So much has changed in eight months: The bottom dropped out of the real estate market, Michael Phelps set a record for Olympic gold medals, and two candidates emerged for the presidential election. But I couldn't enjoy any of it. Why? Because for the last eight months there has been no Amazing Race. How could I concentrate on anything in that dark, Keoghanless time, while shaking from the roadblock d.t.s? The presidential race is nothing but a poor man's detour: Yes, there are two choices, each with their own pros and cons, but nobody ever falls in the mud or has to ride a rickety bicycle.
But now, I am whole again. Phil is back (and is it me, or has he dyed his hair?), and he has the extra gravitas that comes from him not having to humiliate himself like the reality-host nominees at the Emmys last week. It would have completely devalued Browsie if it had been spotted arching at Howie Mandel's endless prattling. After writing the TV Watch for Big Brother this summer, I'm thrilled to once again be recapping a show that spans a surface area larger than a bodily-fluid stained backyard. So let's meet this season's teams as they jet off to Brazil, the land where Blong candy grows on trees:
TONI AND DALLAS Do you remember when, in Survivor's second season, Colby won a car and had a sleepover with his mother in the trunk? While everyone else watching was a little creeped out, I wonder if Dallas and his single mother were yelling at the TV, "You two call that spooning?" Toni loves her son. Loooooves her son. I'm not implying that they're romantically inclined, but she idolizes him to the point that I'm guessing her closet is filled with his bronzed bowel movements. ("See that corn? That's m'boy!") He is an athlete, and at one point she kvelled that this was her first golden opportunity to be on his team: Imagine the heartbreak she suffered those many years that she was told, "We're sorry, Dallas' mom, but a woman in her 40s isn't eligible to try out for his high school lacrosse team, no matter how many muffins you offer to bake for the team." Dallas' respect is mutual, which is touching, but I haven't seen this deep a mother-son bond since Sante and Kenny Kimes.
KELLY AND CHRISTY We didn't learn too much about the best-friend divorcees this week except that man oh man do they hate their ex-husbands. Granted, in every season premiere the producers show contestants repeating their identities over and over again ("We're best friends!" "We argue a lot!") but these ladies' segments looked like they were produced by their lawyers. In the candy-delivery challenge — brought to you be Blong, the candy for when you can't move just one box. Blong! Try it today!—Kelly said, "Christy and I both have both been through bad divorces. We'll pull out of whatever bad situations we're faced with." Do they use this metaphor for everything they do? Sitting down for lunch: "This meat is kind of chewy, but considering we'd have chewed off our left legs to get away from our worthless-bastard husbands, we'll eat it all!" (One other note: In Brazil, the women chased down cabs yelling, "Daxi!" in an unplaceable, generic accent. Did they prep for this race by studying at the Mirna School for Bilingualism?)
Boy, this recapping is making me hungry. And with my sweet tooth, I could really go for some Blong right about now. But anyway...
NEXT: Frat boys and Southern belles