Sunday, March 20, 2011

YOU HAVE BEEN CANCELED FROM THE RACE: Following up on prior discussions of fictional character teams who'd be awesome on TAR, our friends Alan and Dan provide suggestions for fictional characters they'd love to partner with on TAR. It's a solid list with some clever choices (look, basically any of the spy characters from Chuck or Burn Notice would be a good choice) and a few inexplicable ones, which I suspect we can add to. My suggestions:
  • Spec. Agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs, NCIS--Well traveled, no problem vexes him, has a rule for everything.
  • Neal Caffrey, White Collar--Master of airport fu, would have no trouble finding local guides and bending the rules as much as possible.
  • Nate Ford, Leverage--Would always have a Plan B, C, and D when the original plans fail.
  • Blair Waldorf, Gossip Girl--Most effective plotter/schemer on TAR since Boston Rob, endless supply of bitchy one liners. Downside--would have difficulty packing light and wearing practical shoes.


  1. The correct answer is Kalinda on The Good Wife, though Eli Gold's not a bad option either.  Otherwise, among those not listed, there's Jack Donaghy (a star athlete who went both ways at Princeton) and Anthony Bourdain, whom I believe is a fictional character, and who will be awesome in foreign lands and on eating challenges with minimal rest.<span> </span>

  2. Jenn C9:32 AM

    I would take anyone on the Hawaii 5-0 reboot.

  3. Patty Hewes.  Because, no matter what, she would make sure we won.

  4. Maggie10:12 AM

    Ron Effin' Swanson.  I'd assume that his adherence to the pyramid of greatness prepared him well for TAR.

  5. Matt B10:29 AM

    Not sure who I'd want to be my partner, but the idea of Peter and Walter Bishop as partners is fantastic.

  6. Eric J.12:07 PM

    He's going to have a big problem dealing with foreign cuisines.

    I think Barney Stinson probably has some good skills, but he's likely to be easily distracted.

  7. Nowhereman12:11 PM

    Since we're never going to see a Pullo and Vorenus team from Rome absolutely destroy everyone in the Race, can I team up with Vorenus? Smart enough to run the Roman dockside underworld, tough enough to serve as personal guard to Marc Antony, he served in the XIII so stamina isn't an issue, and he can stab unruly airport workers through the neck with a sword. Business class upgrades for all!

    (unrelated: I really think Pullo and Vorenus make everything better. I would have killed to see a Quantum Leap -esque "Pullo And Vorenus Travel Through Time #@*%ing Stuff Up" television show. KILLED.)

  8. I think PI's are inherently resourceful, so I think you could do far worse than Veronica Mars or Hank Dolworth as your partner.  The former has a little less baggage, but the latter has far more experience.  Keith Mars or Britt Pollack would also be acceptable answers.

    And this might be an unfair answer, but if you wanted an experienced international traveler with her own theme song, you could do worse:  Downside would obviously be the detours to steal famous landmarks, but if you could keep her focused...

  9. Joseph Finn12:45 PM

    Easy: Agent 355. Your trip might be a bit slower, but you're going to get there absolutely no matter what.

  10. Jenn.2:33 PM

    Well, that's obvious:  Kim Possible.  Smart, good under pressure, awesome acrobatics skills, used to working with a sidekick.

  11. Adam C.2:39 PM

    I see that Alan and Dan have stuck with characters on current shows, but I'll cast my lot with Sayid Jarrah.  Excellent at extracting critical information, ruthless in the face of any kind of physical challenge (and I have a strong suspicion that he might do well on bomb-defusing tasks, given his undercover experience during World War II in The English Patient).

  12. Adam C.2:40 PM

    Hank would kick all kinds of ass as a partner.

  13. Jenn C.3:48 PM

    John Locke wouldn't be bad either...he would be great at psyching out the other racers. And he hunts, too.

  14. I'd rather take Pullo.  I don't need Vorenus's strategic sense; Pullo's brute force and vengeful streak is more useful to me.  Others on Rome:

    Marc Antony: makes stupid alliances.
    Caesar: Everyone would want to u-turn him.
    Atia of the Julii: more concerned about alliances than winning the race.
    Brutus: savvy enough to stay in the back of the pack before making his move, but gets lapped in the final legs.
    Newsreader: fun to have around, but not mobile enough.

  15. I see your Sayid Jarrah and raise you to a Furio Giunta.  Equally ruthless and capable of being led astray by the heart, but slightly less reckless.

  16. isaac_spaceman4:27 PM

    Raylan Givens.

  17. Joseph J. Finn5:21 PM

    Yeah, but Furio will disappear on you in the middle of the race.

  18. I almost said this, but I didn't know Phil's policy on firearms.

  19. Heather K6:25 PM

    Sherlock Holmes could be a great partner or a gigantic pain in the ass.

  20. Jenn.7:04 PM

    Or both.

  21. Assume we're talking Cumberbatch Holmes, who'd be better equipped to deal with the technical challenges of the Race, rather than traditional Doyle Holmes.

  22. Heather K7:38 PM

    I was mostly thinking Cumberbatch Holmes although traditional Holmes wouldn't be impossible.  And speaking of Cumberbatch, that Watson would be a pretty good partner too.

  23. If it's current shows, I'd go with Leslie Knope, but only if it's a very special, all events in Pawnee, and surrounding parts of Indiana, edition of not so Amazing Race.

    And if we open this up to past TV characters, then I'd have to go with Data. Seriously, dude has superhuman strength, speed, and computational power. Might get in trouble if there's any swimming type challenges, given that he doesn't float, but beyond that, he's got you covered.

  24. Hannah Lee10:23 PM

    If it's open to past characters, I'd go with Dr Sam Beckett: well-educated genius, multi-lingual, musical, athletic, excellent dancer, photographic memory, fearless when something important is on the line, nice to strangers so he'd be able to elicit help from locals.    And having almost constant brainwave connection to a holographic assistant with access to a supercomputer would sure come in handy.

    And he probably be thrilled to get to travel outside of the U.S. for a change. Though it would be tough to stay within 20 feet of each other if he started leaping to different time periods.

  25. Adam C.11:11 PM

    I think (judging from the previews) that we'll have a better read on the Marshal's skills after this coming week's episode. But I've got my money on Raylan figuring out a way.

  26. RandomRanter9:10 AM

    And she's used to making deals with locals for transportation.  Or is that Wade?