[02x02] July 31st, 2011

[02x02] July 31st, 2011


  • Total voters
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junas125

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ah man this episode was awesome, really looking forward to the next one, the guys really made a huge improvement!
 

Drummin003

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After the debacle of the first episode of the season, this was 100x better and definitely more entertaining to watch.
Challenge: The lack of technical specs on the cars (i.e., BHP, displacement, price, etc.) was disappointing, but the look on Tanner & Rutledge's face when they crash those cars was great.
ZR1 v. 458: Whether you're 10 or 50 years old, these two cars are the epitome of what people want. With the ZR-1 you get mind-numbing HP and enough torque off the line to decimate damn near everyone else in a drag race. With the 458 you get a technological dream machine that will allow even those with limited track experience to get around in amazingly quick times. By far the best part of the show was @15:28 when Adam said, "And it's American made. I know, the rest of the world thinks Americans are arrogant, and to be fair... Fuck you".
BS/LC: I really wish the celebrity segments were longer and more engaging, but I damn near had a heart attack when Chum Lee said he had a Maserati Gran Tourismo. And seriously Rick, a Panamera? Quite possibly the ugliest of the Halo branded family sedans.
 

jaydlewis

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Gave it a 7. Much improved over last week's show.

Still miss Jessica but it might be the fact that History didn't want to pay the licensing fee. Considering how cheap they are with some aspects of this show, it wouldn't surprise me. Also, not diggin the smash-cut into the show. A "Welcome to Top Gear! Everyone remebers their first car, but whose was the best?" would have been nice.

Not totally crazy about the SIARPC presentation but I did like the car driving into the studio/doors close/guests get out sequence.

The cocking about film was good as was Vette vs 458 film. Both "felt" like TG.
 

foxymcfox

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The biggest problem I see with this (And perhaps it's because I have my degree in film and television production, where I spent most of my time writing) is the writing.

Don't get my wrong, it's not bad, but it lacks ALL drama. There is no sense of peril nor do there ever seem to be any stakes.

The super car challenge, for instance, could have been much better had it simply been introduced as a review of the 'Vette, then letting Tanner interrupt it via voiceover while overtaking the vette on the road.

Then it's a simple matter of paralleling the features already listed for the 'vette, and explaining why the 458 is better as they fight for pole position. Cut to the cars nose to nose with the drivers talking about them, and introduce a challenge. Make one be a cocky, know it all and let him be decimated.

In that example, we are lead along a journey that in news journalism is known as "hiding the ball." It's a trick whereby you think the piece is about one thing (The 'Vette" when it's really about another. (Cocking about in cars and making them go vroom)

The other thing that still bothers me is the fact that none of the hosts are really willing to let go and just be uncool, yet. They all want to be the guy with the best one liner.

TGUK works in part for the same reason Mythbusters does...no one on camera is trying to be cool. They are just playing around and having fun, doing and saying stupid things because it's their job.

I don't expect the hosts to be comedians, I expect them to be passionate about cars and hate each other for no apparent reason than because they can.

Finally, they really all need to stop appearing together in the "studio" segments. One or two is more than enough. It just gets muddled since they all seem to need to get a line in if they're on screen...and let's put the studio back inside the studio, please.

I know it seems like I'm being harsh, I didn't think it was terrible, but I still think it has a long way to go. It just hasn't found its voice yet.

-Nick
 

Beech18

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The biggest problem I see with this (And perhaps it's because I have my degree in film and television production, where I spent most of my time writing) is the writing.

-Nick
Just curious. Where are you working now in television production? Mentioning your degree doesn't bolster your opinion. On the contrary, it suggests you are not in the business. Employment gives you credibility. If you were employed, you would have mentioned it. Most of the media graduates I know are waiting tables or washing dishes.

I think I know why you don't have a job writing for television. A good writer writes well and can construct a good argument that stands on its own. A hack begins his argument with, "I have a degree in television production.."

I'll have the New York Strip, please1
 

ERIFNOMI

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Pretty good episode but do people really have that much trouble learning how to drive? I got my learners permit by answer like 25 questions on a computer and proving I wasn't blind and I drove home from it without a problem. I guess some people might just be terrified of driving but kids about to be old enough to drive, I would think, would be excited to drive and therefore somewhat prepared. Then again, I know people who failed the driving test which in my town is MAYBE 1 mile round trip, quite possibly a bit less.

