[01x02] October 6th, 2008

[01x02] October 6th, 2008


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Ironlord

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Be interesting to see what some of the internationals make of this week, has more of an "australian" feel to it somehow (not just the holden/ford thing)
Here comes the voice of an "international", now that the horrifically capricious internet connection I have to deal with at the moment has let me watch it. I didn't comment at all on the first episode as I've only just seen that one today as well. I've been looking forward to the launch of AusTG for some time, but having been away from internet-land for a week and with the aforementioned computer problems I've had something of a delayed start.

There's the seeds of something marvellous sprouting, but it clearly isn't the finished article yet, and I'm prepared to give them this series to iron out the creases. After all, UKTG took a while to gel after it was relaunched (yes, we know Jason Dawe can save us a load of cash on a used car, but that'd always have been better off on Fifth Gear), and despite having that as a template (and a benchmark for everyone's expectations), there's no point doing a complete carbon copy. I'd back up what Hidden_Hunter says there; even if you removed all the accents, there'd still be little doubt what country this programme came from. They've certainly made it recognisably Australian.

First, the set: I wasn't expecting it to resemble the UK version so much. After all, those promo shots of USTG looked like three blokes in a garage, so if there was no reason for the Yanks to ape the original version, did the Aussies really have to do it?

I don't find Charlie Cox anywhere near as annoying as a fair slug of the comments on the two episodes so far; I was a huge fan of his BTCC commentary for the BBC (in the late 90s, I think), and I said he'd got a way with words back then, so I'll cut him some slack on that. Should we ever have a poll on "who's your favourite AusTG presenter?" I'm already leaning towards Warren... call him the James May of AusTG if you like, he's the one that doesn't feel the need to be loud and either brash (Jezza/Charlie) or excitable (Hamster/Steve) & if he makes a pointed observation of delivers a huge rant, I reckon it'll have more staying power. And, long may he keep on drawing his cartoons. They remind me of the Skaramoosh graphics on Scrapheap Challenge detailing how the various machines intend to work.

Criticisms: whether or not this comes under the heading of "editing" or not I don't know, but the Ford vs Holden section seemed to be incomplete; I was expecting Charlie & Steve to have a spin in the Holden the same way as they did in the Ford, but the section was cut off instead. It's less of a gripe than the Maybach section in episode 1, though, as that was a genuine case of blink and you'll miss it. I didn't voice my opinions there as after 32 pages of comments I doubt one more will make a difference. And, yes, both cars should have gone round the track.

Talking of the track, is there a circuit map anywhere? Is it on Google Maps?

"We're just warming up the tyres" might, possibly, be the Aussie answer to "Ambitious, but rubbish" or "How hard can it be?"

The "What were they thinking?" board, though some have marked that out as something which might be exported back to UKTG... actually, I don't reckon it will. It reminds me more of the "Top Gear Down To Earth Board" which was only in, I think, one series?

I could say I'm feeling the pain of the American torrentists when they watch our TG, look at SIARPC and think "who the hell is this limey asshole?" - well, maybe not pain, but having never heard of either Vincent Colosimo or Steve Bisley, I know I can still look them up on Wikipedia or IMDB and find their significance to Australian TV, film, music etc. I know I've seen Mad Max but it was years ago and I can't remember Steve Bisley for the life of me...

The "hearse" segment was the bit with the side order of bad idea sauce. Maybe it's because I've seen 11 series of UKTG, but I was expecting the Smart to go into a workshop and emerge as a properly stretched hearse capable of taking a coffin in the back... properly. I suppose they thought tying the coffin out the back with bungee ropes was a laugh, but that looked more like a quarter-arsed idea that they hadn't thought through. Then again, Jezza and co weren't exactly successful with their home-brew stretched limos, which is the only part of UKTG I've ever found myself unable to watch again due to the overwhelming cringe factor. Maybe the Aussies had seen that and wanted to avoid a repeat performance?

What else... "utes!" There's another piece planting the Australian flag firmly all over the programme. Strangely enough, as soon as Warren mentioned a low-cost pickup... sorry, ute, I immediately thought "Proton Jumbuck!" with its presumably-Australian name.

You know what we've got here overall? Top Gear's Australian half-brother, like a newborn deer that's making its first attempt to walk straight out of the womb. It's going to fall over quite a few times, but should eventually grow up to be a big, strong, rutting stag, which is what its six-year-old British half-brother already is and has been for some time.

All that's left to say is: the Aussies have gone through with it, now it's over to Adam Carolla and co. Will the Yankees step up to the plate? Apparently we find out in March.

