[02x04] August 14th, 2011

[02x04] August 14th, 2011


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wasapamati

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:p There. Fixed.
I do understand that. It's just lame. You watch the real Top Gear and it's like an incredible steak dinner from a restaurant. Top Gear USA is like warming up a steak Lean Cuisine in the microwave. They're both essentially the same, they're both steak...but it's just not the same. There's too much missing...like the fact that Top Gear UK can use licensed music for starters.
 
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argatoga

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It was a solid and entertaining episode. Good work TG:A. Someone needs to teach Adam how to drive off road though, he also broke his axel in AK by ram rodding it.
 

Token_Triumph_Guy

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I originally posted this over in the general thread area, before I realized a show specific subforum existed. I have edited my original post, deleted the details, and moved this post here, where it more properly belongs.

I liked this show quite a bit. And I have driven versions of all three vehicles tested over the same trails/roads.

Below was what I posted to the general area.

First time poster here, and I thought I would open with a bit of a lengthy one.

First, I like the show in general, it is set up on the DVR and recorded every week. Second, having driven, many times, essentially every trail they showed on the Death Valley trip show I really like that particular show. I connected well with it. Having owned, at one time or another, versions of all three vehicles featured did not hurt either ;) Also, I know the show is entertainment, first and foremost, as such they take a bit of artistic license with reality from time to time. This is not a complaint about that, in fact it is not a complaint at all, just a comment. Keep that in mind, I am not complaining, but rather commenting.

Spoiler warning, if you have not seen the show yet some of the following might give away parts of the show. I would suggest you watch and enjoy the show first.

I have to comment, one of the basic premises of this particular show was an impossibility. Starting from their start point, in Cuddeback Dry Lake, and going to Mt Charlston via Ballarat and Coyote/Goler Canyon, cannot be done without crossing more asphalt than they showed. Specifically, for sure there are at least two pieces (and probably more) of paved road that would have to be crossed before you got to the Nevada border, and at least one more after the border.

The show started with the trio being married up with their online purchased vehicles at Cuddeback dry lake. They never identify Cuddeback by name, but the shape, size, and surrounding mountains make the ID fairly positive. Also, the location and distance are right and Cuddeback is used for a lot of filming, commercials, shows, etc, so production agencies are familiar with it. And for the purposes of this discussion it is also the best case, any other location would be even worse, from a having to cross pavement standpoint. The race from the vehicles to the trailers was probably south to north, with the trailers parked in the scattered growth at the north end of the dry lake bed.

From Cuddeback the guys went to Panamint Valley, and specifically the first stop in Panamint was Ballarat. This is generally a north-north-east direction of travel.

Due north of Cuddeback is the Golden Valley Wilderness area, closed to all vehicle traffic with no road through it. And, it would be quite the trip, even if there was a legal road or trail. Butting up to this closed area and north-east of Cuddeback are the restricted areas of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and the National Training Center at Ft Irwin. And due east of Cuddeback is the closed Wilderness area of Grass Valley. This all results in one direction the guys could have taken out of Cuddeback, to the west, skirting the Golden Valley area (they could also exit south and south-east, but that would not help them get where they were going). West via Granite Wells Rd leads to Trona Rd, but it might have been possible to turn north, flank Trona Rd, and stay off the asphalt. Running alongside Trona Rd for a short distance would have dropped them into Teagle Wash. Heading north-east from there, and running up the east side of Searles Lake, would take them towards the Slate Mountains, this is the mountain range on the south-west side of Panamint Valley.

But, there is no way to get there without crossing the pavement of Randsburg Wash Road. This two lane paved road runs east from Trona Rd to the restricted areas of China Lake.

Once across Randsburg Wash Rd there are several possible paths most of the way to Ballarat without getting on pavement, but it all narrows down to one pinch point along highway 178 north of Trona. If they did not get on the asphalt here they would have had to drive along the shoulder?and that is a pretty narrow shoulder for a large section. There is a slight possibility they could have passed through Fish Canyon, but as rough as that would have been I would have expected a bit of video to be used, it would have made the rest of the trip look pretty tame.

After leaving Ballarat they traveled south down the east side of Panamint Valley, a decent dirt road most of the way getting a bit washboarded at times. Near the south end of Panamint Valley they turned east on Coyote Canyon Rd up towards Goler Wash Rd. This is the area they hit the rock ?step? were the Bronco broke its axle and was temporarily delayed. It looks like they camped to the east of Manly Peak, on the east side of Mengel Pass or in Striped Butte Valley. From there it is a fairly easy trek down Butte Valley Rd and Warm Springs Rd (where the pink teardrop met its fait) to the floor of Death Valley.

But, to get from the floor of Death Valley to the Nevada border you have to cross over either (or all three, depending on route) Highway 190 , Highway 178, or Highway 127. There is not any way around this that I am aware of. (I do not pretend to know every inch of each of these three roads, but I do not remember a strategicaly placed wash or underpass like structure that would have allowed them to pass under the road or combination of roads, without touching the surface. At least not one that did not drop you out in an area that would require crossing yet another road surface.)

