For notes on leg construction, task design, course layout, camera work, and the other elements which go into the actual assembly of the Race. (This is not for commenting on Racer actions unless said actions were directly caused, influenced, or sabotaged by Production.) It's sort of a behind-the-scenes GUFU with occasional positive notes, and it's one thread per season. Sort of like how it's one retread per CBS reality show per season. Minimum.
As for what those retreads had to run through...
Slap The show should know better than to leave from LAX by now -- and everything that goes with it.
Slap Another total randomizer to open the course, where the order you left the field in was a lottery shot draw with no brainpower involved beyond keeping track of where you'd been. Can you prepare for it? Do you have any real chance to recover if you're at the back of the back? No and no: once the division is created, all you can do is hope someone else makes a mistake which negates your bad luck. But gee, at least this time they didn't throw in an automatic penalty for leaving last. Progress! Oh, and as long as we're talking about recycling, these aren't exactly the first Racers to tandem-jump...
Clap The opening bicycle shots were a new way to introduce the teams and worked out well. (The clothing change prior to hitting the field cost continuity, but running through LAX wearing TAR uniforms... would have pretty much led to the same result.)
Slap So what's the usage slot fallout from that Roadblock? Who has one chance taken off, the direction follower (who was chosen initially), the one who jumped, or is this a no-effect because both members participated?
No hand movement Worth noting as a neutral sighting: we saw a lot of camera operators in this episode -- well, their hands. (Look closely during the jump shots: they're holding onto Racers for a few seconds after departure.)
Slap Only one judge for the empanada stations. If multiple teams need a check, toss a coin -- which can put someone out all by itself.
No hand movement The slap is built-in above: there was no way to check that the teams were getting the empanada contents right. All that could be examined was the exteriors, and a taste test could have had caviar-worthy results.
No hand movement It is not Phil's fault when people leave their bags in odd places (and didn't need them anyway), fail to see him about a hundred feet away, and miss the chance to view his immortal WTF? Face.
Slap 'Coming up this season' footage. Are they that desperate to construct a storyline? Because they just took some of the suspense out of the whole thing, and that could cost them...
It's not a happy opener, but they seldom are.