Random Thoughts [Top Gear USA Edition]

rideclutch

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We're well into the 2nd Series of TG US now, and I think there's enough interest to start one of these threads. If you've got a thought about TG US that doesn't require a new thread, post here. I'll get the ball rolling...

On the back of Episode 4, I think there's a lot to like about the latest run of Top Gear USA. The first series was always going be unfairly viewed and compared to the BBC original, but at the same time should have provided a valuable learning experience to the hosts and everyone who creates the show behind the camera. The good news is, they've been paying attention. Here's a few things I feel have now elevated the program from 'car show', to suitable family viewing:

- The show has become more American, or rather, more suitable for American television. I'm not talking about all the Pick-up and 4x4 segments either. The show is now faster, punchier; it delivers straight away, much like a Hollywood film. The studio segments have been narrowed and shortened also, there is less filler/padding. This allows new viewers to hold and maintain a constant level of interest.

- The hosts. Even if Series 1 served no other purpose than to demonstrate each presenters mannerisms and idiosyncrasies, it's done the job fine. The producers did not fall into the trap of TG Australia and play musical chairs with the lineup. As a result, they've ended up with 3 presenters who now gel together very well in any situation. I even like Adam now... :dunno:

- It has also shed the burden of using the 'Top Gear' name, something once again TG Australia has not yet managed. Although the new TG US intro is fairly generic, people don't need to be reminded they're watching Top Gear by hearing 'Jessica' play. The new intro is perfect; short and to the point, and more importantly not living in TG UK's shadow but standing on its own two feet. For that, big thumbs up.

There's plenty else to like, but I'll leave that for others to discuss. My only slight reservation at this point is that while they've made some very entertaining films, I feel there is still a question mark around their ability to make a serious/dramatic Clarkson type review of something. While this isn't entirely necessary, it may limit the show's absolute potential in the long term. Early days though.

Obviously lots will disagree with my opinion, so feel free to share your own below.
 
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bryanbeachboy1970

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It has also shed the burden of using the 'Top Gear' name, something once again TG Australia has not yet managed. Although the new TG US intro is fairly generic, people don't need to be reminded they're watching Top Gear by hearing 'Jessica' play. The new intro is perfect; short and to the point, and more importantly not living in TG UK's shadow but standing on its own two feet. For that, big thumbs up.
Vital when the show is much shorter. Since I'd rather have more content than intro, I'm glad they did this.
 

The Spie

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My only slight reservation at this point is that while they've made some very entertaining films, I feel there is still a question mark around their ability to make a serious/dramatic Clarkson type review of something.
I think that Adam came very close with the AMG SLS review. That's a good sign, because Adam's not the car expert in the group, but he seemed perfectly capable of delivering a Clarkson-type review. Since they're cutting down on reviews right now, we'll have to wait and see.
 

bryanbeachboy1970

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I think that Adam came very close with the AMG SLS review. That's a good sign, because Adam's not the car expert in the group, but he seemed perfectly capable of delivering a Clarkson-type review. Since they're cutting down on reviews right now, we'll have to wait and see.
That was a good review. I also liked Rut's review of the Aston Martin Vantage. And the Vette vs 548 wasn't a bad head to head test, like Clarkson and Hammond sometimes do.
 

rideclutch

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I think that Adam came very close with the AMG SLS review. That's a good sign, because Adam's not the car expert in the group, but he seemed perfectly capable of delivering a Clarkson-type review. Since they're cutting down on reviews right now, we'll have to wait and see.
I'd actually forgot about that particular film, but upon re-watch I do agree with you. There were definitely glimpses across the entire first series that they were capable, it's just unfortunate that as you said, we will have to wait and see if they can make them consistently. My personal favourite was the Morgan Aero Supersport review by Tanner:

 

Hagiman2000

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I have still problems with TG USA. It is much to patriotic for viewers outside the US. In the first season I said to myself "Ok let them patriotic in the whole first season to acquire a big enough fanbase to survive". But in the second season it still continues. It can only be more patriotic if there were stars and stripes all over the place. There are no more car tests, in the first episode its just a challenge. Corvette and Viper first and second place on the power lap board .....

