The ATC Report

In Control – Vol. VIII, No. 10

[Dave’s note: A little insight for you readers. Our column has always been, and will remain a collaborative effort. But even in collaborations, someone has to begin the process. Until this column that “someone” has always been me. I always lay out a few ideas, write some of the column, and send it off to Steve. He then adds a few more ideas, writes some new stuff, fixes what I wrote, and sends it back. We repeat the process until the column is finished.
However, of late Steve has become increasingly more strident in his demand to be allowed to start the column instead of me.
However, of late Steve has become increasingly more strident in his demand to be allowed to start the column instead of me. He claims that I get all the best jokes by starting, that I get all the “really cool” lines, his name is first so he should write first, etc. I’ve always been able to fob him off in the past with one excuse or another, but this episode he was not to be denied. So ladies and gentlemen, Steve and Dave now present the first column ever that was started by Steve…]

I wunt to be talking about the Weabvers, OK? Are they super-sucky or what? Am I right, or what? And the best thing is You just know I’m got them pegged to a ‘T’, right? LOL! (That one was for my friend, Al.) And then theres this whole “Family Edition” thing going on that no one really likes but is still on because CBS is trying to live on the Amazing RACE name even though they have a wining show and never wanted to acknoledgeagknowlijakknolidj…admit it before but then they changed the whole format by adding two people to each team to make them four when they had always been two in the past and when watching it no one likes the new people so they should maybe have left

[Dave’s second note: I apologize to our readers. Steve had his chance. It won’t happen again.]

Steve and Dave have finally hit upon the perfect way to make money off of the fact that we were once contestants on The Amazing Race. We have created, and are currently in the process of developing “Steve & Dave Present: The Amazing Race – Video Game Edition” for the Playstation2. While we can’t discuss too many of the particulars, here’s a look at the controller layout for the “Family Edition” portion of our video game:

Game controls

Initially we were just going to do a game that involved backing up an RV trailer, but we decided that we were thinking too small and expanded our game to include the whole TAR experience. The “Family Edition” level is going to be our tutorial level, as the button choices are more limited and thereby easier.

We’ve also been thinking about why TAR:FE is as bad as it is. Of course, we’ve previously commented about why TAR:FE is as bad as it is, but usually we just think a lot about it. This week we think we may have discovered the root cause of the problem. Follow along with us:

  • On TAR:FE, teams had to sit and watch Old Faithful erupt.
  • On regular TAR, teams once had to enter a mine and dig through rocks until they found an opal.
  • On TAR:FE , teams “…traveled over seventy blocks” in production-provided transportation.
  • On regular TAR, teams “…traveled 5 continents and over 70,000 miles.”
  • On TAR:FE, teams had to take a hot-air balloon ride over Utah.
  • On regular TAR, teams once had to bungee jump off of a 1000-foot tall tower.
  • On TAR:FE, teams had to climb into a really big chair.
  • On regular TAR, teams once had to climb up the side of a vertical cliff.
  • On TAR:FE, teams had to take a helicopter ride to the top of a butte, and then back down.
  • On regular TAR, teams once had to take a zip line between mountain peaks, climb down the mountain, and walk over a mile back.
  • On TAR:FE, teams had to spot bird statues in a tree.
  • On regular TAR, teams once had to walk through a temple full of live rats to find their clue.
  • On TAR:FE, teams had to “rough it” by spending a night in a mobile home.
  • On regular TAR, teams once had to spend a night sleeping on the streets of India.
  • On TAR:FE, a team had to bungee jump from a crane to get their Fast Forward.
  • On regular TAR, teams once had to eat a small deep-dish pizza that was covered with chunky tomatoes to get their next clue. (OK, TAR:FE wins that one, but even the White Sox lost ONE playoff game.)
At no time have we ever truly felt that a TAR:FE team might face severe injury or even loss of life attempting one of their tasks. On the flip side of that coin, we oftentimes feel that a team could possibly get injured during “normal” TAR.
In any event, we think you get our point. TAR:FE has been mostly lame because of the dull and boring challenges they have performed. At no time have we ever truly felt that a TAR:FE team might face severe injury or even loss of life attempting one of their tasks. On the flip side of that coin, we oftentimes feel that a team could possibly get injured during “normal” TAR.

We think even the production staff knows this, as evidenced by their efforts to make the Weaver’s exit from their balloon seem far more harrowing than it was. Were you watching as the Weavers made their way down the little hill they landed on? In the background you could see their balloon ascending again – if the landing had truly been as troubling as the show intimated, the balloon could have simply taken off again and landed elsewhere. Additionally, you should have noticed that there were no camera/sound people visible as the Weavers fought their desperate battle to exit the death trap that was the balloon’s gondola. That’s probably because the very camera crew that filmed them in the basket in the air also filmed them on the ground – after said crew had hopped out leaving the poor Weavers to face the life and death struggle within the basket alone.

Steve & Dave aren’t the type to just point out the problems with a show and then walk away, though. We have hit upon the easiest way to improve TAR:FE2, should Leslie Moonves ever have a 5-martini lunch with painkillers again. The teams of four travel to Italy where their first Detour is “Sacrifice or Bo Bice.” Teams must determine which two members of their team will either jump into the live volcano of Mt. Etna or listen to 5 hours of Bo Bice singing “Spinning Wheel” in Italian (at which point they would most certainly be dead of a brain aneurysm). The remaining two members of the teams would then be able to progress as normal, and The Amazing Race will be spared another misguided attempt to improve ratings.

We also may have just stumbled upon why we were never invited to be “bloggers” for TAR:FE on the CBS website.

Emperor's Clothes

You be the judge.

And finally, there’s one thing that is really bugging us after last week’s episode. We really can’t stand it when the show stops at a point right in the middle of the action, and they slap “To Be Continued” up on the screen. Why can’t they just break the show into two separate episodes, rather than pretend to be heading for a