[01x01] September 29th, 2008

[01x01] September 29th, 2008


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magnaman

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I watched it twice... TWICE! haha!

IF TOP gear uk was not around and all i ever saw on tv was drive time tv and Fifth gear i would watch this hands down and praise it for its brilliance...

YES i know top gear uk exists :) but i feel so many people are selling this so short... give it time... from what ive seen from this FIRST EPISODE it can only get better....

Hopefully...

(touch wood)


Presenters have grown on me after watching it twice... i hated them at first....
 

wikkedsnaab

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For those not of the great southern land, the following is an Australian technical term:

Fucking hell!

That was painful. Like Tim Lovejoy-era Fifth Gear painful, which is possibly the biggest insult someone can give something.

The ironic thing is that it is only a few minor things that are preventing TGA from being a reasonable car show. The visuals are good, save the much-discussed lameness of the test track filming, but the hosts need a LOT of work. In no particular order:

1) Please remove the plate of blow and other drugs/booze from the dressing room. Cox appeared drunk at times and slurred his lines in a way that Australians may well do from time to time, but not on TV. Pizzati was so freakin' annoying - high pitched and talked far too fast, like a 10 year old after a glass of red cordial - I found myself pausing Quicktime after every sentence he spoke to curse and recompose myself. Dude - chill the fuck out! Warren however did a pretty good job.

2) Everything's too over the top. Yes it is all jolly well exciting being the first ep and all, and yes it is very funny when Hammond and Clarkson get wound up, but until these guys find their groove and sort out their on screen personalities and chemistry, it's far better to play it cool and safe and err on the side of rational. Otherwise it will come off smelling like overblown yankie hype and it will quickly become as respected and popular as Toohey's Gold.

Likewise, ease up on the linguistic gymnastics in the script. Part of TGUK's charm is that while it is scripted, the guys deliver it - most of the time - in way that seems unforced and natural.

3) Substance! Even though Clarkson dumbs down some technical terms in tests (ie. "it has 700 torques... which is... this much!" et. al.) he at least he actually gets across some relevant information in between all the sliding, smoking and childish hoohar.

These guys completely failed in either of the softroader or Porsche tests to get much in the way of any relevant consumer info. Basically we learnt that the Toyota Rav4 has a V6, 200kW and costs $50K, the Suburu (er, was it an Overlander or Forester?) had a 4 cylinder engine (presumably a boxer but for all we know could be an air-cooled radial) and costs $35K, the same as the Nissan Xtrail but that has a CVT transmission. And yes, constant variable is an oxymoron... but I believe the acronym is continuously variable, Steve. Save for some details regarding their 4WD systems, the segment was completely devoid of what equipment the cars come with, which might have explained why the Rav4 was so much more expensive, or how each car's suspension was dealing with the sandy terrain. There were numerous 'blank' spots in the visual where a quick voiceover could have come with with some tidbits, but no, just uncomfortable silence.

The Porsche test was even worse. Credit for explaining how the transmission works with a drawing in the dirt (and using the term layshaft), but again: no idea how much power it makes, no idea what the CO2 emissions are that make it so darn green-friendly, and the whole lot set to driving at 40kph.

4) Articulation! Not every Australian is a knuckle-dragging bogan, nor do we all sound like Steve Irwin. While I don't doubt SBS is aware that the show will be distributed around the world, ultimately it is advertiser supported and thus targeted to the local Aussie market. Again, calm down and lose all the clich?s. The show should have an Australian flavour, not drown in a gravy of tired euphemisms no Aussie wants to hear.

Oh, and not Porsch - Porsh-eh! Porsh-eh! Porsh-eh! Porsh-eh! TGUK didn't spend 7 years teaching the world how to pronounce it just to have a local version undo all that hard work. Worse still, I think Cox used both Porscheh and Porsch. Dodgy.

5) The special guest bit was pretty bad - thankfully Vince carried it practically on his own. Cool that he was into Saab 900s - respect. Cox is obviously a muppet because any fool knows back in the 80s Saab made some very fast and capable cars.

6) I won't go into the track visuals, enough's already been said the amateurish effort. With the race is the snow it felt like they had 5 cameras in the car but only two outside on the track. WTF? Did SBS blow their AV budget on little cameras and sucker mounts, and have no cash left for a few DigiBetas? Oops.