Anyway, I was surprised by this episode and quite enjoyed it. 9/10
 

yanko

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Dec 12, 2008
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So what? TGUK use them. Those GoPros get comparable image quality to Canon DSLRs, they're inexpensive and mount pretty much anywhere. Good luck getting a big 3CCD broadcast quality camera to sit ontop of a car at high speeds and not have to worry about bashing them up in accidents!
I agree to use it on some occasions like, side mounting on the car, inside the car towards the host, but they are using it all the time, shooting the cars passing by, that's when it is annoying to me, see the cars or the objects on the side of the road all distorted, GoPros are good, light and cheap, i know that, but they are good to be on the object that its moving, not to shoot the object moving. and I know that I said the 3CCD thing, the problem with the cheaper digital camera is that they use CMOS, they are cheaper and use less power but they cause the Skew and Wobble effects, those that I was talking, so, like tguk used to do, mount a camera on the back of a van and have fun!

ps. no disrespect at all, just expressing my opinion. ;-)
 

irisfailsafe

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I think the show needs more time, like the UK's TopGear. The SITRPC segment is better this season and since they don't have a lot of time it kind of works. The Corvette, Ferrari was a bit rushed but I think is because they lack time. 3 way challenges eat a lot of time, so I think they need to choose between them and smaller challenges.
 

JohnK

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I thought the show was great and felt like TGUS is finally finding their own niche.
Thought the quality of the Corvette vs Ferrari segment was as good as anything TGUK as done.
Tanner, Rut and Adam are doing a good job and the interplay between them was better than ever.
Also I Liked the way they introduced the Stig.
 

tezgm99

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For some reason, I just didn't like Rutledge "cheating" in the steering contest, mainly because they didn't know. I know it's virtually a tradition for Top Gear hosts to, er, "cut corners" or cheat, but it's usually in the name of humor and messing around with the other guys. I'm sure I'm alone in this, just found that quite low.
nope, you're not alone in thinking that...he also cheated with the 'egg test' last season in that 'which car should GM bring back?' episode :|
 
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alclark

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I really liked the 458 in the warehouse, the lighting and sound was fantastic. I definitely noticed the slowed down/sped up film look during the drag race and throughout the film, but it didn't bother me too much.

The first cars challenges were really good, especially the impromptu lunch tray donuts.

And the reason why Adam's K car was a 1987 model (from his twitter):

no my official 1st car was '81 K car; we couldn't find one so we got an '87
Other than a fuel injected engine vs a carburetor and some cosmetic differences, those two years of K cars aren't all that different, and those differences wouldn't have given him any advantage in the challenges.
 

TC

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It wasn't bad, the show is definitely improving. I didn't like that they crashed that VW though.
 

ja404

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I thought it was a great episode overall, but there's still this certain something that's been bothering me about the episodes; The setups to all their segments are good, but they never seem to quite follow through and can fall flat, especially 'challenges'. Hard for me to explain, but although they're entertaining they don't always live up to their potential. Maybe it's just my preference for quantitative information over qualitative.
 

foxymcfox

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Just curious. Where are you working now in television production? Mentioning your degree doesn't bolster your opinion. On the contrary, it suggests you are not in the business. Employment gives you credibility. If you were employed, you would have mentioned it. Most of the media graduates I know are waiting tables or washing dishes.

I think I know why you don't have a job writing for television. A good writer writes well and can construct a good argument that stands on its own. A hack begins his argument with, "I have a degree in television production.."

I'll have the New York Strip, please1
As it's off topic, I'll keep this quick:

I am about as far away from waiting tables as you can possibly be. While in college I was offered a job at National Lampoon (Among others) for writing, but decided to finish out my degree...and even wrote a book while still in college. When I graduated it became more important for me to be able to support myself than to follow any sort of dream. I really didn't feel like being a 20k/year PA or junior writer until a script of mine finally sold when other industries would willingly pay me more.

The mention of my degree was not meant to bolster my credibility, but rather explain why my bias might lie in that particular direction.

...and New York Strip? You can do better than that. :p

Now, back to cars...

-Nick
 
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Beech18

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As it's off topic, I'll keep this quick:

I am about as far away from waiting tables as you can possibly be. While in college I was offered a job at National Lampoon (Among others) for writing, but decided to finish out my degree...and even wrote a book while still in college. When I graduated it became more important for me to be able to support myself than to follow any sort of dream. I really didn't feel like being a 20k/year PA or junior writer until a script of mine finally sold when other industries would willingly pay me more.

