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10-Year Rewatch: TAR3: AssHat and Bald Snark and Flo! Oh, My!


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#1

Arlo Rowan

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Posted May 9, 2011 @ 1:15 AM

All right. Sorry TAR2 wasn't shown a lot of love. Still, let's move on and continue the rewatch this week with the first of several seasons that I'm sure a lot of people were waiting to discuss: the third season!

Honestly, this season was nearly perfect. Every single country they went to was a new, unvisited country, and there were some thrilling tasks and beautiful locations!

For the most part, the cast was pretty good. There were some clunkers of casting choices (Dennis & Andrew, Aaron & Arianne, whose nickname of "Aahab", dubbed by Miss Alli, I never really understood, and Andre & Damon), but each of the other nine teams brought at least something to the table. Honestly, however . . . I think the cast mainly wins its raves for the F5. The other seven teams who left before them are generally forgotten, and more's the pity for it.

You've got the sweet, adorable John Vito & Jill, who were brought together over the grief of losing Jill's brother in the 9/11 attacks and became a couple at least in part over that. John Vito was probably not all that dynamic, but Jill was one of the scrappiest, strongest female racers of all time and would be unmatched for seasons to come.

There was Derek & Drew, the twins. Frankly, while I know many were thrilled by them, I just . . . wasn't. Not bad guys, by any means. Not at all. I just wasn't that interested in them. About the only things I liked about them were how well they avoided falling victim to the Twin Hunt (started mainly nearly no one in the cast wanted another alpha-male team to win after two straight seasons of that happening) and their nice, friendly relationship with Ken & Gerard. Their classy final words after getting the boot at the F4 were very nice, though.

Speaking of Ken & Gerard, I was into them from practically the first minute they were on my screen. They just had such an interesting -- and real -- relationship, I couldn't look away from them. They made me laugh at least three times a leg, and I was so happy to see them get as far as they did. Of course, their Detour switches earned them the nickname "Bald Snark," which, of course, became a term used here for Detour switching. (Granted, Gary & Dave did it first the season before, but I think they got the term coined because they did it way more often, while Itchy and Scratcy only did it once.)

Who could ever forget the runners-up, though? I know they're fairly polarizing, but Teri & Ian entertained me, as well. I always took the fighting they did to be reflective of a typical middle-aged married couple. It never bothered me. They were considered cannon fodder from the get-go, but managed to defy so many odds and actually win a good number of legs. In spite of their age, they made it to the F3, and I was so surprised and impressed with that. Too bad about that final task, though. I'd have loved seeing them win more than the ones who did. . . .

And finally, we come to winners Flo & Zach. Honestly . . . I know Flo turned out to be a cool enough girl outside of the race, but in the race, I was one of few here who just wishes she'd never been cast. The race was clearly not for her. I have no idea how her meltdowns could be considered entertaining. Her earlier ones, sure. But her later ones, especially the boats in Vietnam, just wore me the hell down on her. I couldn't stand her. There's a reason RNO has her in their Reality TV Hall of Shame. She totally deserved to be placed there. Zach, OTOH, was amazingly awesome. It was amazing how he was such a saint to have put up with her and basically carried her through the race. That final victory was much deserved on his part and his part alone. He should've gotten the whole million. And doesn't he work for or with the show now?

On the whole, it was a great route, a good cast, some great tasks, and actually an okay endgame, except for, you know, the . . . Flo winning thing. Perfect ten if she hadn't won. But nine out of ten isn't bad!

Discuss below.

#2

FatLynn

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Posted May 9, 2011 @ 9:12 AM

Teri and Ian are one of my favorite teams of all time.

#3

TudorQueen

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Posted May 9, 2011 @ 1:19 PM

I loved John Vito and Jill sooo much. I was thrilled when they were cast in the first All-Stars Race, and tremendously sad by their early elimination.

Bald Snark is and always will be immortal to me, even if they weren't the most... decisive Racers in history.

Derek and Drew were indeed a class act. I flove class acts and one of the things I love about TAR is that it usually seems to encourage that, rather than the backstabby 'drama' of shows like "Survivor"

I didn't particularly like or enjoy Teri and Ian, but I have to admit that I respected the hell out of them. They earned their Final 3 Status.