From there one could go south of Pahrump NV and stay off pavement, but then you would still have to cross Highway 160. There is no way around that one either. From this point one might be able to make it to Mt Charlston NV without crossing asphalt, although I have not ever done that myself, so I am unsure.

So, I make it, at minimum, three major roads that had to be crossed during this trek, not the one minor road they showed in the program. And I would bet at one point they had to drive along 178, probably on the asphalt, for a significant distance.

By the way, the country they traversed in this episode is fantastic. If you get a chance I suggest you do the Coyote/Goler/Striped Butte route some day.

T!
 
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BillyGoGo

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This was another episode where the production values were excellent. I am starting to see a pattern here. Is good production values only happen when TGUK is also filming in the US? The only weak link was the host as it should be because of their lack of experience. I would have like to see the pink get distoryed using a little more creativity. The way it was done was plain stupid. I hope by next season they move away from that LEVERAGE mentality and have the hosts become great drivers who are having fun.
 

hercman

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Why did they kill a Bronco. Bronco's are cool.
I've always had a soft spot for full size two door SUVs like the Bronco and the K5. The driver killed the Bronco!!!!!!! The way Adam was going about it anyone of those vehicles would have been killed.
 

JCE

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Good episode. I managed to chuckle and laugh more than usual. Chemistry is getting better between the hosts, but there is more work to be done. Also, enough trucks and challenges. Let's get a proper episode with vehicle reviews and avoid another cheap car challenge or epic race for a couple of episodes. I like trucks, but I also like cars and such.

Why oh why did Adam kill another strong Ford. The Bronco would of EASILY won this competition up until the gas mileage test, that vintage Bronco with the 5.8L V8 gets and I'm not joking 8-12mpg average in mixed driving. My brother's got that same engine in his '88 F250 XLT Lariat. I think it is fairly easy to see Tanner's car control and overall driver skill each time in one of these challenges versus the other two non-talented blokes. Put Tanner in the Bronco or the Blazer and the results would of been different. Hell, Rutledge and especially Ferrara would of killed the Jeep. Ferrara is my favorite to watch because of his attitude and aggressive driving style. But this is precisely why he probably won't win many legitimate challenges.

Also, I need to make this comment. These three on the US show have as much chemistry as the UK presenters did on Series 2 and 3. This takes time for those of you who are again trying to compare the first and second US series versus the last 2 for the UK. After 7 or 8 years I'd expect these three on the US show to be a good close nit group like the UK three.
 
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bryanbeachboy1970

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Good episode. I managed to chuckle and laugh more than usual. Chemistry is getting better between the hosts, but there is more work to be done. Also, enough trucks and challenges. Let's get a proper episode with vehicle reviews and avoid another cheap car challenge or epic race for a couple of episodes. I like trucks, but I also like cars and such.
I agree, enough with the truck challenges/cheap car challenges for a while. I see there is a car review in the next episode though.

Why oh why did Adam kill another strong Ford. The Bronco would of EASILY won this competition up until the gas mileage test, that vintage Bronco with the 5.8L V8 gets and I'm not joking 8-12mpg average in mixed driving. My brother's got that same engine in his '88 F250 XLT Lariat. I think it is fairly easy to see Tanner's car control and overall driver skill each time in one of these challenges versus the other two non-talented blokes. Put Tanner in the Bronco or the Blazer and the results would of been different. Hell, Rutledge and especially Ferrara would of killed the Jeep. Ferrara is my favorite to watch because of his attitude and aggressive driving style. But this is precisely why he probably won't win many legitimate challenges.
Which is I think the point. Hardly any regular person has Tanner's driving skill. But Adam and Rut try harder (and sometimes, stupider) to keep up. Hilarity ensues.

Also, I need to make this comment. These three on the US show have as much chemistry as the UK presenters did on Series 2 and 3. This takes time for those of you who are again trying to compare the first and second US series versus the last 2 for the UK. After 7 or 8 years I'd expect these three on the US show to be a good close nit group like the UK three.
I think this is the majority opinion among the fans, certainly its one I agree with. Perhaps if we repeat it often enough, the message will finally get through.
 

Wragie

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Why oh why did Adam kill another strong Ford. The Bronco would of EASILY won this competition up until the gas mileage test, that vintage Bronco with the 5.8L V8 gets and I'm not joking 8-12mpg average in mixed driving.
Wow I kept thinking it would have been around 20. Maybe thats the real reason the tire popped.;-] I know I had a bit of a surprise when I looked up the mileage rating for a jeep and it was 14mpg on the highway! And that would have been on a fresh engine etc.

