Racial Politics and the Amazing Race

Last night I went on a mini (by Twitter standards) rant about the Amazing Race. Here’s a Storify recap:

The thing is, I like this show. It’s been an early player in shaping many of today’s reality TV tropes. And frankly, aside from a year or two as an undergrad, I’ve probably seen nearly every season of this show. I get the transmedia heroism of Boston Rob as he ventured from Survivor to the Amazing Race and back to Survivor to claim the prize over there. I get how Fast Forwards and U-Turns have been added and the pacing of the show has become more savvy from season to season. But I also get how terrible the racial politics on major network TV get emphasized when we think about what we’re watching as “real” in comparison to more clearly scripted television programs. Couple this with the essentializing of culture as foods, dances, and dangerous taxi drivers in the show and you’ve got something of a critical nightmare.

Again, more to come with regards to this (as always).

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