Expedition Impossible: All’s well that ends well?

I’ve been watching and sporadically blogging about Expedition Impossible this summer, and the fact that I couldn’t manage to write about it every week probably says more about what I thought about the show than anything else. It was an OK summer series, but let’s be honest – it was pretty dull.

I think the biggest problem was that teams seemed to be completing the same tasks every week. Hike, boat, hike, paddle, hike, hike, boat. Throw in a little horseback riding and rappelling and that’s the show in a nutshell. At first, I was intrigued. The challenges were certainly physically strenuous and it was interesting to see which teams could or couldn’t keep up. But then I got bored.

Last night’s final leg (or whatever they called each installment on this show) shook thing up a little by sending the teams to Marrakesh. Seeing the teams try to navigate hectic marketplaces infused a bit more of that The Amazing Race chaotic flavor. Unfortunately, the excitement was too little too late.

Going into the finale, the four teams remaining were the four strongest teams all along – The Gypsies, The Football Players, Fab 3 and No Limits. And the chips fell exactly as they should have. The Football Players were eliminated midway through the episode, being narrowly beat out by the incredible dudes from No Limits. It went down exactly as it should have, but also in an incredibly predictable way.

After it was all said and done, The Gypsies won Expedition Impossible with No Limits coming in second and Fab 3 placing third. And anything else would have been unfair – The Gypsies won all but one leg (and that was only because they got lost, not because the first place finishers, Fab 3, actually out-performed them) and had they not won the entire expedition it would have been highway robbery. No Limits placed pretty consistently in second place and deserves major credit for overcoming seemingly impossible challenges. And Fab 3 was kind of annoying.

The problem with reality competition shows like this is that when there is a clear winner all along, the end result is either a major yawn or a major disappointment. Would you have been satisfied if anyone other than The Gypsies had won? Sure, I would have been happy for No Limits, but I still didn’t really think they deserved to win. But a Gypsies win seemed inevitable, and that made the show quite the snooze. If Expedition Impossible airs again next summer I might watch, but I hope they find a way to spice it up a little.

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About Jill

Pop culture junkie and TV aficionado. I write sharp and snarky TV recaps at www.couchtimewithjill.com
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7 Responses to Expedition Impossible: All’s well that ends well?

  1. Rich says:

    Yeah I have to agree, I wouldn't have been happy with Fab 3 or even the Footballers winning. Especially with such a weak (reality TV compared) prize to other racing shows, 50k each and a new SUV? That's not even the NFL minimum wage I think!? (NHL is 600kish, so assume in that area).It was entertaining though, and really thanks for blogging about it when it first aired, otherwise I wouldn't have even known it was on. But, would I watch it during a normal TV season? Doubtful, with 2(?) seasons of Amazing Race, Survivor, and Hell's Kitchen I have plenty of unscripted shows to watch here at work.Watching 24, Game of Thrones and Rookie Blues to end the summer. All are pretty good, I detest that so much of GoT has been spoiled because it's a media hit. SPOILEROn CNN "Can Game of Thrones surive without it's biggest hit actor?" and a picture of Sean Bean.

  2. john says:

    The race wasn't close and was never really in doubt, so I can understand why people would be be bored. I was not. I was too busy counting the things I didn't miss about the Amazing Race.1) Attention whores. There was no Boston Rob, no goth kids, no deaf guy stomping and bitching about how prejudiced everyone is against deaf people who shoved them. Instead, we got people I recognized, people I might see on a trail or in a raft. And my god, the best of them won. What a concept.2) "Colorful" characters. Ha ha ha, that angry guy seems like he's about to hit hit wife. Hee hee hee, the former cheerleaders flirting with the cabbie think they're still attractive. Ho ho ho, the whiny midget thinks she's people. 3) No "20 blurry seconds inside Nelson Mandela's prison cell" shit. I loved, loved, loved seeing Morocco. In a race that was really a fait accompli, the scenery, lavishly photographed, was the primary source of entertainment for me. Just gorgeous, and they didn't rush through it. The show is part travelogue. I feel like I've hiked there.4) No stupid gimmicks designed to help the weak and artificially jam up the race. No Yields, no U-Turns, no infernal "you just wasted an hour of your life because It Was All a Dream" non-elimination rounds. Just a meritocracy where the best team won. THIS was the boring approach? Gimme.5) No airports. My god, it's unfun to watch the teams sleep on the floor. Again. After begging the clerk to put us on the same flight as that other team. Again. Give me a hike on a broken ankle.

  3. Jill Mader says:

    "Ho ho ho, the whiny midget thinks she's people"? Really? That's rather rude.

  4. Jill Mader says:

    Rich: Thanks for reading! I agree about Game of Thrones – tons of media coverage has made it practically impossible to catch up on without spoilers.

  5. john says:

    Thanks. But if you think she's my target, then I failed to make my point clear. I'm mocking the TAR producers' crass casting and treatment of her (and others) as an oddity.

  6. Anonymous says:

    @John Your point about exploitation was perfectly clear. Sorry that you had to put on hand puppets and explain it.

  7. Jill Mader says:

    Sorry for misunderstanding, John. Charla and Mirna were one of my favorite teams so I suppose I was just quick to defend them! Though if you could email me a video of you explaining it further with the aid of hand puppets, that would be SUPER helpful. ;)

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