DO have to agree with your chemistry comment it is there already. It took 3 years before TGUK really clicked. I do wonder more and more if they are taking the popular bits from the TGUK format and now in the process of changing it to make it their own. For example the BigStar small car segment is pretty weak compared to the UK version. A lot of that has to do with the interviewer dragging out some entertainment from the person. And a lot depend son how stiff or cooperative the interviewee is. A good interviewer can make it cross between a confession and a comedy skit. Jezzers pretty good at it. Having said that have to watch s2-s3 uk and see how stiff these were at the beginning.
 

hercman

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I know I had a bit of a surprise when I looked up the mileage rating for a jeep and it was 14mpg on the highway! And that would have been on a fresh engine etc.

you can throw any posted MPG numbers out the window when you increase the tire size. Jeeps don't come standard with 35"+ tires. Niether did the Bronco or K5. The down hill run is what made it remotely possible any one of those would make it. Had that been all flat ground none of them would have made it.

Also that bronco had to have blown more then just that one tire the entire trip. I find it pretty hard to believe it even went over 50 miles in the back country rubbing that contraption the whole time.
 

bryanbeachboy1970

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you can throw any posted MPG numbers out the window when you increase the tire size. Jeeps don't come standard with 35"+ tires. Neither did the Bronco or K5.
Actually, my '85 Dodge Ramcharger came stock with 36" tires and got 17mpg. While towing a popup camper. Through the Rockies. With the A/C on. Good truck!
 

JCE

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Fun fact, that generation Bronco has an optional 31" tire from the factory and the K5 Blazer was 28" tire. :D
 

jmurphy

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http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/08/16/sunday-cable-ratings-true-blood-rises-leads-night-kardashians-entourage-leverage-breaking-bad-much-more/100471/

This episode was like the 1st or 2nd highest rated show for Top Gear US, yet. Just shy of 2.3 million.

I thought it was loads of fun, quite entertaining. I see weekly improvement in chemistry and being relaxed in front of the camera. I really think the only thing killing it for me is wanting the extra 15 minutes the UK version gets to enjoy MORE Top Gear US (and yes, I understand why we have 15 minutes "less").
 

alclark

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http://tvbythenumbers.zap2it.com/2011/08/16/sunday-cable-ratings-true-blood-rises-leads-night-kardashians-entourage-leverage-breaking-bad-much-more/100471/

This episode was like the 1st or 2nd highest rated show for Top Gear US, yet. Just shy of 2.3 million.

I thought it was loads of fun, quite entertaining. I see weekly improvement in chemistry and being relaxed in front of the camera. I really think the only thing killing it for me is wanting the extra 15 minutes the UK version gets to enjoy MORE Top Gear US (and yes, I understand why we have 15 minutes "less").
And in the top 10 on cable for all of Sunday night, very good indeed.
 

DubyaStep

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I do understand that. It's just lame. You watch the real Top Gear and it's like an incredible steak dinner from a restaurant. Top Gear USA is like warming up a steak Lean Cuisine in the microwave. They're both essentially the same, they're both steak...but it's just not the same. There's too much missing...like the fact that Top Gear UK can use licensed music for starters.
Well, ill only say this once (this week) for all of the new people in here:

#1) This IS real Top Gear

#2) TG UK is going on season 18, thats alot of time for the show to become what it is. TG US is in season 2 and its massivly improving.

#3) when the show starts showing constant ratings hikes (like UK did) then the advertisers will come and the budget will go up. You just have to stand by it and enjoy it for what it is, OUR OWN TG!!! if you need to see just how bad i could have been the go watch season 1 of TG Australia. Trust me, this one is epic compared to that.

#4) Its not gonna be the same for a long time.

#5) If you dont like the show then dont watch, its a very simple thing. Trust me.

Now, i loved this epp, best one so far. even the studio segments were ok. i think i gave it a 9/10
 

Leadfoot866

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Very entertaining episode. They should have made it longer, though (stupid mandatory advertisements...).
The series is getting better and better!

I think we can all agree that the Bronco's problems can be blamed on Adam being an idiot; floor the gas pedal and hope for the best (sound like Jezza, doesn't it?).
...and that's why the intro calls him "The Wrecker"...

Still, I'm amazed the Bronco was still able to hold its own against the others, despite being a front-wheel-drive vehicle. Had Adam been a little careful with it, it would have likely won the challenge.

A solid 8/10! Looking forward to next week's episode!

- Dan
 

nerfherder_81

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6/10
Another pointless drag race, to decide who got first pick of a pointless trailer. The only purpose I found for the trailers was something for them to destroy.
Another magic Adam fix.
Another win for Chevy (surprise).
I thought the pavement crossing was stupid and pointless.
From a Jeep enthusiast point of view for $5k you could get a YJ Wrangler or Cherokee.
I know I'm not the only one that noticed that this is the same trip that James took in S17E3.
I did like the episode because I like off roading. I just think TGA still has a bit of work to do.
 

Merc63

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Have they even watched the real Top Gear to see how this is supposed to be done?!
Hate to break it to you but it's the same production company, so yeah, they've done a bit more than merely SEE the original. They also make the original. But they are working with a limited budget here.

Don't know how many times it has to be said. Have you actually read anything anyone else has ever written about the series here?
 
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