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A dumpster full of various musings over life, God, scripture, and any random thought that may fly by meanwhile. Comments welcome.

Bullrun – Overview

Posted by Iszi on March 14, 2007

Last night, I watched the premiere episode of Bullrun on SpikeTV. I’m usually not a big fan of reality shows, but when someone decides to send 12 teams in their high performance vehicles racing cross-country, I can’t help but watch. I’m glad to say that it looks to be a great series, and one that I hope is kept running for a good few years. Or, at least long enough to see the day when I can afford a shot at it. 😉 I’ll be posting more details and a review of this week’s episode after I get home. I’m going to try to make this a weekly thing, since this is one of the few shows that has caught my attention enough to actually mark on my calendar. (In my cell phone, with a reminder alarm 1 hour ahead, so I can’t miss it!)

A few comments on some of the aspects of the show in general:

  • Goldberg: I didn’t follow his wrestling career back in the day (it’s just not something I watch) but given the video covering his own collection of rides, I’d say this guy looks pretty well qualified for his position. He seems to do a pretty decent job at it as well, not beating any bushes or adding too much flair when he lays out the gameplan of the day. He also seems to handle insult and rejection pretty well, without adding any extra drama or even really flinching against it, for that matter. I will say there were a few spots where I think he overplayed the “reality show host” role just a little but really, who doesnt? And I’ve seen much worse.
  • The Girls: What racing show (let alone one on SPIKE) would be complete without a little eye candy aside from the cars? Being a married man myself, I shouldn’t be commenting too much on this, so all I’ll say is the scenery is very appealing and I’m very glad to see they didn’t make it too distracting. It’s not so much in-your-face like on some shows, where it could be the only reason one watches (or continues to watch) it. More like just icing on an already great cake. A very well-played card, in my opinion.
  • “My Way or the Highway”: Great way to add strategy to the game, and I love it! Do you trust your own (or your partner’s) navigational skills to get you through foreign territory, or do you take the slightly longer but garunteed route handed to you and pick up time with speed? The fact that there’s no room left in the rules for playing in between the two adds further weight to the decision. Great move, there!
  • The Challenges: I will say this does a good job of adding to the difficulty and complexity of the game, as well as adding some more entertainment value, and helping to more completely close out the day. It’s kind of like a halftime show really. Instead of the team just crossing the finish line and we fade to black at the end of the first day in the episode, we get to have a little fun in between legs of the race. However, from the perspective of a vehicle owner and one who might be considering entering this competition, I must say it is discouraging. Of course, if you’re entering into a cross-country road race you should expect there’s the possibility that your baby might get a scratch or two. But when they throw these challenges into the mix – and then tell you to use your own car for them – that pretty much guarantees it. Some of these cars (and one of the contestants did bring this up) aren’t easily if at all replaceable, and some people who would otherwise jump at the opportunity to enter in such a challenge as this race are definitely going to be made to think more than twice about it. Ranting aside, they did do a good job of making this an addition to the strategic element of the game. In these challenges, the two race leaders of the day each pick two other teams to compete against each other for time slips. This gives great additional incentive to be in the lead for the actual race, and also gives the underdogs more of a fighting chance.
  • Time Bonuses: Another nice strategic element. Gives the underdogs yet another fighting chance, and gives the leaders another reason to strive to stay ahead. That’s really all there is to be said here.
  • Eliminations: It wouldn’t be a reality TV show if someone didn’t have to leave each week. If it weren’t the person in last place automatically leaving, then I’m sure we’d have to suffer some goofy Survivor-esque elimination challenge that had some obtuse relation to the cars. And I can assure you that would kill the show. What is interesting to consider is that with all the other elements added into this game, the team that came to the first checkpoint in third place could still easily end up driving home the next day. Again, more reason to get ahead and stay ahead.

Overall, Bullrun has the makings of a great reality racing series, and I very much look forward to seeing what happens next week and throughout the rest of this season.

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