There were good spots though. Most of the visuals were perfectly good. And Warren's shark cage Moke bit was actually really good - worthy of TGUK, I reckon. I would have liked a bit of info on the Moke itself; it is after all a car everyone in Australia has seen yet few have any idea what the hell they are. But all was forgiven with the crack about Lucas electrics - which was the only time I laughed proper.

Concluding thoughts? Well, firstly to all those saying "hey, but remember TGUK S01", yeah, it wasn't as slick as Top Gear is now, but it still was very very good - and vastly, vastly better than this. Remember, unlike TG back then, TGA aren't reinventing the wheel. They have the template, they know what works and what doesn't. While no one is realistically expecting the new show to capture the chemistry of Clarkson, Hammond and May, nor SBS to match the BBC's budget, I seriously had higher expectations for TGA.

I know people are saying "evaluate it on its own terms" but - no offence - that's pretty much impossible. Top Gear is the gold standard upon which all other car shows are judged, least not one that shares its name and format!

It's not a lost cause yet, but TGA have a LOT of work ahead of them.
 
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vegasrebel29

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Emphasis on that. If you compare anything to TG UK of course it's going to be crap, so when voting in the poll please rate it on it's own merits or whatnot rather than comparing it to Top Gear. We can do that in another thread. :)

It's hard not to do that... journalists spend years trying to hone that exact skill.

With that said, and based on an opinion as independent of Top Gear UK as I can muster, it was pretty terrible. The presenters seemed like they were on cocaine. Their first review was a Porsche. They jumped straight in as if they'd been around for years and had just come back from an extended holiday. The music was pervasive, which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't all crap. Their second review was a Maybach. I also didn't bother counting all the insults to my intelligence, or the general primitive response provocation (but there were many).

To put all of this in perspective, however, Top Gear UK had many of the same growing pains. The music then, too, was pretty awful and pervasive. Jason Dawes was awkward. Richard Hammond lacked credibility. At the end of the day, however, they patched all of that up and it's a pretty good product.
 

Wildy

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Oh, and it seems like the Australians, like their fifthgearian colleagues, don't know how to pronounce "Porsche" correctly either. That's just silly...

Aber, dass Erz?hler auf D-Motor sagt "Pausche".

Sorry. I'm watching the D-Motor episode of the "England v. Germany" thing.
 

forza077

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they seriously need to get some better looking women in the audience also!! TGUK do a great job of only allowing 50/50 ratio.....

oh and steve isn't a racing driver... he just teaches for porsche every now and then!... what do they say? "If you can't do it... teach?"

track was pathetic, and the STIG is a rubbish driver...

surely wakefield would suit ????
 

P5138

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With that said, and based on an opinion as independent of Top Gear UK as I can muster, it was pretty terrible. The presenters seemed like they were on cocaine. Their first review was a Porsche. They jumped straight in as if they'd been around for years and had just come back from an extended holiday. The music was pervasive, which wouldn't be so bad if it weren't all crap. Their second review was a Maybach. I also didn't bother counting all the insults to my intelligence, or the general primitive response provocation (but there were many).

I feel better knowing that I'm not alone when I say: Whoever was in charge of the soundtrack should be taken to the middle of the outback, shot in the foot and left to die of starvation for making everyone suffer through that racket. :p

But more seriously, I thought I saw some real sparks of good camera-work and presentation in the episode. For example:

Warren's intro to the Maybach was just like TGUK would do. Very dramatic and well shot. Albeit, his review was too short and, of course, drowned out by overbearing music. I know they don't have the budget to source good music like the UK show does, but God!

The point at which Cox draws the transmission diagram in the dirt, I think, was better than the rest of the review. I have this real belief that Cox is more a tech-guy than his faux-Clarkson persona is letting him show. And it would be interesting to see him act a little more naturally.

I gave the episode a 6. It's not the best first episode (they could've done more introduction to everything and made it seem a little more care was put into it), but I think the presenters and show have true potential, even Cox if he stops yelling so much.

EDIT: I know we're aren't supposed to compare it to TGUK, but what other benchmark do we have?
 
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the Interceptor

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Come on guys, come oooooooon! :sad:

It was the first episode!!! They have plenty of time to improve things, given the show will be continued after your bickering. Do you rather watch XXX's new topmodel / superstar / whatever???

