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Top Gear?

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Deutsch Marques, Nov 23, 2010.

    • Member

    Deutsch Marques

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    Anyone else a fan of Top Gear? Just curious to see if anyone watched the series premier of the US version this weekend, and what you thought.

    I love the original Top Gear, and feel the show is well produced with some amazing cinematography and camera work, interesting stories/challenges/features, and great chemistry between Clarkson, Hammond and May.

    My first impressions of the US show are... it's okay. Not bad for a first effort, but they need to improve quite a bit to match the quality of the original. The three presenters need to work on their chemistry, they really need better camera work, and they need to stop wasting so much time explaining what they are doing (re-explaining after each commercial) and get on with the witty commentary. Of course, having only 35-40 minutes after commercials doesn't help when the Brit version gets a solid 60 minutes (not the edited-for-BBC America versions.)

    M3Driver guest

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    Agree; US show is "just ok" and I agree with all your statements.

    They got a ways to go.....
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    Scott

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    The BBC's Top Gear works because of the talent-the three hosts especially but also the camera folks and editors. I didn't see that in the U.S. premiere episode. Time will tell if some of the other aspects will present themselves in the U.S. version. Trying to elude a Cobra was cute (although the Snake could have gotten three kill shots way earlier than they did on the show); however, car vs. helicopter in a small Georgia town doesn't rise to the level of, say, being the first to drive a pickup truck to the North Pole.

    Here's hoping the talent and the situations improve.

    Did it seem to anyone else that the (U.S.) Stig's driving suit was noticeably baggier than on the BBC show? :confused:

    M3Driver guest

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    Yeah, I did. I guess we can safely say The Stig is NOT Danica Patrick.....(maybe Rosie O'Donnell?)
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    Scott

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    It also seems to me they could have selected a Ford Fiesta as their reasonably priced car. I mean, it's supposed to be Top Gear USA, right? Oh wait, Fiestas aren't made in the U.S. Okay, the Ford Focus then.

    On the other hand, since so many U.S. jobs have been outsourced to India, maybe it's appropriate that Top Gear USA's reasonably priced car should be, too.
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    steven s

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    They did an episode at VIR.
    Has anyone seen it or maybe know when it might be on?

    ForcedInduction guest

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    Really bad. Turned channel after ten minutes. :(
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    davem3fan DaveM3Fan

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    Top Gear US version: all the pride and prestige of owning a broken, stolen, counterfeit watch...

    UGH.

    Accept no substitutes, I'm afraid it needs to be British to be proper.
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    CSBM5

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    This was the UK show at VIR. A friend was one of the on-track people selected to make things look active while the filming went on.
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    eam3

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    The first episode was painful to watch. The helicopter bit was horrible. Top Gear UK did it before and did it way better. What's the point of getting permission to shoot a segment where you'll be driving the speed limit once you leave the airfield? It was supposed to be Cooter's hometown and he didn't know how to get back to the airport? The heli pilots were just toying with Tanner "Driftmaster" Foust, whose biggest fear apparently was how DANGEROUS the Viper was (and roll eyes due to how many times the little fella repeated that). I know the hosts will need time to bond and become friends but they should have spent a few months doing that before shooting the first bit. They're all still awkward and their interviewing skills are just downright painful (Buzz Aldrin's interview was horrible).

    The Lambo skit was also painful. They base their opinion on Italian thoroughbreds by drag racing? Really? Oh, and for the record, the Gallardo Balboni weighs a lot less than the Superleggera (which does not weigh under 3000 lbs - something they repeated while talking about the car). Thankfully we got Lil' Tanner Foust doing donuts and destroying the tires for no valuable reason. It really feels like a VERY dumbed down version of UK TG.

    I'll keep watching only because the only other automotive show is Motorweak, which is as exciting as reading Consumer Reports. There are supposed to be 9 episodes of the US Top Gear and I'll watch them all but so far I won't put any money on it becoming anywhere near as good as the original. And if it gets canceled, then no big loss.
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    tiFreak

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    someone else said this on another forum and I agree:

    the biggest flaw with the US version of Top Gear is that they call it Top Gear, without making the comparisons I thought it was an alright show

    cschollmd guest

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    I have a few thoughts. First, I don't understand why they never even gave a simple nod to their British TV counterparts (unless I missed it). I'd guess that 99% of the people watching the premiere of TGA were probably fans of the British show, so why not address the elephant in the room and say 'hey, we're here, we like them too, but we're going to do our own thing here." It's almost like they wanted to pretend as though a British show by the same coincidentally-similar-name never existed.

    Which leads me to my next point... did they really have to can the British show almost exactly in creating the American show. Instead of the Stig, why not some sort of variation on that, like maybe Redneck Stig? Star in a reasonably priced car, Stig, all of those things we love about TGB but come on guys, you don't have to reinvent the wheel (pardon the pun) but can't you try something new?

    Lastly, I think the knock on the hosts is premature. I agree they were VERY rough and nervous. But give them time and maybe they'll mature into their respective roles. I hope so anyway because, let's face it, what REALLY makes the British show work are the hosts. And without them, it would just be...well...like the American show.

    M3Driver guest

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    I guess I've gotten used to the British humor which, to me, makes the show. The "boys" bounce barbs off each other with ease. I just don't know if the American version will get better but I'll continue to watch and see and give them a chance.
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    Zeichen311

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    Same here. Though I missed the first episode (but should still be able to catch a rerun) my expectations are low for the first few. It will take some time to find their groove. I recall reading that the early season(s) of the UK version were a bit rough, too.

    Still...
    ...they have a long way to go to match that. :D
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    az3579

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    I've seen every... single... episode. I'll tell ya, the entire first season is rather boring. It got better with Season 2 when James joined the show, and only got better from there once they dropped the boring segment on what the current car deals were.


    It definitely takes a season or two to get into it and find a rhythm that everyone can dance to.
    • Member

    Deutsch Marques

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    Well, after watching episode 2 of TGUS, I have some hope for the series.

    I think the episode as a whole was a vast improvement over the first. Each individual segment was an improvement to different degrees as well. Camera work and cinematography was much better too.

    It's still not anywhere near where TGUK is now, but they have 14 seasons under their belt. If they can continue to improve at the rate between episodes 1 and 2, they should be pretty good by the 2nd or 3rd season... if they ever make it that far knowing how US networks can shows long before they've ever had a chance to prove themselves.

    Tlamb guest

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    My thoughts exactly. My fiance and I watched the US version and she said "It just doesn't sound right without British accents".

    She loves the BBC version, but through the first two US episodes hasn't been impressed.

    I hope they keep it going as I think it can only get better. But I do agree that they need to make some connection/nod to the original.

    Not sure if the Brits would be up for it, but how about at Stig showdown (although we know who would win that one). Or a Tanner Foust/Richard Hammond challenge. Might be interesting.
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    Zeichen311

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    Whitest teeth? Best hair? :)
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    eam3

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    After sitting through the 2nd episode I can see one thing that will come to separate the two even after the US version gets its rhythm: political correctness. The greatest thing about the UK version is that they are as politically incorrect as we all REALLY are. I couldn't believe the interview with Charlie from Lost. He openly admits to driving a Prius and the guy interviewing just nodded and went on. Clarkson would have had a field day with that admission since they openly mock and despise hybrids.

    Still, it was better than the first episode so I will continue watching. Would I compare it to the original? Not a chance, it doesn't even come close.

    Michgndr89 guest

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    I saw that car vs. Cobra episode a couple nights ago and was wildly underwhelmed. The 20mm turret wasn't even slewing to the car's position. No fun at all.

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