I want AusTG to work... certainly well enough to take it beyond series two. Because, by that time, if USTG is also up and running and NBC don't pull the plug after two episodes (because it seems everything has to be a ratings blockbuster in America if it is to survive for even a short length of time) - I'd really like to see the three crews all join up for a massive 1?-2 hour Britain v USA v Australia super-thunder-patrol-meister shootout. Now that would be ambitious and definitely not rubbish.
 
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The Chad

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8/10 because it was better than last week (track filming better, better crew interaction), and I'm still seeing the potential of the show (though I dislike the "what were they thinking" board).

However, in order to maintain this rating after mid-season, the potential that I can see hopefully is more realized.
 

b_tapper

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I really liked the Ford GT, Holden vs Ford, and the ute segments.
The what were they thinking board needs to go, just give them the cool wall instead.
Maybe I'm just spoiled by top gear uk with the smart car segment, since I know they would've done such a better job.
 

Hidden_Hunter

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I could say I'm feeling the pain of the American torrentists when they watch our TG, look at SIARPC and think "who the hell is this limey asshole?" - well, maybe not pain, but having never heard of either Vincent Colosimo or Steve Bisley, I know I can still look them up on Wikipedia or IMDB and find their significance to Australian TV, film, music etc. I know I've seen Mad Max but it was years ago and I can't remember Steve Bisley for the life of me...

They're not exactly big ticket actors here either, you wouldn't know them if you ran into them in the street.

All that's left to say is: the Aussies have gone through with it, now it's over to Adam Carolla and co. Will the Yankees step up to the plate? Apparently we find out in March.

We'll see a repeat of the threads here I suspect, regardless of quality etc. The whole 'ohh eemmm geee, it was so crap i switched off after 5 mins'
 

Ironlord

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We'll see a repeat of the threads here I suspect, regardless of quality etc. The whole 'ohh eemmm geee, it was so crap i switched off after 5 mins'

I guarantee I'll not be doing that - I like to keep a lid on the "WORST EPISODE EVER!" hysteria of the notorious alt.tv.simpsons. I'll be watching USTG until it, too, either matures into a rutting stag or gets shot by the gamekeeper. Only thing is, I reckon that while the SBS gamekeeper has a simple single-barrelled rifle, the NBC gamekeeper is armed with an ICBM...
 

Dave2003

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I'd really like to see the three crews all join up for a massive 1?-2 hour Britain v USA v Australia super-thunder-patrol-meister shootout. Now that would be ambitious and definitely not rubbish.

I am sure this will happen if TGA and TGAUS make it past the first season, it would be nice to see three different versions of the same challenge on TGUK, TGA and TGAUS like they did with TGUK and D-Motor for the UK-German challenge as well.
 

rx7_ted

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I am sure this will happen if TGA and TGAUS make it past the first season, it would be nice to see three different versions of the same challenge on TGUK, TGA and TGAUS like they did with TGUK and D-Motor for the UK-German challenge as well.

that would be epic.
 

yeeha

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I still find it heartening that no matter how beautifully the pieces are shot, people are still realising that the stories are a bit lame.

A poo rolled in glitter is still just that. But they are getting better.

This is pretty much what I've been thinking. They seem to be sticking pretty true to artistically filming the segments, something that makes top gear great. But the segments have been pretty empty imo.

Not from australia but I get that impression that holden v ford is a popular debate there. Yet they only did two tests where the cars basically tied and that was it. No lap times or real discussion of the cars. They didn't even draw a conclusion, just yup the cars are good. Could have at least each came to a different conclusion to keep everyone happy.

The rock hauling challenge was amusing. Good premise and good use of the stig.

Thought the smart car bit was just stupid and I didn't find it funny.

I'm trying to avoid comparing it to the original and more evaluating the show on whether or not I'll keep bothering to download it (which I will for the time being) but the bar has already been set extraordinarily high for reviewing the Mercedes clk black.
 

Red_Bull

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I could say I'm feeling the pain of the American torrentists when they watch our TG, look at SIARPC and think "who the hell is this limey asshole?" - well, maybe not pain, but having never heard of either Vincent Colosimo or Steve Bisley, I know I can still look them up on Wikipedia or IMDB and find their significance to Australian TV, film, music etc. I know I've seen Mad Max but it was years ago and I can't remember Steve Bisley for the life of me...

It's not targeted at Americans and Brits in the same way TGUK isn't targeted at Aussies or Americans. I dont think Steve Bisley was too bad, but probably dont expect your A listers (does Australia even have any of those?) just yet ;)
 
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watto

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Steve Bisley was in Water Rats and that's all that matters.
 

Icedvovo

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It just occurred to me that Clarkson must be absolutely pooping his pants to make comment on the show, but it's probably the only thing he's NOT allowed to comment on.

Suffer in ya jocks!

:)
 

thebishop74

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Ok I was 'really' bored, so left episode two run while I was doing some stuff, that and I guess it's like any train wreck, you feel a need to keep watching...