Flo irritated the hell out of me, of course (though I do understand that outside of the Race she seems to be a lovely person) but in a weird way I'm glad Zach wasn't penalized for having a dead weight partner, since he more than stepped up.

#4

NotPatrick

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Posted May 10, 2011 @ 4:07 AM

The Final Four are seriously absolutely perfect. It's one of the very few races where the editing takes the time to sketch out every single team's relationship to everyone else in the Final Four and it makes for so much more interesting viewing than the kind of "oh shit, Globetrotters face the sisters down in the final 2, let's throw in a clip of flirting now that we're in the last 2 episodes" approach that we get nowadays.

Teri & Ian are definitely my favourite team ever - a very brittle shell hiding a soft centre, and a really belivable lived-in relationship. Ian's bristly pushiness and Teri's stealth hilarity both. They also managed to come up with the only racer catchphrase ever that I didn't hate, which is quite a feat. The whole Vietnam Redemption Arc - where they start kicking ass as a team and also wax philosophical about Ian's war experiences - is so classily and heart-felt, and they are the most hilarious fashion-victims the race has ever seen. Kenty & Vyxsin wished they looked as ridiculous as Ian billowing down the road in that stupid desert-rat hat with his shirt billoughing up into a hunchback.

Ken & Gerard are genuinely very funny guys, whilst not being schticky or gimmicky (I hate that their popularity and amazingness is basically the genesis for the godawful Clowns and the Hippies and the billion other try-hard Wacky Guyz teams we've had since) whilst also having minds like steel traps when it comes to the race. Derek & Drew have more depth then I think people give them credit for - they bicker incessantly, are incredibly dorky quite often, and they're the only twin team where the editors ever really bothered to sketch in separate personalities. Zach is amazing and an inspiration to my daily life and dealings with idiots and the best winner ever, and he couldn't be like that without Flo there to...highlight his better qualities. And whatever, she's likable outside of the times she's being a raging ass-munch quitter.

I know the early boots are where people usually say the series falls down, but I would disagree. The boot-list is perfect : you get a whole lot of sweetheart teams going out early (Gina & Sylvia, hugging kids in the supermarket ; Tramel & Talicia, loud and hilarious ; Dennis & Andrew, learning how to love the gay) to the extent that you wonder if the ass-hole villains are ever going to get their come-uppance. Then they do in quick succession, and you get left with a top 5 of well-rounded teams who are all likable, all of whom have flaws, and all of whom are either genuinely strong racers or who are tough as old boots, or who are Flo, who is part of TAR Legend forever.

#5

Michel

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Posted May 10, 2011 @ 4:41 AM

Can that really be considered a quick succession for the asshole teams' eliminations? While Heather & Eve and Aaron & Arianne were pills, to be sure, I don't really think Michael & Kathy or Andre & Damon were all that bad.

Speaking of whom, I always feel bad for Team Firecop and their taxi ride from hell in Morocco. They were on their way to a very high finish, and all of a sudden, boom. Either a taxi driver working for a corrupt government (unless he was just plain incompetent) gets them detained and nearly eliminated. I did love their dollar bill exit with Phil, though, when they got booted.

#6

NotPatrick

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Posted May 10, 2011 @ 4:56 AM

I was definitely thinking of just Aaron & Arianne (who were really "eliminated" along with Michael/Kathy the second DieselGate happened : no way they were comnig back from that) and Heather & Eve in terms of villain teams, but Michael clearly didn't give a crap about the race by that point, and Andre & Damon were followers whose following was really starting to hack the other teams off, so whilst I wouldn't call them villains, they were definitely satisfying boots (apart from the manner of Andre & Damon's departure). I just said Final Five because otherwise I'd be saying that Andre & Damon were in any way comparable to them, which I didn't find them, because they were kind of dull.

Edited by NotPatrick, May 10, 2011 @ 4:57 AM.


