So from all that, what we can take about Season 6? Well, it was a decent season, a bit too much heavy on the choreography/dance tasks in the middle but at least they were semi-interesting tasks. The teams were much better than last season, so were many of the tasks. And the international legs really rocked, evidence that international works great. But with grants and budgets, I don't think much will change about TAR Canada. It is what it is, and when they do it right, they do it right. When they don't, well, like every form of art, sometimes it doesn't work. Or doesn't work for me. Ratings were steady during last year's bad season and overall are up this year.
Teams leave PEI and head to Calgary. Once there they have to get to NavCanada's Air Traffic Control tower where it's a Roadblock. One racer must memorize 30 seconds of Air Traffic Control chatter then repeat it back to the boss. Kind of cool cause as a kid I wanted to be an Air Traffic Controller. I even did a radio documentary on the Calgary Air Traffic control system and its staff back in my broadcast school days so, so long ago. Mountie Courtney gets done first followed by Nurse Courtney. Kwame is stuck back there trying to figure out the word "altimeter."
Once done, teams jump aboard a helicopter for a trip to the top of a mountain in Banff where Jon says they have to search the mountainside for their next clue. In reality, they are guided to a box. And while this part of the show has some great shots of the scenery, classic Canadian Rockies, and teams oohhing and ahhing, it really didn't move the story forward. It was just some nice scenery with nice dialogue in it but if it was in one of my novels, I would have cut it out cause story comes first. Though it did give us two small things. The first was Courtney's little bop on Adam's nose when he said he was happy to share his life with her. That bop was real, cause that's what real couples do. Very nice.
Also, we got a short story from Mountie Courtney about how Taylor helped her overcome her shyness as a kid. A good story but really, it's a bit late for that kind of stuff. While these guys have been very strong in wins, etc., they are one of the weakest teams in personality. Not that they don't have personality, they look like nice people but their relationship story has been weak in the editing. More of this kind of stuff early in the show rather than the final episode would have been nice to show off the guys more, and a great juxtaposition or comparison to the other sibling team. Though the other sibling team were edited as the fan-fav spunky underdogs doomed to be eliminated just at the end, so the viewers view of Taylor and Courtney's relationship suffered.
But overall, the helicopter shots and trip to the top of the mountain seemed mostly a placeholder cause there was no task. They just got off, hiked a bit, and then got back on. Next it was off to Sunshine Village, one of my fav ski places when I lived in Calgary. And where I spent a week in a hockey school learning from great like Glen Sather and Doug Riseborough.
It's another Roadblock and this was a decent one. A bit of a tip of the toque to Kurt Repchull as they do some skijoring. Kurt is a big musher back in Nova Scotia, a leader in the sport out there it seems. So looks like producers may be paying attention to his social media feeds. After the mushing, teams just ride a sled down a course and then crash into a slush pond before the end. Sounds fun and I'd be all over this. Gord could have done the Air Traffic Stuff. Taylor takes it on, does okay with the dogs but his crashing into the pond with the subsequent full body flight over the snow, ending into a massive faceplant is one of the more classic scenes in TAR history. Up there with the watermelon in the face. An amazing shot. Good to see he's okay but that was hilarious.
Meanwhile teams are way behind as Taylor and Courtney head into the town of Banff itself for the final task. They have to run through a large number of Banff tourist shops and find 22 "artifacts", two each for each of the legs and locations they visited. Banff has tons as these shops so it's a bit of running with their heads cut off. The Mounties are confident but as Adam and Courtney show up, things change. The First Responders from Calgary are organized, with notes, not just during the race but while they are doing the task. So The Mounties believe they have 22 artifacts, they actually are missing two from various legs. They have to go back and find them. Adam and Courtney know they have enough for all the legs but they can't figure things out. They are missing one, have a Zombie one in the wrong place. I would talk about Dylan and Kwame but again in typical TAR Canada editing, the third team in the final is always way too far behind to catch up or affect the results. So it's a two way race.
But only for a bit. Once Adam and Courtney get their clue for finishing the task correctly, it's over. Cause to get to the pitstop, they have to do a zipline and paddle an inflatable boat to the Banff Springs golf course. And while they get confused, Calgarians unaware there are actually two courses in Banff, they are the winners. Cause once you get a zipline between the final task and the final mat, it's hard for a team to pass. Ziplines take time to get people ready, geared up, and then across. So while it looked close, it wasn't. You could tell by the amount of time Adam and Courtney had on the mat alone to celebrate their win. In the end, the finale wasn't the big thrill as it was played up to be on social media. It was okay but there have been better. In the end, congrats to Adam and Courtney winners of Season 6.
So the season is over. Gord and I will have a video recap later this week. As noted, it wasn't a bad season, not the best but thankfully, not the worst. Teams had more personality this year, they were more diverse than the millennials, though the finale teams were from similar cohort groups. Tasks were better but there really wasn't any that really tasked the teams to the breaking/melting point. I believe fans like races where the see at least a few tasks that I think they would really, really struggle with, not ones that they can say "Sure, I could do that, given time, I could do it". What you want in a race is fans saying "Holy shit that would be frickin' hard" as they watch. And the hero theme seemed to prevent any team dynamic, be it between teams or racers on the same team. These dynamics don't have to dominate the race but a few bigger glimpses make the whole thing more interesting. Last couple season of TARC have seen teams mostly getting along without a lot of competitive spirit between them. We had hints but hints are not enough.
Still, I liked the season, enjoyed watching, at not time did I consider I would stop. But would like more as we've seen in Season 2-4. Those were good seasons. So thanks for reading all 10 of you or so who pay attention to us. Maybe we'll see you next season with new teams or possibly, as some of the scuttlebutt notes, an All-Star season. But we've all heard that kind of thing since Season 4. Everyone have a nice winter.