ABC’s new reality competition Expedition Impossible premieres Thursday, June 23 at 9pm, but right now you can check out the first 14 minutes to get a taste for what’s to come. Thirteen teams of three trek through Morocco completing stages and arriving at a checkpoint, all to win $150,000.

If you think that sounds like a cheap Amazing Race knock-off, you’re right. While watching Expedition Impossible, I kept thinking that the producers have to know that it’s a carbon copy of The Amazing Race. Sure, there are three people on each team instead of two and the whole thing takes place in Morocco, but everything else is pure TAR.

The only problem is that it feels like a watered-down version of the Emmy-winning reality show. What makes The Amazing Race so great is that the teams have strong personal connections. On Expedition Impossible, the teams all feel like stock characters.

There are the New York fireman, the high maintenance Latinas and the good, ol’ country boys. Some teams have special gimmicks, like the one with a grandpa or the team with a blind guy who climbed Mount Everest. Then there’s the team with two gay guys in knee-high teal socks who claim they’re not stereotypical, but who have the audacity to call themselves “Fab 3.” Sorry, but that’s as stereotypical a name as the gay team could’ve possibly chosen.

The premiere also has camels, and anyone who’s ever watched The Amazing Race knows that stubborn animals are TAR‘s bread and butter. I suppose if Amazing Race fans are really desperate for something to watch, Expedition Impossible can serve as a snack before dinner, but that’s as much praise as I can give it.

The most unfortunate part may be the fact that Expedition Impossible takes place in Morocco, which the show tries to build up as some dangerous and exotic location. It might carry more weight if the Real Housewives of New York City hadn’t just finished their own Moroccan vacation, complete with camel rides. If the Countess can do it, I have to assume that this expedition is very, very possible.

(Image and video courtesy of ABC)

John Kubicek

Senior Writer, BuddyTV

John watches nearly every show on TV, but he specializes in sci-fi/fantasy like The Vampire DiariesSupernatural and True Blood. However, he can also be found writing about everything from Survivor and Glee to One Tree Hill and Smallville.