Meghan Camarena

Next Week on TV…

Fall is officially here next week, and so is fall TV!  New seasons of some of my shows start are kicking off.  Here’s what I’m looking forward to:

 

Modern Family – September 24

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Modern Family kicks off its sixth season on Wednesday, September 23rd at 9 pm.  This has been a quick favorite for me thanks to my own family’s love of this show.  My DVR is already programmed to record this, but I’ll likely be tuning in to watch live as well.  Did you know Modern Family has had a season premiere on September 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, and 26?  Isn’t that weird but cool?

 

Law & Order: SVU – September 24

SVUopeningCompeting in the 9 pm timeslot, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit returns for its 16th season – woah!  Okay, so this show isn’t the same without Stabler, but we still have Benson!  Benson– well, Mariska Hartigay– is the reason I haven’t given up on this show yet.  Plus, I like Amanda Rollins even though I think this is a reused character name.  I’m not quite caught up, but this is an easy show to binge-marathon, and that’s exactly what I plan to do.

 

Scandal – September 25

Scandal_IntertitleOn Thursday, Scandal returns for its 4th season at 9 pm.  This is a show I binge-watched in its entirety this summer off of the recommendation of a friend.  It’s also the kind of show that you have to stay current with.  I already know I won’t be home on Thursday night to watch this, and Hulu promises that current season episodes appear 8 days after premiere… um, yikes that’s a long wait!  Looks like I’m going to have to DVR this one as well.

 

Amazing Race – September 25

The_Amazing_Race_23_logoOne of my major guilty pleasures, The Amazing Race returns on Friday night at 8 pm for its 25th season!  Last season I had a great time recapping the Sunday night adventures of Youtubers Meghan & Joey, the Harlem Globetrotters, and my beloved Cowboys!  Alas, we have a recap-filled fall already and I won’t have the opportunity this time around.  You can be that I’ll be watching, though!  I’m particularly excited to see surfer and shark-attack survivor Bethany Hamilton take the race on, and of course, pick a new season favorite!

 

What returning shows are you looking forward to this fall?

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Amazing Race Recap: Do You Believe in Magic?

Teams left London for Las Vegas, Nevada.  I was cheering on the Brenchels, (I want them to have a Brenchel baby too!) and was psyched to learn Rachel lived in Vegas!

bidding a fond farewell to season 24 at the Las Vegas Speedway

bidding a fond farewell to season 24 at the Las Vegas Speedway

Upon landing in the US, a car picked up the teams and sent them to a desert to dig up a box reading “Property of David Copperfield.”  The Brenchels were the only ones to break the box open and reveal the keys before arriving at the clue.  (More good news!)  The first clue asks the teams, do you believe in magic?  David Copperfield himself put them to the test in the Roadblock.

In the illusion Roadblock, one teammate is locked in a box with the keys– they had to unlock the shackles, retrieve lockpicks from the top of the box, which was raised, and set on fire.  Once they were done, the other teammate presses a series of switches that dropped the boxes into a burning piling of wood in an explosion.  David Copperfield would then act concerned, and say they should call the fire department.  The previously boxed teammate would then come out dresses as a firefighter.  Cute!

Then it was off to the neon boneyard for the next clue.  The had to grab a lightbulb from a giant question mark, then head over to The Mirage.  At The Mirage, the next challenge came in the form of hoisting a teammate to the top and having them replace and count the light bulbs in the sign’s letter “I.”

One final Roadblock had Dave, Caroline, and Brendan skydiving to the finish line while their partners waited below with the eliminated racers.  So great to see my cowboys, Youtubers, Globetrotters, and Miss Mallory again!  This was such a great season.

As the winner came into view, no one could tell it was Dave until he landed.  Poor Rachel cried as Brendan came done, third overall; no Brenchel babies until Brendan graduates.

I’ve got to say, guys, all I wanted out of this season was for Dave and Connor not to win.  I guess the fact that Dave only said achilles twice this episode lessens the blow a little bit.  I’m all for firsts, so congratulations to him for being the oldest winner of the Race, and to both for being the first parent-child team to win.  I cry every single time a team crosses the finish line and this season was no exception.  I cannot wait for another season of the Race.  The All Star season was such a treat; let’s hope for some new, memorable faces next time around!