Than that Pickups. The only "cars" that only americans are interested. No other human beings drive that crap. I live in New York, parking places are more than rare, what do I buy? Right a huge Pick Up or 4x4 (Escalade or what ever). They don't test cars like TG UK, they don't test small cars (that UK Challenge in Italy with the small hatchbacks was perfect), they don't make challenges against public transportation, they mainly test american cars or other cars that are no challenge for the american cars, and so on.

And because they can't travel to other countrys like TG UK (History channel should have a big enough budget I think) they are stuck in the US. So what are they doing? In the last two episodes they tested really really old cars (their first cars and cheap 4x4) so it seems they are out of money. On the other hand TG UK testet electric cars what would be a perfect job for TG US now with rising gasoline prices to an all up high. In 17x05 they destroyed houses that was such a laugh and was better than all TG US Episodes together. The cutting is better, the camera angels are better, the soundtrack is better and so on. How can May get to the US to test a Range Rover and none of the US presenters were in Europe or outside the US in over 10 episodes? The even build their own trains. They are now in season 17 and have more fresh ideas than TG US after two seasons.

Are we looking forward to the challenge of the week with 3 old cars? TG UK build a space shuttle, they build trains, they build cars that can swim, they had great specials (Vietnam, Chile, Afrika, Iraq, ect.) and are still coming up with great new things.
 

bryanbeachboy1970

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It might be just me, but Ferrara comes across as the "Anti-May"
So, if they ever come into contact with each other, is annihilation the expected outcome?

I too had forgotten about the Morgan review. But since all three English speaking TGs have reviewed that car, it was just meh for me.
 

rideclutch

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I too had forgotten about the Morgan review. But since all three English speaking TGs have reviewed that car, it was just meh for me.
No worries. In fairness though, this particular Morgan (to the best of my knowledge) has not been reviewed on TG UK, and Shane Warne's review of it on TG AU was a painfully comical attempt at the Clarkson style. Tanner is the only one who really captured all the history and the essence of what the car is about.

You only like it because he was driving on the wrong side of the road. Admit it :p
He may have been driving on the left, but it was still upside down. :p
 

hercman

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I have still problems with TG USA. It is much to patriotic for viewers outside the US. In the first season I said to myself "Ok let them patriotic in the whole first season to acquire a big enough fanbase to survive". .

Ummm and TGUK isn't?
 

bryanbeachboy1970

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this particular Morgan (to the best of my knowledge) has not been reviewed on TG UK
Now that I think about it, you're right. Back in series 5, there was a review of the Aero 8, but I guess what I'm thinking of is the extended argument that Hammon (and May) had with Clarkson during The News that the Aero Supersport was the last of the proper British sports cars, and it was revealed that Hammond had bought one.
 

rideclutch

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I have still problems with TG USA. It is much to patriotic for viewers outside the US. In the first season I said to myself "Ok let them patriotic in the whole first season to acquire a big enough fanbase to survive". But in the second season it still continues. It can only be more patriotic if there were stars and stripes all over the place. There are no more car tests, in the first episode its just a challenge. Corvette and Viper first and second place on the power lap board
Why is it necessary that Top Gear USA be any less about America than Top Gear Australia and UK are about their respective countries?

Than that Pickups. The only "cars" that only americans are interested. No other human beings drive that crap. I live in New York, parking places are more than rare, what do I buy? Right a huge Pick Up or 4x4 (Escalade or what ever). They don't test cars like TG UK, they don't test small cars (that UK Challenge in Italy with the small hatchbacks was perfect),
I'm not sure it's the right show to be looking for consumer advice. Top Gear UK stopped giving it about 7 years ago. Those hatchbacks were hardly cheap either.

