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.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)
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.