looks to be ready for this and if there’s a Mom/Dad/kids team that will reach the Finish Line, this is the team that will do it.

Schroeder – This family’s success would appear to hinge on how well the kids hold up. Stassi is listed as the “queen” of the family, which doesn’t seem to be a good thing. Hunter is 15, and based on the pictures he doesn’t really seem to want to be there. Combine the two and it doesn’t matter how strong and driven dad Mark is – they’ll get Philiminated at some point.

Weaver – One mom, three teens. Good on mom for carrying on after her husbands’ death, but something tells me that winning just isn’t in the cards for this team. Plus, I can’t root for a team that has someone named “Rolly” on it.

Heading to Sequesterville:
Black
Bransen
Gaghan
Godlewski
Paolo
Schroeder
Weaver

Reaching the Finish Line:
Aiello
Linz
Rogers

Winners of The Amazing Race:
Linz

Bits and Pieces – Season/Series Premieres
Just remember, we got a heapin’ pile of recaps here at Ye Olde Inside Pulse, so if you missed something, we’ve got ya covered.

The Apprentice: Martha Stewart‘ – Umm, there’s this show called ‘Lost’ on, but we put out an APB, and Paul Meekin has a LIVE recap of the goings on. And that’s a good thing.

Arrested Development‘ – Gold, as usual. What other show would have a person go from intentional incest to unintentional incest, and drag out a “twin brother” plot for so long without it getting old?

‘CSI: Miami’ – Horatio’s still a cold fish? Check. My wife still hates Calleigh with a passion? Check. Wolfe still kinda naïve? Check? Gang busted up in one episode? Looks like it. Just another day at the office for the intrepid Miami-Dade Crime Lab.

‘My Name Is Earl’ – Funny stuff. Not downright hilarious yet, but it has it’s moments. Jason Lee and Ethan Slupee are great as brothers Earl and Randy, while Jaime Pressley is seemingly in her comfort zone as the trashy ex-wife. Although to be honest, the only other actress I could see in the role would be Fairuza Balk. Anyways, I hope that Rogers comes through this time and gets Personal TV installed.

‘Lost’ – Seemed kinda lacklustre for some reason. Maybe expectations were set way too high after an amazing rookie season, but I felt let down. Not by anything specifically, but the show felt… odd. I really don’t know how to describe it.

‘The Office’ – I really don’t know how this compares to the original, but it seems like the American version has taken a life of it’s own. Enjoyable episode – unless, of course, you were at that office party at Chili’s.

‘Threshold’ – Underwhelming. The show would probably have been better served as a miniseries. It almost seems like Brannon Braga is trying to outdo former Trek producers Ron Moore (‘Battlestar Galactica’) and Ira Steven Behr (‘The 4400’). He hasn’t succeeded yet. I’ll give it another week to see if, as the saying goes, business picks up.

You know it’s bad when even former contestants say it’s tough
So we had the debut of ‘Survivor: Guatemala‘, and while it wasn’t very exciting, you can’t say that the contestants had it easy this season. I’d pretty much be in the same boat as Brandon with the Reward challenge. Sure, I’ve hiked, but 11 miles? Through some jungle? Nope, can’t say as I have.

Last week, I thought that Margaret was getting the boot, when as it turns out she was the MVP for her tribe. And I’m not using this as an excuse, but the additions of Steph and Bobby Jon kinda screwed up my pre-show predictions. So now, after one episode, I’m switching my predictions to a Polishuk-style list.

18. Jim Lynch – A torn bicep didn’t do Rob McDonald much good in The Ultimate Fighter, either. Three and Out for the retired firefighter. I hope the arm is healing nicely though – that couldn’t have been fun.

Out Before Merge:
Amy
Blake
Bobby Jon
Cindy
Jamie
Judd
Rafe
Lydia

Jury:
Brandon
Brianna
Brooke
Danni
Margaret
Morgan
Stephanie

Final Two
Brian
Gary

Sole Survivor
Brian
Gary

This week’s pick: Lydia. I want to hedge my bets and say Blake will go if Nakum loses, but I figure that Bobby Jon will want to win an immunity sooner than later. Lydia hasn’t seemed to have been much help over the first 3 days, so she could be seen as a liability more than an asset, so I’m picking her to get the boot over Amy.

Are you ready for a New Sensation?
So J.D. Fortune is the new lead singer of INXS, although I don’t think that it comes as much of a shock when looking at the Final Three. MiG was way too theatrical, and tried to put too much focus on him, and Marty was either the “Mad Conductor” or “Rigid Emo Guy”, with no in between. J.D. seemed to do everything right, playing to the crowd, getting the band involved, and letting them shine when need be.

As for the finale itself, well, you’d expect better from Burnett and co. They should know better than to tell us it’s “live” when the poor edits tell us it’s not. And it’s not likely that the production team will get a chance to correct it, as I can’t think of another band that has the song catalogue of INXS, the need for a lead singer, is a “name” that will resonate with viewers, AND is willing to do this type of show. I’m not sure if bands like Queen and Van Halen are willing to do this kind of show. It’s One and Done for Rock Star, I think.

You can’t be an Ultimate Fighter unless you, you know, try to fight
This week’s episode of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’ showed what can happen when two friends have to fight each other – nothing. Heavyweight Tom Murphy was eliminated after doing a lot of circling and half-hearted shots with Rashad Evans. So much so that Rashad was able to do a lot of showboating and taunting during the match, which apparently pisses off Coach Matt Hughes. Although I’m not sure that we’ve seen something that DOESN’T piss off Hughes. I’m hoping that the fights get a bit better as we go on, because a stallfest like this sure isn’t going to bring in viewers.

How the heck are they gonna stretch this out for a full season?
So, did anyone buy that Michael was gonna get transferred on ‘Prison Break‘? Didn’t think so. And how will he escape to guest star on ‘Ghost Whisperer’?

And that’s it for this week.