#7

Michel

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Posted May 10, 2011 @ 5:17 AM

NotPatrick
Andre & Damon were followers whose following was really starting to hack the other teams off

Even though it was, I hated Flo's interview about them in their boot episode. I mean, had it been anyone but the one person riding coattails of her own, it might've had some meat to it. But her "time for them to go" interview just honked me off since it was from, well, Flo.

#8

Late Lamented

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Posted May 10, 2011 @ 6:34 AM

I actually really liked Flo. Maybe it had something to do with it taking me about three years to get around to watching TAR3 and hearing so many times before that that Flo was the worst racer of all time, but I don't think she was. She didn't pull her weight on the Roadblocks (though that's true of many female halves of male-female teams up to TAR5) and certainly I think she wouldn't have got very far at all without Zach, but at least in the first half, Flo contributed to the team's success. She had her moments of inspiration where strategy was concerned, and there were several occasions shown where her language skills (she spoke very good French and Spanish) helped them out, both at airports and with the locals. Obviously she didn't exactly cover herself in glory in Vietnam, but by that point I'd started to feel sorry for her - I got the impression that she just genuinely hadn't been prepared for the physical and mental toll the race was taking on her, and was powerless to stop it bringing out all the worst aspects of her personality. I think what stopped me from disliking her was that whenever they interviewed her out of the moment, she seemed contrite and apologetic about her behaviour. It would've been better if she'd had the awareness to acknowledge this behaviour in the moment and do something about it, but the fact that she was aware of how much of an asshole she was at all still puts her ahead of quite a lot of other racers from the course of the series. I loved the "I'm sorry I've been such a pain in the ass this whole time......you're supposed to say 'you haven't been'!" conversation with Zach on the final taxi ride - I thought that was a really humanising moment for her, and the fact that even Zach was kind of laughing at that point suggested to me that while Racer Flo was kind of a monster, Actual Flo seemed like a decent enough person. Still, I think the best decision Flo ever made was declining the invitation to return and race with Drew for All-Stars. Smart, smart woman.

It feels wrong to have written so much about Flo and then barely write anything for Zach considering he single-handedly carried that team for a good portion of the race, but there's not a lot I can say about him that hasn't already been said: the guy is brilliant. I wish I had one-tenth of his patience.

Teri & Ian were wonderful - as NotPatrick pointed out above, their redemption arc in Vietnam was perfectly handled. It really fleshed them out as people, and told us so much about their relationship. I think there was a line where Teri was explaining, very simply, Ian's previous time in Vietnam and then ended with something like "he doesn't talk about it". That, right there, was so illuminating. Mind you, as much as I enjoyed them when they were kicking ass at the end, I had just as much fun with them when they were bickering. Riding the bikes through Switzerland was one of my favourite parts, when Teri plants herself into the kerb and Ian scolds her for holding them up and Teri snarls back "I fell off ON PURPOSE", like she's so mad at him she can't even quite get sarcasm right. I still laugh just thinking about that moment.

Loved Derek & Drew as well - I loved that they were the first time to combine being the handsome, athletic team that everyone feared with also being major dorks. And their alliance was Ken & Gerard was great too - the way it ended was heartbreaking, but both teams couldn't have been classier about it. I loathed Aaron and Arianne, largely because they took against the twins right from the outset based on this apparently unfounded assumption that they didn't need the $1m, but I did at least admire their doomed optimism towards the end of their run.

Which brings me onto Dieselgate - a brilliant piece of entirely unplanned drama, and very interesting in terms of what it revealed about the teams. The two who were proactive about fixing the error (Flo & Zach, Teri & Ian) recovered well and ended up in the final, while the two who were far too laissez-faire about trying to sort it out (Michael & Kathy) or somehow took this as something the universe arranged to target them personally (Aaron & Arianne) basically eliminated themselves right there.

Edited by Late Lamented, May 10, 2011 @ 6:36 AM.


#9

The Australian

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Posted May 10, 2011 @ 8:05 AM

Yes, this is the stuff! There has never, ever been a season of TAR better than this one since it first aired in the fall of 2002.