The mention of my degree was not meant to bolster my credibility, but rather explain why my bias might lie in that particular direction.

...and New York Strip? You can do better than that. :p

Now, back to cars...

-Nick
So, you're not a writer.
 

OUDLES

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I've been lurking around these forums for quite some time now but I feel it's about time to chime in regarding TG USA's latest episode. First of all, I've been addicted to TG UK for as long as I can remember and have watched and re-watched enough episodes to keep me busy for weeks. While TG USA is starting to come into it's own on certain aspects, she's still got a long way to go before they're on a level playing field.

First of all, one of the biggest things that is still bothering me between the two is the music and sound editing. There is absolutely no comparison. TG UK episodes are comprised of a large amount of songs all chopped up into bits faded in and faded out when appropriate all to add to the experience of the episode. Take, for example, the addition of two separate Massive Attack songs in the two most recent TGUK episodes. Both "Girl I Love You" and "Atlas Air" are deep electronic tracks with great bass and a dark feel. They were appropriately used to introduce the military demolition crew and the Lambo Avantador respectively. It just sets the tone for the segment. I feel like the TG US sound editor on the other hand is just saying "Well this is a great place for the song I heard on the way into work this morning, lets just slap 30 seconds of it on top of the Ferrari." It's flat, it's anti-climatic, and ultimately nowhere near TGUK. Putting the music aside, the voice-over for any of the hot laps are absolutely terrible and really lack a balance between the commentary and the vehicle noises. I feel like the vehicle noises need to take front stage and be merely supplemented by the commentary, not overridden.

The next glaring disappointment is the cinematography and video editing. It's much along the same lines with the music as it just doesn't add to the experience of the episode. It's hard to fault TGUS as the guys over in the UK have some of the most beautiful footage I've seen and I'm sure have a larger budget. Even still, the segment with the 458 and the ZR-1 didn't ever make me say "wow" because the car just looked that fast. We're talking about some of the faster cars in the world and I just didn't get that feeling from the footage. Add in some more half second blips of the ZR-1 tearing by at an insane speed differential, pop in a few passes of the camera car with the hammer down. It just needs something more to help the viewer perceive the car as fast. I will commend them for the section in the warehouse with the 458. I thoroughly enjoyed that bit and I think the parts with the 458 were just more enjoyable overall. I wouldn't be surprised if a good amount of this praise can be attributed to Tanner's driving.

Last and certainly not least is the presenters and their chemistry. Overall they're starting to get there. Things are getting better little by little. I enjoyed when Adam decided to extend a warm "F*ck You" to the rest of the world and there are some other parts where they're just f'ing around that is starting to get a good feel. Tray sliding was fantastic and definitely received a nice chuckle. However, other parts are still stiff. There were two, maybe three times where Adam referred to the ZR-1 as a "battering ram"... I see no reason for any of the presenters to call any of these vehicles by the same name more than once in an episode. Not to mention... Battering Ram??? Really? Perhaps that goes to the writing, I'm not certain how much of that they have pre-scripted but I guess they could have used an hour or so extra in the car with him firing off happy nicknames. That may be a specific example, but it's more of a blanket statement for the lack of creativity at times. I feel as if it needs some Clarkson flare tossed in similar to when he explained that "keeping up with the Audi (in the ZR-1) is like trying to win the Indy 500. While driving a lion, made out of teeth... and jelly." Sometimes it's those absurd references that literally cause me to burst out in laughter while watching. I think the outdoor studio has a better feel than the big grand stage they were going to with the indoor studio. The presenters at TGUK are just a few feet from the audience and I felt the TGUS outdoor stage helped the audience appear a bit more engaged.

Anyway, I could ramble on for quite a while about the similarities and differences but I figured I'd share a few of my opinions of the series thus far. Overall I'm still enjoying both shows a good bit and will continue to watch every week :)
 

LowFlyin'

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Please...for the love of god and all that is holy...Stop With the Damn Recaps after commercial breaks!

I have been watching the show from the beginning (or I have it DVR'd) and I don't have the attention span of a gnat. I know what is happening in the show and intelligent enough to figure out what's going one when you comeback from your money-breaks.

The show is handicapped enough for time as it is since you "must have" commercials. Why waste 15-30 sec going over something that we already know 2-3 times per show?
 
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