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Los Angeles Times: "The Amazing Race: A Kafkaesque Evening in Prague"

Looking to discuss last night's episode of CBS' The Amazing Race ? Head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker site where you can read my take on this week's episode, entitled " The Amazing Race : A Kafkaesque Evening in Prague," about the penultimate leg of this season's race, which featured golems, absinthe, ringing telephones, sub-zero rooms, and beer, all while the contestants had to do their best to avoid drunken Prague tourists and soccer hooligans. Be sure to head to the comments section to weigh in.

Sunday Night Television: HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "The Amazing Race"

Looking to discuss last night's episodes of HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm and CBS' The Amazing Race ? Head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker site where you can read my takes on both episodes, including last night's "Table Read" episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm (complete with a parody on Michael Richard's controversial 2006 comments) and what will likely come to be known as the pixelated crotch episode of CBS' The Amazing Race . Be sure to head to the comments section to weigh in on both episodes.

Sunday Night Television: HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and CBS' "The Amazing Race"

Looking to discuss the latest episodes of CBS' The Amazing Race and HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm ? You're in luck. Head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker site, where you can read my take on last night's episodes of both series. In "The Amazing Race: For Whom the Bell Tolls," I take a look at last night's episode which featured feats of strength, counting, and herring-eating as well as some tears. You can also read my take ("Curb Your Enthusiasm: Swan's Way") on last night's episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm , which was a bit of a return to form for the absurdist comedy, which this week depicted Larry accidentally killing a man, somewhat intentionally killing a black swan, and basically making a mess of everything he touched, not least of which his mother's headstone. Head to the comments to discuss both.

Sunday Night Television: "The Amazing Race," "Curb Your Enthusiasm"

Looking to discuss the latest episodes of CBS' The Amazing Race and HBO's Curb Your Enthusiasm ? You're in luck. Head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker site, where you can read my take on last night's episodes of both series. In " The Amazing Race : Slip and slide," I explore what some people aren't willing to do, even with a million dollars at stake. And, yes, deal with the push heard around the world head-on. Switching channels, I explain why I am still scratching my head over the oddly surreal episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm in a piece entitled " Curb Your Enthusiasm : Trust your gut," following an episode "overflowing with flashbacks, splashbacks, murder, an arrest for napkin theft, a bald police lineup, a urine-stained Jesus painting, a suicide attempt, and finally life-saving belly flab." Head to the comments to discuss both.

Los Angeles Times: "The Amazing Race: Dude, We're in the Desert"

This week's episode of The Amazing Race featured a conversation about karma and several teams either profited or lost based on some the decisions they made on this leg of the race. Was it truly karma? Who knows, but it made for some captivating television. Head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker site, where you can read my reaction to last night's snow and sand-laden leg of the race, entitled " The Amazing Race : Dude, We're in the Desert." What did you think of the elimination? Glad to see these two leave? Have your opinions about Brian and Ericka changed? Who are you rooting for now? Head to the comments section to discuss.

Los Angeles Times: "The Amazing Race": A Heartbreaking Exit

Still gobsmacked by last night's gut-wrenching elimination on CBS' The Amazing Race ? You're not alone. (I'm still traumatized.) Head over to the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker site, where you can read my incredulous reaction to last night's shocking and saddening elimination (stupid passport!), entitled " The Amazing Race : A Heartbreaking Exit." (It's not actually called that but for the sake of spoilers, I'll refer to it here by its shortened title for the sake of you reading this via newsreader.) What did you think of the elimination? Was it fair that the producers booted them right away? Should they have been allowed ample time to locate the passport? And with this team gone, who will you be rooting for now? Head to the comments section to discuss.

"The Amazing Race": I Survived a Japanese Game Show

Looking to discuss the two-hour season premiere of CBS' fantastic reality series The Amazing Race ? Head over to my piece, entitled "The Amazing Race: I Survived a Japanese Game Show," on the Los Angeles Times /Show Tracker site , where you can read my take on the season opener, wasabi bombs, duck herding, anger-prone contestants, the poker players' scheme, and much more. (The piece itself is a post-air story that follows up Friday's piece about five reasons why you should tune in this season to The Amazing Race .) Sound off in the comments section.

Surf Boards and Memory Games: The Season Finale of "The Amazing Race"

I'm just glad the redheads didn't win. On last night's season finale of The Amazing Race ("This Is How You Lose a Million Dollars"), the final three teams raced to the finish line in Maui, Hawaii in a final leg of the race that was at times heartbreaking, inspiring, and frustrating. (In the best possible way, of course.) All three teams played an extremely strong game throughout this cycle of The Amazing Race and I was happy to see that one of the two teams that I was rooting for walked away a million dollars richer in the end. I was absolutely crestfallen that Margie and Luke didn't win the million dollar prize waiting at the end of the race. Yes, I am amazed that both of them--a woman in her 50s and a deaf guy--made it as far as they did but I was really rooting for them to win the top spot. And they would have if Luke had been able to figure out which surf board represented the last leg of the race. (I think that one was harder for him as Margie, rathe

