ABC premiered its Amazing Race rip-off summer series, Operation: Impossible tonight. Mark Burnett, executive producer of Survivor, stole all the elements from his Emmy-winning rival--teams of ordinary people, exotic location, legs--they call them stages or something like that--the finish line, editing to keep you from knowing who comes in last til the last second. The only differences are the teams are made up of three rather than two, the whole series is only in one country (Morocco), and the host is not from New Zealand or remotely cute. But there are no local citizens in colorful native costumes to greet the finishing teams, plus no prizes at the end of each leg for the first-place team. And the ultimate prize is only $150,000 as opposed to the TAR's cool million.
On the plus side, there are more teams--13 whereas the Race usually has 11, or at the most 12. We don't get to know the teams very well as a result. We have the usual assortment of overconfident jocks, surprisingly athletic gays, and whiny spoiled people. I was rooting for the Fab 3, two gay ex-lovers and the sister of one, and the No Limits team just because they have a blind member. Right away I hated the California girls for saying "Oh look, a blind guy, we can count them out, and look, somebody's grandpa. We won't have to worry about them." I also hated the football players for making fun of AJ of the Fab 3 for digging for water and then taking some of it when they teal-clad team worked hard to dig for the moisture and found it. You'll notice the Fab 3 came in second and were on their feet and not exhausted, while the football players came in third and were totally exhausted. They were crawling and collapsing. One even admitted they don't train for endurance.
Also like Amazing Race, you could tell who was going to be eliminated, because they got a lot of screen time. (The Latin Persuasion team.)
I will give this new show a try, especially since there is nothing else worth watching. There have been other TAR wanna bes like NBC's Treasure Hunters which did not last beyond its initial season. I have a feeling this one could be repetitious since we'll be in Morocco the whole time. Did you notice the extended commercial Burnett did for the Ford Focus?