My favourite first wave reality show, Eco-Challenge – the only returned this summer as The World’s Toughest Race now hosted by Bear Grylls. (It’s on Amazon Prime if you’re interested.) I loved this show when it was on and, for years, sort of assumed that nobody else had watched as, when I described it to others, very few seemed to know of it.
I’m super happy it’s back and I’ve been bingeing it recently. The new season is reminding me why I loved it when it was on in the ’90s: people doing something absolutely nuts, beyond the kind of endurance you see in most races – I mean 1/3 of the teams don’t even finish this thing. There’s river canoeing, there’s ocean canoeing, there’s hiking, there’s biking, there’s paddle-boarding, there’s white water rafting – at one point you have to build your own boat. It’s absolutely insane. There’s really nothing else like it on TV.
The addition of Bear Grylls is not really a positive in my eyes. I understand why he’s there – they need a prominent host to get the show on the air – but he really feels unnecessary. He says silly things in encouragement and basically just inserts himself in when you don’t need him. He didn’t do the race himself but shows off when grabbing the medallions. I get why he’s here but he’s my least favourite part.
Apparently there’s going to be a 2021 season in Patagonia and I really hope that they are able to figure out how to do it with the pandemic. Assuming it will be in the summer, that would mean they would be planning on shooting in the next few months and obviously vaccines won’t be ready for everyone by then. So here’s hoping that they are able to quarantine everyone involved successfully and film it, as it’s definitely the kind of inspirational thing that really lets us understand how easy our lives are.
This isn’t a review, it’s just a post to mention I’m glad this show is back. It’s about time.