Some of my favorite moments of the season have to be Flight Time & Big Easy riding donkeys in Italy, and the Afghanimals rolling around in those inflatable bull balls.  Please share yours in the comments!

Amazing Race Recap: Accidental Alliance

this hotel in Switzerland is alluding the the previous race destination, Italy!

this hotel in Switzerland is alluding the the previous race destination, Italy!

Okay, first of all I want to retract what I said about Jet & Cord last week.  I’ve been watching season 16, the first season to host the cowboys, and I think I’ve gotten a better picture of them.  They definitely do their own thing, and I really respect that.  I think in a Race without Youtubers and Globetrotters, I’m banking on the cowboys.

In this episode, teams left Italy sul treno for Chiasso, Switzerland.  From there, it was basically a race around Switzerland with, as the title suggests, a big emphasis on the accidentally formed alliance of Dave and Connor, Jen and Caroline, and Leo and Jamal.

Dave and Connor are inexplicably furious at the Brenchels for playing the game, and are hell-bent on revenge.  Caroline and Jennifer can’t pull their own weight, so they’ve latched onto the father-son team.  Leo and Jamal would rather be in the top three with these two teams than the bigger threats of Jet and Cort and the Brenchels.  Though I know this is their strategy, they seem to get way too into this “race family” to a point where I can’t stand them throughout this episode.  And y’all know how I feel about Dave and Connor.  (Hate ’em!)

Throughout the challenges, these three teams helped each other through and alienated the Brenchels.  Jet and Cord flew under the radar, bolstering my appreciation for this duo.

Tasks included:

  • Cleaning up a hotel room trashed by a band and making it up for guests to meet Helga, the gouvernante‘s standards
  • Searching & solving a math problem to determine the year of their respective Ford Mustangs on exhibit in the Swiss Museum of Transport
  • Delivering milk with Bernese Mountain dogs for the RoadBlock

Here’s how the teams finished:

  1. Dave and Connor → they won a 2015 Mustang for the victory; such a sweet prize for such an undeserving team.
  2. Jet and Cord
  3. Leo and Jamal
  4. Brendan and Rachel → take that alliance!
  5. Jennifer and Caroline → it’s a non-elimination week, so the blondes are safe yet again.

My feelings on this episode are best summed up as expressed by former racer Meghan Camarena, @strawburry17, via twitter:

Proud of @brendonvbb12 & @RachelEReilly. I hate when @AmazingRace_CBS becomes more about bullying than the actual competition.

So I’m routing for Brenchel and the cowboys until the end.  Surely one of these teams will make it into the top 3!  I’m betting the blondes and next to go.

Thoughts?!

Amazing Race Recap: Donkeylicious

I’m going to start my Donkeylicious recap a little differently. First of all, hated the episode title when I read it, but loved it as soon as it came out of Flight Time’s mouth. The Globetrotters really have a way of making everything fun, which brings me to this: I want to start by telling you how I feel about each of the six remaining teams.

Brendan and Rachel: I’m finally warming to these guys. It’s very clear that they are annoying, and I’m not denying that; but some of the things that make them annoying also kind of make them endearing. I can’t help but cheer them on these days.

Jet and Cord: I have almost no opinion of these guys. I ere on the side of dislike, because “cowboys” is not an American stereotype I want perpetuated.

Dave and Connor: I hate these guys. They are the only team I have never warmed up to, and never have any positive feelings about. I give them points for being gentlemanly, but cross them (like Brenchel does in this episode) and they’ll quickly sour. I get that Dave is old, but he runs this race as well if not better than others and he complains about his age tirelessly! I hated them on Meghan & Joey’s season too with the effing Achilles tear— notice we had to hear about it for the first 6 legs this time around!

Jennifer and Caroline: I want like them. I want to cheer on the only girl-girl team, I really do. I just don’t like their tactics and they way they run the race.