Channel Surfing: Fuller Talks "Pushing Daisies" Comic, Cuoco Checks into Seattle Grace, Whedon on What Will Save "Dollhouse," and More

Welcome to your Friday morning television briefing. Pushing Daisies creator Bryan Fuller has said that a comic book spin-off of the sadly demised series could be on sale via Marvel as early as this fall, should a deal with Warner Bros for the rights be closed in the next month or so. What should fans expect from the comic, which Fuller describes as Season Three of Pushing Daisies ? "We're going to see a lot of exploration with Ned and his father, which we teased but were never able to make good on," Fuller told SCI FI Wire. "We had [Ned's father, played by] George Hamilton save Ned and Chuck, and by having Emerson and Dwight Dixon clean up the whole mess we're going to understand who Dwight was to Chuck and Ned's dad. Dwight will be making a return, and we'll be seeing the adult Eugene Mulchandani and Danny that involves helium smuggling. There's a lot of fun stuff woven into the series that we were intending to pay off that we can now do in the

Gorillas, Screamers, and Pint-Sized Powerhouses: Addicted Again to "The Amazing Race"

Is anyone else as suddenly addicted to The Amazing Race again as I am? Or is it just me? My enthusiasm had waned considerably with the series' most recent cycles but I have to say that the current season seemed reinvigorated and both the casting and the challenges had grabbed my attention once again. Last night's episode of The Amazing Race ("Gorilla? Gorilla?? Gorilla???") found the teams racing for their lives in Phuket , Thailand, found one team quite literally sabotage everyone else during a Detour, and saw one team member collapse on the elimination mat. Which might very well be the first time that that's happened on the Race . I'm really loving Margie and Luke and was totally stunned to see her collapse from exhaustion and dehydration upon reaching the Pit Stop. Not that I blame her. She proved that she truly was the "Bionic Woman" dragging her deaf son Luke on a rickshaw through the sweltering streets of Phuket . Which would have been t

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 t

Channel Surfing: ABC Orders "V" Remake, "House" May Resurrect Amber, Martha Jones Back to "Who," and More

Welcome to your Tuesday morning television briefing. ABC has ordered a pilot for a modern day remake of seminal 1980s mini-series V , to be written/executive produced by Scott Peters ( The 4400 ). Updated V , from Warner Bros. Television, will focus on a female Homeland Security agent. Elsewhere, NBC has removed the contingency from period comedy pilot Lost in the '80s , from Sony Pictures Television and Tantamount, which will be directed by P.J. Hogan ( Shopaholic ). ( Hollywood Reporter ) Former Doctor Who co-star Freema Agyeman will reportedly reprise her role as Martha Jones in one of the four Doctor Who specials planned for 2009, despite some rumors of bad blood between her and outbound head writer/executive producer Russell T. Davies, said to originate when she accepted a role on ITV's Law & Order: London rather than star in a new season of Torchwood . “Freema’s on board," said an unnamd source. "It’s early days so it’s unclear what exactly Martha will

"You Look Like Peter Pan": High-Flying Moves After a Season of Dramatic Lows on the "Amazing Race" Season Finale

Last night brought us the conclusion of the latest cycle of CBS' reality franchise The Amazing Race and, while this past season hasn't been the series' best, I do have to say that I was caught up in the action, tension, and Peter Pan-high flying escapades of last night's installment. (Additionally, my wife is originally from Portland, Oregon so it's likely that there was a fair amount of nostalgia for PDX going on for the final leg of the million-dollar race. Not to mention cheering when they showed that iconic Made in Oregon sign.) I have to say that, while I wasn't the biggest champion for this lackluster season, I was happy about the final outcome of the race and pleased as punch that mistake-prone frat boys Dan and Andrew didn't walk away with the top prize. (Come on, even if you haven't yet seen last night's finale, you know they had a snowball's chance in hell of winning this thing.) I knew from the very start that Nick and Starr would

American Candy, Missing Taxis, and Lost Containers: Another Leg of "The Amazing Race"

Was it just me or was last night's episode of The Amazing Race ("Do You Like American Candy?") the most hilarious hour of reality programming you've seen in a very long time? Let's see: we had Terence bashing his head on a car trunk and then screaming at his girlfriend Sarah to clean his head straightway and "blow on" the wound and then later they hiked to a far-off village to snag a taxi whilst the other teams followed the marked path to the taxi parking. We had Kelly and Christy digging in the sand for a non-existent container (it was a reference to the other Detour option) for what seemed like a good half-hour and later inadvertently losing their taxi (it was in the parking lot the entire time); Southern belles Marisa and Brooke meanwhile couldn't find their way to the computer-based Detour and were still talking about computers and shipping containers as they stared at sailing ships. Hell, later, one of them said of the lame wall-based word clu

Talk Back: "The Amazing Race" Season Premiere

Road blocks. Detours. Phil Keoghan saucily raising one eyebrow. The season premiere of CBS' reality series The Amazing Race ("Bees are Much Calmer than All This!") had it all, including some particularly memorable teams, even this early in the race. Now that you've read my advance review of the season premiere and--after last night's airing--seen the episode for yourself, I'm curious to see if you're rooting for Bill and Mark as much as I am and if you're as taken with sibs Starr and Nick (despite their ill-advised alliance)... and if abrasive couple Terence and Sarah rubbed you the wrong way too. Do you think alliances are always a bad idea on TAR ? (After all, it's not Survivor .) Were the beekeepers cast for their wacky sense of style almost as much as their advanced age? Who do you think are the strongest teams so far? And which ones will get left by the side of the road as the race progresses? Talk back here.