Which is a bit strange, when you consider that the course and tasks here can't entirely be considered as brilliant as what had come previously. While the excursion to Morocco, romp through Switzerland and journey in Vietnam are all wonderful, the opening legs and the episodes in Austria and Singapore fail to set the world on fire. And for every Count The Numbers, overloaded bicycle and selling of snails, there's things like the dangling Roadblock, running around a fountain and chasing after some goats in a field.

So why is TAR3 so enjoyable? Two main reasons. Mainly, there's the cast - a real cavalcade of characters where almost every team offers you some entertainment value. The only duff pair here are Andre & Damon, very much the proto-Globetrotters with their disappointing maladroitness at racing and heavy reliance on local help and especially following the other teams. While you feel sympathetic for their Moroccan taxi scam hell, that's about it.

But everyone else is classic, especially the top 5 as has been pointed out, but also many of the early boots as well like the plucky Gina & Sylvia, earnest Dennis & Andrew and crafty Heather & Eve. While the likes of John Vito & Jill and Derek & Drew perhaps lack zest, the editors still give us the chance to get to know them so they never come across as dull personalities.

I'm very much on the Teri & Ian love train - they are almost unique among TAR teams in that they begin the race as complete also rans and gradually work their way up to becoming real contenders (I'd say Dan & Jordan are really the only other true example of this). Their brusque bickering may not be to everyone's taste, but it's always genuine and never forced; and Ian's personal creed about tenacity and "never throwing in the towel" is a salutary lesson for many racers ever since.

Ken & Gerard sparkle with wit and genuine fraternal affection, and were really the first team to make switching Detours an acceptable tactic. Their alliance with Derek & Drew is one of the few really successful ones to last, which makes the circumstances which occur in the eleventh leg even more heartbreaking.

And then there's Zach & Flo. Flo was a far more demonised racer at the time of this season than she is now - we'd simply never had a racer who whined, complained and constantly threatened to quit last as long as she did, and then she went on to win it! But in hindsight it's easy to accept her explanation that racing simply brought out the worst in her, and she did make a contribution to the team's success (ticketing and some strategic decisions) and have her moments of charm. And however grating she still is to watch in the latter half of this season, it's important to remember that she never actually did quit totally. Something for which Zach, with his endless reserves of patience, really does deserve a medal for.

The other thing that makes this season stand out (apart from a truly exciting three-way final dash through Seattle) is "events, dear boy, events". Things just don't go quite according to plan at a number of points - Heather & Eve failing to walk to the Torre de Belem, the "Twin Hunt" crashing miserably as soon as it starts, airport shuffles, the said taxi scam, and above all, Dieselgate. A wonderful example of something which would otherwise have been very mundane providing real drama and having a genuine impact on the outcome of the race. Even if you do see this kind of thing these days, it tends to lack the sheer unpredictability of what happened here.

So if you've never seen this season, you're really missing out. 9/10.

#10

Michel

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Posted May 10, 2011 @ 12:50 PM

The Australian
I'm very much on the Teri & Ian love train - they are almost unique among TAR teams in that they begin the race as complete also rans and gradually work their way up to becoming real contenders (I'd say Dan & Jordan are really the only other true example of this).

I believe Chip & Kim could lay claim to that, too.

#11

enlightenedbum

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Posted May 10, 2011 @ 2:50 PM

The best season. So good. Highly elevated by a top five that was 70% pure awesome, 10% obnoxious brat, and 20% Teri and Ian who are interesting, if not my favorites on this race. I liked them much more in their second appearance, and it softens their harder edges here, I think.

Aaron & Arianne, whose nickname of "Aahab", dubbed by Miss Alli, I never really understood


Aahab is a reference to their futile obsession with eliminating Derek and Drew. Futile obsession = Moby Dick = Ahab + an extra "a" because of their names = Aahab.

But yeah, this season mostly had the likable people eliminate the obnoxious and the stupid, which is always a good situation. It has one of my two favorite teams of all time, and easily the funniest team of all time. I've also talked about it with one of the cast members on another forum, and one has PMed me here a couple times. This cast ROCKED. Jill is about as ass kicking a woman as the show's ever cast (along with Kris and both BQs), and I love that JV was so down with her awesomeness and being the leader of their team. Derek and Drew had surprising depth and their relationship with Ken and Gerard was genuinely compelling and made their elimination episode maybe the best of the whole series. Although obviously Colin and the Ox beats it for comedy. Teri and Ian were interesting, if not my favorites at the time. And Zach is awesome. Flo... not so much, but she's been outdone by later albatrosses, so she seems better in retrospect.