Flight Time and Big Easy: Like I said before, these guys have a way of making everything fun. They’re there to entertain the crowd and have a good time. I love their interactions with locals, and their positive attitudes throughout the struggles they’ve had.  They want everyone to have a good time; we should all be so lucky to have such positive people around!

Leo and Jamal: These guys too seem to be there to have a good time and entertain. They really play to the crowd, which makes me want to cheer them on too.  They seem like genuinely nice guys.

Okay, with that all said, let’s get on to this leg of the race throughout beautiful Italy!

Civita di Bagnoregio

Civita di Bagnoregio

The teams’ clue led them to Civita di Bagnoregio with the warning: U-Turn Ahead. The Detour here was all about donkeys. In Donkey Run, teams had to ride donkeys around a track completing 3 loops before the band finished their song. In Donkey Built, the teams built a wooden donkey and presented it to Geppetto. (“Pinnochio,” if you didn’t know, is an Italian story. They’re pretty big on it there.) While riding donkeys initially sounded like fun, watched first place team Brenchel do so made me change my mind about this detour. I do think it’s a great spectator sport, though! Donkey Built gave teams a lot of trouble too, though, since all parts had to be used including the wooden crate they came in! Tricky, tricky.

It was a double U-Turn meaning two teams could chose two other teams that had to go back and complete the other detour as well. Brendan and Rachel U-Turned Dave and Connor. Dave and Connor U-Turned Leo and Jamal. Now, there was a LOT of drama about Brendan and Rachel’s choice to U-Turn Dave and Connor and I’m just not understanding why. They were literally right behind them. Who better to U-Turn to put some distance between yourselves and the pack? You’ll see if it paid off under the cut!

The Roadblock was up next, where one teammate had to copy a page of a manuscript (calligraphy & gold leaf) as monks did. While I think I’d be a natural choice to do this Roadblock, (because it’s non-athletic,) I do not think I’d have the patience to do this.

After completing the Roadblock, the teams took a ride on the Funicolare to Piazza del Duomo in Orvieto, Umbria. Here’s how the teams did:

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Amazing Race Recap: Can’t Make Fish Bite

You know, the more I watch this season, the more I remember how much I like this show.  It may have been Meghan and Joey that got me started, but I Hulu marathoned this thing for weeks with or without Team Youtube.  Anyway, on to Sunday’s episode!

Last week’s leg was non-elimination, so Brenchel will have to complete a Speed Bump since they were last.  All teams leave from Batu Caves to fly to Colombo, Sri Lanka.  There is one direct flight which gets in around midnight.  All teams aside from Luke & Margie and Brenchel make it on to this flight.  Brenchel takes a risk on a flight that connects in Singapore; the connection time is about a half hour and they have to switch airlines.  Luke & Margie do not take this risk, and standby for seats on the flight the rest of the teams are on.

Brenchel make their connection, and actually land a bit before the rest of the teams.  Luke & Margie do not get seats on the flight with everyone else and end up having to take a morning flight, 10 hours behind everyone.

The first stop in Sri Lanka is a Buddhist temple, where all teams on the first two flights meet up to wait for the opening at 5:45 AM.  In getting blessed by Monks, the teams got a nice opportunity to slow down and take in the experience.  A scenic train ride later, it’s time for the…

Detour: Fishing Pole or Spin Control

In Fishing Pole, teams wade out into the sea and jump up onto Sri Lankan fishing stilts.  Each team member must catch a fish to move on.  In Spin Control, they dress up and perform a traditional dance with balancing and spinning plate-like structures.  Now, this girl loves to dance, but I’d have to go fishing.  Just sitting there vs. spinning plates?  No contest.

Picture 4

Flight Time and Big Easy are spinning pros, and excel at Spin Control.  They’re also apparently the only team that knows how to count music.  I can’t believe the way the blondes completed this task, aren’t they singers?

