Monday, 22 September 2008

"The Amazing Race" resumes this Sunday

The Amazing Race 13 premieres this Sunday, 28 September 2008, from 8-9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific Time, 7-8 p.m. Central and Mountain Time on CBS-TV in the USA.

I was travelling and skipped season 12. If you’re tempted to say, “You could have downloaded it as a bit torrent and watched it online from a cybercafe”, then you don’t know what Internet access is like form behind the great government firewall of Syria, or from a wattle-and-daub walled cyberhut with a shared 56k bps dial-up connection in provincial Ethiopia.

Now I’m back home in San Francisco, I’ve invested in a high-definition TV tuner/server for my home computer network, and once again I’ll be posting weekly commentary on the reality-TV race around the world, and the lessons it holds for real-world travellers.

If you want something to watch to get yourself back in the mood for travel “reality” TV, check out the fictional movie travelogue The Art of Travel , just released on DVD. Travel movies used to be inherently expensive to produce, and thus tended toward big-budget cast-of-thousands extravagance. But “The Art of Travel” is testament to the degree to which technology has made on-location production, even in the Third World, feasible for even low-budget independent filmmakers. It’s an unexpectedly intriguing mix of a totally unrealistic and hokey Hollywood plot (straight out of Sacramento, actually) with a dead-on depiction of a certain type of backpacker and “adventure” tourist. It’s perhaps best in exposing the relationships between travellers (the protagonist who’s convinced his money was stolen by the maid, when in reality it was taken by another hosteller, for example) and the fantasies with which they invest their journeys.

See you on Sunday!

Update: Amazing Race fans tag along for worldwide ride (Laura Bly, USA Today, 26 September 2008:

Though it has been dismissed by experienced globe-trotters who decry the show’s frenetic pace and often-shallow interactions with locals, The Amazing Race “is a lot more real than people give it credit for,” says Edward Hasbrouck, a veteran ‘round-the-world traveler who blogs about the show every week at .

“No matter how hokey the tasks are, there’s an underlying reality of what it’s like to be on your own without the buffer of a tour,” Hasbrouck says, “and it confirms the enduring hook of a trip around the world.”

Link | Posted by Edward on Monday, 22 September 2008, 19:50 ( 7:50 PM)
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