My favorite reality TV season, one of my 10 favorite seasons of anything, probably. So good.

#12

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Posted May 11, 2011 @ 4:06 PM

Don't know if it's my favorite season ever, but it's definitely my favorite of the four "classic" seasons. The cast and locations were what helped it for me.

#13

graytex

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Posted May 11, 2011 @ 9:07 PM

It's interesting that so many people (including me) find Season 3 so memorable. For me though, the memories are about the characters, not the race itself. I can't tell you much about the first half of the race as far as tasks or locations. I think it was the easiest race route ever, as far as putting racers in uncomfortable positions.

I'll join the chorus of those who love Teri & Ian. I saw this season later and I had read so much from people who hated them. I was so surprised when I loved them. I also felt they were very "real".

Here are my memories of the first part of the race:

I was very sad that Gina & Sylvia went first. I thought they were one of the sadder first eliminations.
- Heave getting the heave-ho. Of course my favorite Heave memory is the cart spilling over...comedy gold.
- Damon & Andre and the cab ride from hell. I think that was one of the scariest events in TAR history.
- The twin hunt, which just gagged me. I hated that stupid thing. It was too many 20 somethings acting like they were back in high school. Even Zach & Flo were on the fringe of this.
- Hating Michael for basically throwing the race by just giving up.
- Just absolutely loving Aaron sitting on the curb, crying, after dieselgate. Oh sweet Karma.
- Paper underwear. Need I say more?

I also remember thinking Flo wasn't so bad the first half and really not liking Zach much. He was a bit boring the first half and kind of passive aggressive at times. I never completely fell in love with him and I never totally hated Flo. Did she "deserve" to win? Hell no. But I totally got her.

I love Vietnam. It makes the season. I agree with everything that's been said about it. I love the train station when Ian is torturing Flo and that loud music is playing and she finds out she has to ride the train for 24 hours or something like that. It's great mental play.

The finale is great with all the running around the streets. I really didn't know who would win. Plus, since the first 3 seasons with the more planned finales, they've lost lots of excitement. This finale still had a loose, unplanned feeling.

Also, on a superficial note, am I the only one that finds Flo one of the prettiest racers ever? I know she annoys, but she is a very attractive woman.

#14

Neeney

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Posted May 15, 2011 @ 8:41 AM

I liked both the cast and the locations on season three. There was just something about the whole thing that makes it what I totally love about TAR.

As far as the cast goes, I didn't and still don't like Teri and Ian no matter how "real" they were. I just don't like them. I didn't mind Flo, and absolutely loved that Zach didn't just throw in the towel when she gave up. On JV/J I get that Jill is awesome but as racers I don't think they were all that great. They didn't navigate all that well or choose tasks that were good for them, I thought. YMMV, of course.

But, as it goes, it's one of my absolute favorite seasons, being followed by season four and one.

Edited by Neeney, May 15, 2011 @ 8:42 AM.


#15

Arrow23

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Posted May 16, 2011 @ 9:49 AM

Another favorite season of mine.

The mix of teams were good. Didn't really care for the first few teams going out but then we had Twin Hunt which made the start of the season pretty nice. Michael & Kathy were alright, Aaron & Arianne were just...I didn't like them. Heave were alright, a lot of people hated them but I liked Heather because she actually wanted to race unlike Eve. I still would have liked a team of Zach and Heather because that would be a gun team. Then we had Dieselgate where some teams like Michael & Kathy and Aaron & Arianne gave up while Zach (Flo did nothing) helped them get back in and Ian fixed it himself with Teri telling him that petrol was the problem. Then we had the chance to see FireCop do well until that whole Morocco incident where after that they checked out of the race. Flo did a roadblock on the same leg.