Jessica and Jon decide to ditch fishing are try out the dance.  They manage to catch up to the pack at the…

Road Block

Ever see “Made in Sri Lanka” on a tag in your clothes?  The road block takes place in a clothing factory, where one team member must machine sew a shirt to the manager’s specifications.  Even though sewing machines scare me, I’d have to do this one.  I’d obviously have to do the Road Blocks that involve no muscle, but beyond that, I’m pretty confident I could piece the pattern together.

Big Easy has a lot of trouble here.  Flight Time brings out a basketball and entertains the crowd, reinvigorating him!  Even though the Globetrotters finished after Brenchel, they paid their bus to bring them directly to the Colombo Rowing Club, this leg’s Pitstop

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Amazing Race Recap: Smarter, Not Harder

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After my team (Joey and Meghan!) was eliminated last week, I was on the fence about continuing to watch Amazing Race.  After week’s episode, I’m so glad I decided to keep watching!  This was a great episode, and I decided on a new team to cheer on: the Globetrotters!  They make everything fun and are so kind to everyone they meet, like the kids in this episode.  Here’s what went on during this leg of the race:

Roadblock

The teams made their way to Prince Philip Park where the Roadblock was to jump on a bamboo trampoline and reach for the clue.  I would not have have volunteered for this one… I’ve got no ups.  Neither apparently does Cord, as it took him 37 jumps to reach his clue.

Two things happened in this episode to chance my mind about Brenchel.  The first of which happened here, when we found out Rachel’s been racing in pantyhose.  This made me giggle and for some reason endeared me to her a bit.

The clue led the teams to three flights to Kuala Lumpur.  The second flight ended up being so delayed that it landed roughly the same time as the third.

Detour

could you pour these from an arc of seven glasses?

could you pour these from an arc of seven glasses?

Once in Kuala Lumpur, racers could choose Mix Master or Master Mix.  Both of these detours seemed really cool, but really hard!  In Mix Master, the teams had to match a scratch rhythm like a DJ.  In Master Mix, they had to tour a pyramid of seven cocktails at once without letting the different liquids mix.  I would’ve gone Mix Master, and from the results, I think I would’ve been happy with that choice.

The second Brenchel moment comes here– it came down to Luke & Margie and Brendan & Rachel pouring cocktails.  Luke was so frustrated, and Brendan and Rachel gave him a major pep talk and encouraged him so much!  It made a huge difference to Luke, and a huge difference to me with regard to my opinion of this team.

Pitstop

The teams raced to Batu Caves, and here are the results:  (more…)

Amazing Race Recap: Welcome to the Jungle

this river made for one fun episode!

this river made for one fun episode!

So, the teams are finally leaving China!  They’re off the Malaysian Borneo and only two flights will get them there.  Brenchel completely loses their lead in traffic and ends up on flight number 2 with John & Jessica and Joey & Meghan, 3 hours behind the other six teams.

The first stop in Malaysia is Kiansom Waterfall, for the Road Block.  One teammate has to repel ten stories down the waterfall to retrieve the clue.  I would love to do this one!  Would you?

After the waterfall, teams have to built a raft and then are faced with a Detour: River Delivery or Run Through the Jungle.  In River Delivery, teams take produce on their rafts and deliver it to a chief midway down.  In Run Through the Jungle, teams raft all the way down without the stop and have to shoot blow darts at bird targets at the end.  I would’ve gone Run Through the Jungle. What would you have chosen?

“We’re like Huck Finn and Oliver Twist!” the blondes say when the see the raft task.  I hate them so much for saying this.  So, so much.

Dave and Connor, who chose River Delivery, accidently rafted all the way down and had to run back to make the delivery.

Leo and Jamal’s raft fell apart on the rapids, and the Cowboys passed them while they worked to reassemble.

Margie and Luke’s raft falls apart too; they have to use Margie’s shirt to tie it back together.

By the time the second plane lands, Joey and Meghan are still in last and make the fatal mistake of not making their taxi wait while they repel down the waterfall.

Group two has an equal amount of difficulty with the rafting.  I’m not sure how John and Jessica’s shoddy construction stayed together!  Brenchel’s fell apart at least twice.

The checkpoint for the end of this leg was Kota Kinabalu.  Here’s how the teams finished… (more…)