"Bees Are Much Calmer Than All This": An Advance Look at the Season Premiere of "The Amazing Race"

I'm already rooting for comic book geeks Mark and Bill. It seems like a lifetime since we last had an installment of reality series The Amazing Race and, after an interminable wait, the series finally returns this Sunday night at 8 pm. I had the opportunity to watch the season premiere a few days ago (that thing was burning a hole on my coffee table until I sat down to watch it) and was immediately sucked back into the addictive world of road blocks, detours, and Phil Keoghan. While it's a little too early to tell which teams are stronger than others and which ones are worth rooting for, I already do have two favorite teams... and one team I already cannot stand. Making the top of my list are the aforementioned goateed geeks Mark and Bill, who are instantly likable as they race around with their minds overflowing with Watchmen trivia; the duo--friends for over 23 years--are attempting to be the first team to ever run the race strategically (but didn't Rob and Amber atte

Channel Surfing: Sci Fi to Explore "Stargate Universe," Ben McKenzie Circles "LAPD," "Doctor Who," and More

Good morning and welcome to your Friday television briefing. I can't believe the weekend is finally here and I am definitely ready for some R&R over the next few days, though I am especially jealous that the Brits have off on Monday thanks to August Bank Holiday. (Lucky bastards!) I stayed in last night and watched the slightly soggy two-hour premiere of America's Next Top Model and now I can't get the incessant shrieking out of my head. Speaking of the CW's launches, the netlet has bumped up the premiere of reality competition series Stylista by a week to October 22nd at 9 pm, directly behind a new episode of Top Model . The move comes shortly after the CW pushed the fashion competition series--from 10 by 10 Ent and Bankable--to October. I'm kind of curious to see Stylista 's first episode and, based on the trailers and clips that I've seen, feel that this could be just the right sort of guilty pleasure to enjoy with Top Model . ( TV Week ) Sci Fi g

Channel Surfing: "Amazing Race" Teams Revealed, "Office" Manager Signs Deal, and More

Good morning and welcome to your morning television briefing. Universal Media Studios has signed The Office writer/producer Michael Schur to a hefty seven-figure overall deal, under which he will create, develop, and executive produce comedy series for the studio. The newly minted deal includes Schur's writing/producing services on the untitled comedy that he and Greg Daniels are developing for Amy Poehler; he'll serve as co-creator/executive producer on the pilot, set to shoot in January (after the birth of Poehler's baby in October), alongside Daniels. Four writers so far have been hired on the untitled Poehler comedy (which will also star Aziz Ansari), which seems to have neither a title nor an available concept. Schur, meanwhile, will continue to write occasionally on The Office and could appear on-screen again as Dwight's cousin Mose. ( Variety ) CBS has revealed its lineup of sixteen contestants for the thirteenth edition of reality series The Amazing Race , w

Reality Roundup: More "Survivor" for CBS; "Amazing Race" Staffing

In a move that surprised no one, CBS has gone ahead and renewed reality powerhouse Survivor for the 2008-09 season. Additionally, Jeff Probst has also signed a new deal to continue on as the unflappable host of the series, which will return next season with its 17th and 18th installments. "I still get excited to get on the plane and travel to another exotic location with another group of adventure-seeking, type-A personalities," Probst told The Hollywood Reporter . "It is without question the best job I've ever had." Survivor 's current installment launches February 7th while casting is already underway on the 17th season. * * * Meanwhile, fans of The Amazing Race will be happy to know that the sophisticated and decidedly unsnarky elder statesman of the reality genre will be returning with another season of Road Blocks, intra-team fighting, and Phil Keoghan. While there has still been no official announcement from CBS, T

Nice Guys Can Finish First: Winners Crowned on "Amazing Race" Season Finale

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this season of The Amazing Race and the final episode ("The Final Push") was no exception as we saw the final three teams make their way to the final leg of the race in Anchorage, Alaska, where they were pushed physically and intellectually on the way to the finish line. I do have to say that this final leg was perhaps one of the most complex and interesting ones in a long, long time, especially the Final Road Block, a play on that old Memory game in which a player had to correctly organize a list of vague items--each with restrictions to each particular leg of the race--on a platform in order to receive their next clue. It was a fantastic challenge, one that played up their experiences on the race as well as their intuition and puzzle-solving abilities. (To say the very least, it was a million times better than that final task in Chicago a few seasons back where teams had to eat a pizza.) How funny was it to see Phil climbing that g