Then we had Drew and Flo starting a romance where the editors tried to make Zach jealous and of course he didn't care. Jill and John Vito were alright racers I mean Jill was kickass but they didn't do that great. Derek and Drew were strong after learning from the first leg and were the targets until Flo accidently indirectly caused their elimination at Vietnam. Ken and Gerard were awesome to watch and really funny. How could you not like them and then you had Teri and Ian where most expected to be eliminated early but hung on in there. Then there was Vietnam where they just went from hanging on to domination and you could see that Ian was more relaxed. I actually wanted them to win but not everyone you want to win actually wins and that makes this show great. Flo and Zach...what to say except Zach is a legend. How he put up with Flo's mood swings in the race is just incredible and was smart enough to allow Flo and himself to slow down in the second last leg which helped them a lot. Flo was just entertainment, shocking entertainment. I couldn't stand the whining and when the race reached Vietnam, it just multiplied by 10. Her breakdown is what I remember most of the season.

Great season with great characters, locations such as Singapore, Vietnam, Switzerland and Morocco and of course a very strong bunch of racers. Maybe some tasks were just meh but great season overall.

#16

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Posted May 18, 2011 @ 12:32 AM

Dieselgate is for me perhaps the best hour ever in reality television--5 different reactions to the same problem. Human nature was writ large in that episode--it was simply fascinating. That single hour really showcased what reality t.v., for all of it's problems, can be.

As for Flo, I found her to be immensely entertaining. I didn't see this season until it aired on GSN, which was after my first season--season 6. After seasons 6 and 7, Flo seemed pretty tame and endearing compared to what came after.

I think that season 3 had hands down the best cast of any season--not a loser team in the bunch, I enjoyed them all, and as for the top 3--it's the only time that I would have been fine with any team winning.

If you truly rewatch it--watch for Zach insisting on them sleeping in lobbies instead of rooms in episode after episode. That explains Flo's one meltdown about staying in a hostel, or whatever it was, and why she was so tired. Zach had squirreled away $800 by the end of the race, thinking he might need it at some point--if he'd gotten them hotel rooms and kept Flo better-fed, he might not have had so many problems! I laughed when I learned later that his parents are mental health professionals--who better to handle Flo?

Flo and Zach were a good match--her fire and his calm nature. Colin and Christie might have won their season if Christie could have reined him in a bit. I don't think that Zach carried Flo to the win on his back--I'm not sure that Zach would have won with another partner. You can't win The Amazing Race alone--if anyone could have it, it might have been Colin! The partners need to have complementary skills--and Flo and Zach did. Colin and Christie did not.

#17

Agent0042

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 9:33 PM

Ah, so Season 3. Obviously, as has been said, Flo & Zach's victory did not make for great TV, at least for me. Seeing Flo's breakdowns on the show were painful to watch, so I could not be pleased by that ending. Though, it really is fair to say that earlier on the season, there was really little glimmer of the fact of what Flo would become, other than the fact that she pretty much never did Roadblocks. It was only later on in the race that it really set in.

In looking back, I have to agree that there was a lot to like about this season, other than that. One thing I will always remember about this season was what happened with Heather & Eve. Now, I could be mistaken, but if I recall correctly, this was the first time that a team was eliminated from the race because they chose to take a taxi to the Pit Stop when the clue clearly stated that teams were required to proceed "on foot." Showing, clearly, the importance of carefully reading the clue and following the instructions as given.

One team I remember fondly from this season was Andre & Damon - the cop / fireman team. Despite the whole following thing, it was a shame to see them go out the way they did - winning a leg with a Fast Forward and then ending up so far behind that they received a "go directly to the Pit Stop" clue.

I also remember Teri and Ian quite well - and how Teri would insist on pronouncing Ian's name as "I-an." Even though they had their quirks, they were still an enjoyable team on the whole.

As has also been mentioned, we had a great set of locations and some good tasks to match. And the whole "Diesel-gate" situation is also one that I certainly won't forget. Once again, drama crops up not from the situations that are a part of the actual planned tasks of the race, but by a mistake made by the teams that had so many consequences. And, as Arrowgate noted, the multitude of ways in which it was handled made for some very interesting TV.

