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Presidents' Day Weekend Wrap-Up: "Amazing Race," "Flight of the Conchords," and "Secret Diary of a Call Girl"

Due to the loveliness that is a three-day weekend, I didn't quite get around to discussing everything that aired this past weekend, although I did manage to write up my theories and thoughts about the Cylon race, past and future, on Battlestar Galactica and offer an illuminating Talk Back for the series premiere of FOX's new drama series Dollhouse.

However, rather than let the week go by without discussing what else was on this past weekend, I just wanted to share a few thoughts about Sunday night's premiere of The Amazing Race and new installments of HBO's Flight of the Conchords and Showtime's Secret Diary of a Call Girl.

The long weekend might be over and the work week sadly beginning, but that doesn't mean we can't dish about Hannah and Alex, Mike White and his dad, and Kiwis Jemaine and Bret on this rainy Tuesday morning.

The Amazing Race. I'll admit that I was considering giving up on TAR after a lackluster season that saw more drama at the airport check-in counters than between the couples themselves. And yet, entering its fourteenth season (yes, seriously!), Amazing Race seems to have regained the momentum and tension that seemingly evaporated last season. In just the opening installment, I found myself completely invested in the latest iteration of the race and thought that the casting was absolutely a full head and shoulders above that of last season.

I'm already rooting for screenwriter Mike White and his gay activist father Mel and for mother and son team Margie and Luke. Did anyone else get teary when classiest reality show host in the business Phil Keoghan signed the words, "You're team number one"? Call me sentimental, but I thought it was a touching and thoughtful tribute to deaf racer Luke. Also really liking siblings Victor and Tammy but hillbilly couple Steve and Linda creep me out to no end, especially as Linda can't even seem to walk, much less run. Just how did she pass the physical for this series? And the cheese-carrying task left me in absolute hysterics. Has there been a more humorous challenge on the series to date?

Flight of the Conchords. This week's episode ("Unnatural Love"), directed by Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) featured Jemaine getting involved with an Australian woman (Sarah Wynter), a real taboo in Kiwi culture. While the episode seemed directed fairly straightforwardly at first, it was the breathtaking visuals for the Conchords' song "Carol Brown" that cemented the fact that this was being directed by Gondry. An astounding mix of visuals, cutaways, and moving backgrounds, "Carol Brown" may go down as one of the most inventive and visually creative musical segments on Flight of the Conchords so far.

Loved Wynter as the grungy Aussie Keitha who ends up robbing Jemaine and Bret blindly, the entire nightclub sequence, Murray saying that he'll wait outside for Jemaine and Bret to finish "nightclubbing," the "hand" gloves, and the clinic waiting room scene between Bret and Jemaine. In fact, my only complaint in an otherwise absolutely superlative episode? No Mel.

Secret Diary of a Call Girl. I couldn't believe that Hannah was going to tell Alex (Callum Blue) about her secret life as Belle, call girl extraordinaire, especially after the awfulness that was her lunch with Alex and former boyfriend Ben. But as soon as she left the door unlocked during a gig with a wheelchair-bound guy (in case his father needed to come in and help him), I knew that Alex would be finding out in a most painful way: by catching Hannah with a client in flagrante delicto. And, ouch, was it painful. Not to mention embarrassing and humiliating, both for Hannah and her poor client. The fact that his father wouldn't accept the money back only made it even more difficult and awkward.

Loved the fact that Alex didn't wait around to angrily confront Hannah but went immediately to scream at Ben at the bar for not warning him, not telling him. Even worse: that Ben was so calm and told Alex not to react that way but Alex was disgusted with Hannah, her profession, and the fact that he realized now that when they met, she thought he was a punter. Also loved that Alex knows that Ben is completely in love with Hannah and threw that fact in his face, along with the knowledge that Ben's girlfriend Vanessa (whom Ben is meant to be marrying!) is likely also aware of his feelings for her. Can Alex and Hannah reconcile and find a way to stay together in the face of his realization about what she does for a living? I'm not sure but I can't wait to see just what happens next between them...

What did you think of this week's Amazing Race, Secret Diary of a Call Girl, and Flight of the Conchords? Discuss.


Unknown said…
The cheese challenge on TAR was indeed awesome. I cackled in glee at the line, "Don't let a cheese hit me." That's probably the first time that sentence has ever been uttered in the history of the English language.
Anonymous said…
"Don't let a cheese hit me" was definitely my favorite line too. That whole task was hysterical! I am already enjoying this season much more than the last. They have some really interesting teams although I never understand the best-friends-who-look-alike teams. There's always one on TAR and this season there are two (the blond flight attendants and the redheads)! Mike White and his dad are already my favorites but I was thrilled that Margie and Luke came in first place.
Anonymous said…
Conchords was hilarious and Gondry's direction of "Carol Brown" was incredible and a real treat in an already fantastic episode!
Anonymous said…
I think the Hannah/Alex plot is really good. But what’s bugs me is that Billie Piper is so obviously pregnant. How ever much they put her in big clothes or make her stand behind things, and using a body double, it is quite visible.

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