But, I will say one positive thing, Charlie Cox 'could' be good, track still stinks, no unique style also as per last week, but Charlie had moments of 'I could pull this show off' type of class, but only if he trys harder not to be Clarkson, and if they centre the show more directly around him, with him being more him.

Steve Pizzati is rubbish, I'm sorry mate but we have no idea who you are, just who your trying to be, Warren Brown I know there is a funny guy in there, but I'm afraid your being told to be someone your not, and you look uncomfortable doing it.

Show still only got a 2 from me, up from 1 last week...
 

Ironlord

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It's not targeted at Americans and Brits in the same way TGUK isn't targeted at Aussies or Americans. I dont think Steve Bisley was too bad, but probably dont expect your A listers (does Australia even have any of those?) just yet ;)
All the Aussie celebs I know are the cricket team, AC/DC, one of Silverchair, the Minogue sisters and a fraction of the cast of Neighbours. And Barry Humphries.

Maybe one of them will turn up one day...
 

tone76

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It seems that the pilot episode has killed ratings, they were hoping to crack the million viewer mark this week but instead they went backwards from 800,000 to 600,000

More likely to be indicative at how much some people dislike Fords and Holdens than anything ... :lol:

Warren Brown I know there is a funny guy in there, but I'm afraid your being told to be someone your not

That'd be the script writer.

After seeing how an episode of TGA is made, as well as getting a bit of a feel for what the guys are like live and in real life, I get the feeling if they were let off the leash a bit more and write some more of their own material, TGA would improve. After all, everybody that made an audition tape wrote a script of some sort, and these three guys were shortlisted off the back of their audition pieces, so it makes sense to use some of the three's natural humour more in the script. I think the script writer may be acting as some kind of filter to refine what the TGA3 are thinking, and is probably trying too hard to make the 3 look too polished and sanitised, and this was quite obvious when I was watching the 3 do their studio pieces.

I guess what I'm trying to my Aussie FG colleagues is if you can, try and get to a taping of TGA. You'll get a new appreciation for how hard these guys work and why sometimes the end result looks a bit flat in places compared to TGUK. You'll also be encouraged by how hard they are working to try and get it right, too.
 
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hardcoreep

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Funny I found this one worse because it cemented by worse fears.

1: Is this their genuine personalities or scripted because they are just coming off as copies of their UK counterparts, copies is too good a word, caricatures.

They've certainly made it recognisably Australian.
I disagree here. It smacks of replication. If thats deliberate then fine, but if not generate its own identity within the framework.


2: That Ford vs Holden was the dumbest thing I've seen, it had no point and given the excellent GT40 and Smart Car segments, just falls short. It wasn't even funny.

3: I do like the fact that they are covering brands more in line with their country rather than the supercars over and over.

4: The star segment was better edited, but i suspect he was just a better driver than the last guy.
 
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Aston Martin

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Again Charlie Cox fuckin rox, the GT was fantastic... although in GT Heritage colours it woulda been perfect.
Their Dicky Hammond is about as funny as Ricky Gervais. :(
All was well until 11:17 and Boycie showed up. :(

Ford Vs Holden test felt very Fifth Gear.
Pick-up test was fantastic, their Dicky redeemed himself in the Falcon... i'd hate to see the damage the cars took. :D



OMFG Steve Bisley!!!!...... :|:dunno: Ok so i have no idea who that is, but I now do feel sorry for people when they watch proper TG.



Smart car hearse is genius, and for the first time with TG Aus, I pissed myself when Stig turned up at the funeral. :D

Massive improvement over last week.
 

Wildy

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2: That Ford vs Holden was the dumbest thing I've seen, it had no point and given the excellent GT40 and Smart Car segments, just falls short. It wasn't even funny.

Actually the point of that segment wasn't to tell anybody about the cars, it was for bogan appeasement.
 

bolly

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Huh?

Huh?

Again Charlie Cox fuckin rox...

Interesting to me that a lone Englishman thinks Charlie Cox rox, while the vast majority of locals (i.e. Australians) who've posted here think Charlie Cox lives up to his surname.

Is Charlie more successful in the UK because, as a commentator on the MotoGP, you only hear his voice (and being loud ALL THE TIME is obviously necessary for that!) and don't see him on screen? His on-camera persona on Top Gear Australia has certainly rubbed me the wrong way. And I think he's crushing any opportunity for the other hosts to develop stronger characters and step out of his oh-so-enormous* shadow.

:cry:

* The 'oh-so-enormous' ranking was provided by the founder and president of the Charlie Cox Fan Club (Mr. Charlie Cox).
 
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hardcoreep

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I like Charile. Love him from his BTCC days, but he sounded restrained in ep1, got some activity in ep2's GT40 segment.
 
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