#18

Vyk

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Posted May 22, 2011 @ 10:00 PM

Agent0042
One team I remember fondly from this season was Andre & Damon - the cop / fireman team. Despite the whole following thing, it was a shame to see them go out the way they did - winning a leg with a Fast Forward and then ending up so far behind that they received a "go directly to the Pit Stop" clue.

I liked Andre & Damon well enough, but they never won a leg with a Fast Forward. They got behind because of that corrupt taxi driver who essentially got them detained and never could catch back up after that.

Agent0042, I believe you even made a funny thing dedicated to Heather & Eve's big snafu. Care to share it?

#19

Wry Bread

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Posted May 30, 2011 @ 9:41 AM

I love Vietnam. It makes the season. I agree with everything that's been said about it. I love the train station when Ian is torturing Flo and that loud music is playing and she finds out she has to ride the train for 24 hours or something like that. It's great mental play.

And then the music wakes her up on the train! Perfection.

TAR3 is love. Everything I adore about it has been mentioned (except maybe "Hump it, baby; hump it!"), and I just have to say that I never thought Flo's breakdowns were annoying--I found them to be quite funny. Now that TAR2 has come out on DVD, I am crossing my fingers that TAR3 will follow soon.

Edited by Wry Bread, May 30, 2011 @ 9:41 AM.


#20

sardonic

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Posted May 31, 2011 @ 10:48 PM

Ohhh, season 3. It's the best of times and the worst of times. Overall, one of the strongest seasons, but the ending just really left a sour taste in my mouth. Even still, if I was to pick one season to show to someone that had never seen the show, this is probably the one I would pick.

First, I have to discuss Flo. I understand that she was good at the logistical/travel arrangements aspect of the game, much like Mirna. It's hard for me to look past how much she struggled with the physical aspect of the game. I genuinely doubt that she'd have been able to get through six roadblocks if that rule were in effect her season. Zach is a more patient man than I am, clearly. I found her grating enough that her win actually detracted from an otherwise enjoyable season.

The tasks were actually pretty good, some of the best we've seen. (Punting? The money counting in Switzerland? The gondola descent?) Excellent. Dieselgate was awesome, especially given that the teams zapped with it were ones I didn't particularly like. Although there were an awful lot of alpine legs, I think that the Scotland, Morocco, and Vietnam legs were excellent and memorable.

The rest of the cast: a weird mix of annoying and endearing. There were actually a lot of teams that were hard for me to like. Teri and Ian I gave a begrudging pass at the end of the season but didn't truly like until All-Stars. Heather and Eve were actually pretty horrid... even though Heather was competent enough and Eve was essentially carry-on luggage, I can't condone blaming the camera crew for their lack of reading comprehension skills. Aaron and Arianne are obnoxious hipster trash that I found grating. However, there were some bright points... I liked the twins, LOVED Ken and Gerard, and Jill is still my favorite female racer seventeen seasons later. I actually found the editing contrast between Jill and Flo to be fascinating... the tough athletic woman that was a great partner and the shrill harpy that kept melting down.

#21

fester01

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Posted Jul 3, 2011 @ 11:58 PM

There were some clunkers of casting choices (Dennis & Andrew, Aaron & Arianne, whose nickname of "Aahab", dubbed by Miss Alli, I never really understood

IIRC, "Aahab" was a reference to the large number of "a"'s in their names and also to Captain Ahab from Moby Dick, because their obsession with eliminating the twins was similar to Ahab's quest to capture the white whale.

By the way, I was watching this on DVD recently, and is it just me, or does Zach's hair remind anyone of Sideshow Bob?

#22

TheGrimRecapper

TheGrimRecapper

    Couch Potato

Posted Jul 4, 2011 @ 11:25 PM

I always thought he was more like Sideshow Bob's brother Cecil.

#23

Lantern7

Lantern7

    Stalker

  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Staten Island, NY

Posted Nov 16, 2011 @ 7:06 PM

I'm catching up with the "Rewatch" . . . I haven't visited the Past Seasons in a while, and it turned out I missed a ton of stuff. I think of this season as "Triumph & Tragedy." The "triumph" comes from memorable characters, great locales and overall great moments. The "tragedy": the last three episodes and the last four legs.

