The Amazing Race: Season 8
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‘Fun for the whole family’ has never been as exciting as THE AMAZING RACE: FAMILY EDITION- the series’ action-packed eighth season. Breaking the mold set by previous seasons, season 8 challenges teams made up of four family members to race across North America. And for the first time, racers compete in Costa Rica and Panama. This season features one of THE AMAZING RACE’s largest age gaps ever- from 8 years old to 57.
Getting off to a dramatic start, the season opens with a contestant receiving a concussion at the starting line. The thrills continue by way of Amish buggies and fighter planes as familial bonds are tested everywhere - from a rainforest to the field of a Civil War reenactment. Find out if the family that races together stays together and who wins THE AMAZING RACE: FAMILY EDITION in this DVD set.
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This is the "family" edition were teams of 4 family members compete instead of teams of two. There was a mix of families including two families with young children while most were families of adults or adults and young adults. Now, right off the bat you know those families with the young kids aren't going to win. That's like carry two suitcases with you, and these kids were good, they worked hard and did their part to the best of their ability, but you can't expect them to be able to compete with a team made of of four kids in their twenties. If all the families would have been required to have young children and some of the road blocks, detours, etc. were designed that could best be done by children, I think this would have been more fun. There are great moments though. Watching the youngest in the show on the mat being told "your eliminated" and that little lip all quivering is a moment that just steals your heart. Again, for fans of the show you'll need to watch this one, but don't expect the same level of competition or "fish out of the water" times you see when they end of in places so far from American culture.
One thing we both felt was you begin to understand how little the contestants get to do. We love Yellowstone and easily spend two weeks their hiking to backwoods falls, making a log crossing over a large stream, or getting winded on a near vertical switchbacks. To pick "watch Old Faithful" blow was the smallest, most tourist thing you could do in the whole Park. Why not a hike out to Lone Star Geyser or give them a map of three things like Mourning Glory Pool, Groto Geyser, and Sawmill and require them to get a picture of each. That'd be fun. Maybe in the future we can do a road block where they hike to Monument Geyser, not that would separate the those with mental toughness from those that don't.
Knowing all these things does highlight what a whirlwind it is to be on the race, and just scratch the culture and beauty of their surroundings. Sometimes it is so profound they can't help but be moved, but many times they just don't have time to let it all sink in.
We gave it three because it is well produced, still entertaining, and fun. If you're not a big fan, you might consider letting this one go.
As bad as the Weavers were--and Mama Weaver sits right next to Season 2's Wil on my list of people I despise for the way they acted on the race, and based on their behavior, she'd apparently ruined at least 2 of her kids by the time this aired originally--as disgustingly BAD as the Weavers were? The Gaghans provided a beautiful counterpoint while they lasted--and NOT just as competitors. Their behavior on the way to, and at the mat, knowing they were last, and about to be eliminated, after that stupid, stupid, time wasting coffee bean task? Those 5 minutes or so of aired footage are some of the best parenting I've ever seen on TV. It's actually the only amazing thing in this edition of the race.
And if the Race is still on the air when Carissa Gaghan is old enough to compete in a 'normal' race, she and her brother Billy are the team I would MOST like to see back. I'd love to see what kind of young adults those two remarkable and brave kids grew into, and moreso, I'd like to see how they would race.
The best of the rest? The Paolo kid being the only person from any team to recognize Kevin and Drew handing out the first clue. That kid was racing! If his family had listened to him, they'd have made the finals, I'm sure. He's another one I'd like to see back, but with teammate who listens to him.
Keep your finger on the mute button while you watch this, so you can avoid listening to the Weavers.
The cast of 10 families featured more distinct personalities than a lot of other TAR seasons with memorable personalities like little Carissa and Billy Gaghan, the youngest people to ever Race, the outspoken Paolo family (who provided one of the most hilarious moments at the Mat ever), and the "villains" you loved to hate, the Weavers.
The route may have been too domestic for many fans, but traveling through some of the most iconic locations in the United States was different yet equally exciting, showing that you don't have to travel far to experience stunning and breathtaking destinations. And while this was a Family Edition, there was no lack of competition and drama.
TAR8 is definitely worth checking out if you never watched it or is worth watching again with a fresh perspective.
My only knock to this product that makes it 4 and not 5 is that it is missing the "Previously on the Amazing Race" recaps at the beginning of the episodes. Which is odd as I have purchased Seaons 5 & 6 through Amazon and they have been included with those releases so it's surprising they were omitted with this purchase. Hopefully this will be the only season with the recaps missing as it does not feel like a complete product without them.
All in all. Great buy. The case is nice, the visual quality is great. Great product! A must have for race fans or anyone looking for a great season of the race!