:mad:
 
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MattD1zzl3

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EDIT: I know we're aren't supposed to compare it to TGUK, but what other benchmark do we have?

Did you enjoy it?

Thats the only benchmark that matters.
 

sparks50

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Top Gear UK doesn't have to spend resources on a soundtrack, because the BBC has a agreement with a bunch of record companies.

Anyway, finally you UK people can be bored with guests you have never heard about:p

As in the UK version, I really miss a drivers view camera on the cars being driven. It takes less than ten seconds to fasten a camera like that, on the hood or roof, and because they use air compression to fasten it, no marks are left on the car.
 

ed1911n

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I didnt particularly enjoy it, but, like others have pointed out, it took a bit of time for TGUK to get really good to. And I have never seen the presenters before, so I might like them more after i get more familiar with them, and I get more of a sense of the chemistry between them.

Basically, I agree with Viper that it isnt really fair to compare it to TGUK, especially TGUK at its best. It was however well on par with the weakest episodes of TGUK, so I'm certainly going to keep watching to see if I get more into it.

Oh and yeah, the track didnt do anything for me at all. To tight, to slow.
 

rockfred

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The show wasn't that bad in my opinion, a little rough around the edges but not bad. They need to improve in certain aspects like the editing and the camera placement on the track but other than that the show is quite decent. And to those thinking that the show is too over-the-top, they're australians! Those down below lunatics are known for beign even crazier that the brits.
 

johan tb

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Well to those who say we mustn't compare it to Top Gear UK: Why not they self called them Top Gear Australia, same lay out, test track, Stig etc, etc. They self compare them to Top Gear UK so why can't we??
 

the Interceptor

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Because even when it's a copy of a known concept, it needs some time to develop. No show is perfect from the very beginning. TGUK had many seasons to get where it is now. How can we say TGAU is not good after one single episode?
 

Crazyjeeper

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Overall for a first effort, I'd say it was pretty good. It had its moments and I have to say, they are all rubbish offroad drivers :p
 

johan tb

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Ok I agree with that, lets evaluate it after a couple of episodes but I maintain also that TGUK was even in the first series better than this. I only can hope it will be better ........ :)
 

the Interceptor

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Note that there was a Top Gear before 01x01 for many years. When the show restarted with Jeremy Clarkson as the main host, they had a pretty good idea of where they wanted to go, as well as a lot of experience with making the show in general.
 
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MattD1zzl3

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You need to remember that we dont know these guys yet.

What if you didnt know hamster was a short guy who liked to fight, if you didnt know clarkson was an opinionated ass with a lead food, or you didnt know may was slow?

They would just be three guys reading from a script, not even that natural or well written of one. But since you've watched these guys for years (not to mention they've had all of that time to perfect presenting) some of the un-naturalness of UKTG is glossed over and hidden.

They are new to presenting and you are new to watching, both of us will eventually meet in the middle, and programming magic will commence. Until then be patient and understanding, or fuck off, quit complaining and let the rest of us enjoy it. Thank you :cool:
 

smolik

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has anybody else noticed the wierd GT-R interior?

that has to be some mistake made during the editing, because that surely isn't the GT-R interior, now is it?

24:32
 

Fenah

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^^ HA your right, wtf!

Well Nothing will ever live up to the original. That being said good first attempt, as the season progresses I'm sure it will get better as the three host understand and get to know what it takes to give us a great show. Some of the stuff in the season preview looked pretty neat. Altough I was somewhat bored throughout the show, I couldn't watch the news or the celebrity bit but everything else was ok.

Dosn't really matter, Top gear is Top gear I'm just glad I have more to watch year round, I'm pretty damn sure I will be torrenting Top Gear UK, Top gear Australia, and Top gear American, because hell I cant get enough of Top gear!

Overall good attempt, NEEDS a lot of work.
 
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the Interceptor

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has anybody else noticed the wierd GT-R interior?

that has to be some mistake made during the editing, because that surely isn't the GT-R interior, now is it?

24:32
I noticed that he did shift gears a few times during the claimed GT-R interior shots, while the GT-R is paddleshift-only. Therefore, I think the interior shots were taken from another car.
 
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