Really, if Flo & Zach had been eliminated, or if John Vito & Jill decided not to go for the Fast Forward and manage to finish above last place (I know, hindsight = 20/20), we would've had what could have been the biggest finale battle in the show's history: mismatched brothers Ken & Gerard vs. Derek & Drew, with either Teri & Ian or JVJ gunning for third place.

So what happened? Flo & Zach were spared thanks to the first consecutive non-elimination leg (probably necessitated with the increase in teams to twelve); JVJ wound up suffering their last navigational error and broke everybody's hearts; Bald Snark and the Twins played "Last One To Fuck Up Loses," with the Twins getting the elimination reserved for the fave teams; Flo has about seven nervous breakdowns and quits the penultimate leg about 10,458 times; and she manages to win in the end with Zach nudging her all the way. Oh, and Teri & Ian won two more legs and got second place overall. I think the initials "WTF" were invented thanks to that.

Even with the crap ending (blunted by crappier endings and Flo not being a complete bitch in real life), this season merits more than the "VOD" DVD treatment. We should get commentaries, remembrances, and so on . . . even if they are hosted by Kasperle the puppet, with guests on the patio furniture that Heather & Eve were sitting on when they got eliminated.

#24

Nalan

Nalan

    Couch Potato

Posted Nov 30, 2011 @ 12:05 AM

Wry Bread
Now that TAR2 has come out on DVD, I am crossing my fingers that TAR3 will follow soon.

Indeed, it has.

#25

randomname1

randomname1

    Video Archivist

Posted Dec 3, 2011 @ 6:28 AM

Flo has about seven nervous breakdowns and quits the penultimate leg about 10,458 times


You can only quit once--if you finished the race, obviously you didn't quit. Threatening to quit and quitting are not the same thing. I've got the dvds, but have to save them up for the holidays since my sister hasn't seen them. Something to watch for--watch for team after team going into a room for the night and shutting the door while Zach spreads a blanket on a couch in the lobby during most of the episodes. I think that was a real factor in Flo's breakdowns. They didn't spend much on food, either--Zach had hundreds of dollars left when the race ended--he hoarded it thinking he'd need it later. Maybe if they'd slept in beds and gotten more to eat, Flo would have had an easier time of it. She acted inappropriately, there's no doubt, but it's not like Zach was a wise, all-knowing, super man or anything. They made a great team (they'd have to be a great team to win)--Flo's fire and brains, Zach's patience and endurance. They both mistakes, but in the end, their strengths complemented each other.

Can't wait to rewatch this--Ken and Gerard are my favorite team ever, and in fact TAR 3's final three (and whole cast really) are also my all-time favorites.

#26

starrynight71

starrynight71

    Channel Surfer

Posted Apr 6, 2012 @ 2:51 PM

Best season I've seen so far. I haven't seen many (1,3,17, some of 5 and all of 20 so far) but this one might be hard to beat. Decent teams lasted to the end, the winner was alright too as I thought they provided something to the show even if they aren't completely liked. If someone is just a generally liked person by everyone that normally means they are a bit boring anyway. Flo only really seemed to lose it in the penultimate stage, and there have surely been far worse primadonnas on reality TV worldwide. Among the cast even the twins were made to seem reasonably interesting. Giving away cameras seemed very cheap but the prizes improved later. One interesting point was that Flo and Zach were allowed to dump their backpacks on the final run in on one of the stages, that seemed to not be allowed in later series.

There were some things that I didn't like so much I suppose, no series will be perfect. I thought they went on a bit too much about the Flo and Drew flirting towards the end. Also they went on too much about the Vietnam veteran. I don't like it when they try to make what is an entertainment program into other issues like making people role models. I actually did like that older couple who did well on the show but I'd rather they kept away from the non-TAR issues. Sometimes it can create weaknesses in casting though such as the father and son who were put on it seems as he wasn't happy his son was gay rather than because they were actually interesting as characters. Despite that though I still thought it was ridiculous how they were eliminated. After taking a fast forward they were driven slowly in a limousine several hundred miles on a motorway so that they would be eliminated anyway. I assume it was bad route planning by the production.