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Sunday, October 04, 2009
 
The Amazing Race: Good Morning Vietnam

I suppose I understand why they would feature Vietnam so prominently on the Amazing Race (in this series and at least one other); there are a lot of people in the US who are probably interested to go back over there, living their prime vacationing years.

In the opening, the riverboat everybody got on during the last episode travels upriver, but apparently not everybody was paying attention, as the fourth couple, the Obnoxious Lawyer and his fiancee, think they are still in Ho Chi Minh city and decide to start looking around for the playhouse that is mentioned in the first clue.

Actually, HCM city is over an hour away, which adds to the comic delight. As the teams arrive there, they are confronted with some puppet serpents swimming around in a pond; the racers must snag the clues from the snakes' mouths. There's a container with a stamp inside that shows the main post office. Every team gets this immediately except the Obnoxious Lawyer and his fiancee. BTW, since they showed the outside of the PO on the show, here's a reminder of what the inside looks like:

At the main PO, the clue is a detour. Teams must either do child's play or word play. Child's play involves dragging a clay animal around the park and collecting balloons, while in word play they must spot the letters in cars circling a roundabout and then combine them into a common word, very important in Vietnam ("independence"). Okay, a little bit of PC nonsense there, but more importantly, only one team picks word play, and it's the oldster couple from San Francisco. It's always a bad sign when you're the only team that picks one challenge.

The Globetrotters, who have won every section of this particular episode, breeze through the child's play challenge, and we see that they are thinking ahead when they pick a stable animal to lead through the park. Later on, Team Asperger's picks a giraffe with dire consequences, and the Poker Players are not careful in selecting a cart, resulting in them losing precious time going back to the beginning. One interesting bit; Tiffany Michelle tells the Gay Brothers to continue on when her cart disintegrates. Perhaps she is starting to feel the usual "who deserves to win this" vibe already?

Next we get a bit about what great recyclers the Vietnamese are; one senses this is because they pull screws out of old VCRs, which appears to be the next task. It's kind of droll, but they spoil the green aspect by giving everybody power tools. The best bit here is the Obnoxious Laywer just pulling things apart with his bare hands and apparently gaining a bit. Aside from that everybody appears to pretty much finish as they started this task, which does not bode well for the older SF couple, who arrive after everybody else has left.

And despite some effort to make it look close, they do indeed finish last, and are Phil-liminated. The Globetrotters win the episode, followed closely by the Blonde Beachers.

Comments: No bunching maneuvers in this episode, but then again there are no long trips that would make that necessary. Lance, the Obnoxious Lawyer keeps talking about how he's a lion; I wonder if he ain't "lying" about being a lawyer. He seems more like a bouncer at a bar.

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