And because they can't travel to other countrys like TG UK (History channel should have a big enough budget I think) they are stuck in the US. So what are they doing? How can May get to the US to test a Range Rover and none of the US presenters were in Europe or outside the US in over 10 episodes?
Well, there's the video of Tanner going to England to drive the Morgan Aero Supersport. It's right above your post... :|

On the other hand TG UK testet electric cars what would be a perfect job for TG US now with rising gasoline prices to an all up high. In 17x05 they destroyed houses that was such a laugh and was better than all TG US Episodes together. The cutting is better, the camera angels are better, the soundtrack is better and so on. The even build their own trains. They are now in season 17 and have more fresh ideas than TG US after two seasons.
I'll give you the bit in bold as correct. I really don't agree with the rest of it, but you're entitled to share a different opinion to me.

...they don't make challenges against public transportation, they mainly test american cars or other cars that are no challenge for the american cars, and so on....

Are we looking forward to the challenge of the week with 3 old cars? TG UK build a space shuttle, they build trains, they build cars that can swim, they had great specials (Vietnam, Chile, Afrika, Iraq, ect.) and are still coming up with great new things.
Are they not entitled to break free from the 'Top Gear' brand name and create a more unique show? Any attempt at copying TG UK will invariably fail, and we'll all be sitting back wondering why they bothered.
 

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I like that they have the audience outside the hangar doors and out at the test track. That surely is a breakaway from the TGUK. It is sunny California after all and if they did that on TGUK you would see nothing but umbrellas.
 

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I like that they have the audience outside the hangar doors and out at the test track. That surely is a breakaway from the TGUK. It is sunny California after all and if they did that on TGUK you would see nothing but umbrellas.
it's nice change of pace. plus, it does get a bit too warm in that hanger when the coolers are off. when i went to the tapings, it could not of been a more perfect time to shoot outdoors. they really lucked out since Irvine does get hot in the summer.

Missed the point.



UNPATRIOTIC TRAITORS!! NEEDS MORE OLD GLORY IN SHOW!!! THEY DARE CALL THEMSELVES AND USE AMERICAN IMAGES?!?! THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!! SEND THEM ALL TO GITMO!!

i think you may have missed the point...
 

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TGUS overly patriotic? I never really got that point (sorry Hagiman, but I don't); apart from Tanner's little "USA!" chant while he smoked circles around Adam and Rut, and perhaps Adam's "to be fair, fuck you!" comment, they're not as bad as say, Clarkson's birthday review of the E-type Jag from series 17. I just don't see that one show is more patriotic than the other, or that it's necessarily a bad thing. TGUK is frequently in trouble with various governments from comments made by the commentators (usually Clarkson) yet its viewership is truly colossal; doesn't seem to me that patriotism or being arrogant is such a bad idea or has hurt ratings internationally.

And yet theiceisalie seems to think there is some kind of point here. Hmm. Wish he'd share.

Hagiman, you also said "they can't travel to other countrys like TG UK, they are stuck in the US." Well, as you hinted, that's because of budget. As TGUS' viewership increases, their budget will also increase, and hopefully soon we'll see some international segments, which would be cool. Keep in mind, TGUK didn't do anything international until, what? Series 4 I think; the London to Monte Carlo race, Aston vs Eurostar. Please correct me if I'm wrong. It'll get there; give it time.
 
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The Spie

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Keep in mind, TGUK didn't do anything international until, what? Series 4 I think; the London to Monte Carlo race, Aston vs Eurostar. Please correct me if I'm wrong. It'll get there; give it time.
Well, in 01x01, Jeremy made a trip to one of Calais' booze warehouse superstores in a Citroen Berlingo. In 01x05, Richard went to Germany to ride in the Maybach 62. In 02x09, James went to Germany to drive the GM HyWire. But since I firmly believe that "real" Top Gear started with the first Epic Race in 04x01, you're right.
 
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