December 21, 2010

My Theory on Top Gear USA...

Stee and I were saying the other day how watching the US edition of Top Gear is the equivalent of driving a Pontiac Fiero with a Ferrari body kit and how it's not that far from Autoline Detroit but with some fancy photography and hipster plaid.
This, of course, is strange as it's produced by the same team as the real thing, so here is my theory: the only reason Top Gear USA exist is to remind you how good the original BBC version is!

To wit two clips that illustrate, in my opinion, everything that Top Gear USA is not.

Clarkson has a new DVD out called "Italian Job" it's all about Italian cars driven in Italy so of course he starts off by going to some god forsaken part of England to drive an American car and, shall we say, give his unvarnished opinion...

And then of course, there is this priceless gem..

There you have it, no hair on the tongue and humor, along with chemistry and originality is precisely what is lacking in cheesy body kits.

Oh and let me add this one (via @ScarbsF1)



  1. Everyone wants to talk shit about Top Gear USA cause it's not the european top gear, but regardless of how lame it is NASCAR still rules this country and sadly BMW and Porsche don't make their cars here. Even California has thousands no millions of GM boats with flowmasters. Be patient and maybe they'll get it right soon. Lets not forget European Top Gear didn't take off it was on for a decade before it made it to the states. They're going on season 15 or 16 now? Would you rather watch battle of the supercars on speed? I didn't think so

    1. Actually Porsche (will be) and BMW both make their cars in the US

  2. Good article. Couldn't agree more. I hate the US version. It actually makes me sick. I couldn't even get through the second episode because the hosts are retarded. Neither of them have any personality whatsoever and make the dumbest jokes and comments. Almost everything in the US show is wrong. Just wrong. The fat ass really pisses me off. Correction - they all piss me off. I could host that show ten times better.

  3. Dear Anon: BMW's factory in SC is the single largest exporter of vehicles from the US to places outside of North America. I for one don't think NASCAR rules this country.


  4. I just hate that Tanner Faust kid.

  5. All kidding aside it's a set of bad chemistry at this point. This should be worked out over the next few seasons.

    Too bad he was in the V6 Camaro for the first video. If he was in the SS his tone would be quite different, as it was when he reviewed the VXR8 and said he'd have it over an M5.

  6. Freep beat me to it... And I really don't have anything personally against any of the TGUSA hosts, even TF, I just wish the show wasn't a boring rehash of things already seen without the original the humor and bad teeth... :P

  7. Top Gear USA is just like everything automotively cool imported to the States ... its freaking neutered. Akin to say the Euro E36 vs US E36 ... baby supercar of its day in Europe, tarted up 328is in the States. I agree, the chemistry among these "car guys" is weak and so typical of US, most of the comparisons are about straight line speed, performed w/ the single handed, drooping forearm, Tony Sopranoish driving posture that is so prevalent around here. Its really not much better than the juice head hosted Battle of the Supercars (is it any wonder Paul Tracy has no sponsor dollars to bring to the table, hence his limited seat opportunities?) - Fukes

  8. Agree with almost everything after the first reply from "anonymous". If you read these comments after yours, guy, then allow me to educate you: The single qualifying factor for a product "taking off" is NOT being imported to the USA.

    Such is the arrogant and self-centred attitude that alienates you from the rest of the world. I actually quite enjoy TGUS. Sure it's a shameless, near word-for-word re-hash of the original, and nobody in the studio seems to give a shit about any of it, but I still dedicate time to it because I like it. I actually think the 3 guys do fine together, it's just some slightly wooden delivery of the script that gets me occaisionally.

    Best bit for me so far was when Adam did the top speed run in the Gallardo. I'm surprised they let even the beeped out version on air over there, but it seemed honest and I laughed my arse off (yes, ARSE)!

  9. I honestly don't understand the hate this show is receiving. If you don't like it - don't watch it.
    For the rest of us, it serves as nice and fresh car content while TG UK is on break.

    If you give it an honest shot, it will surprise you. It's starting to get much better. It has its quirks and they still need a few more episodes to develop more of a dynamic. I hope it sticks around because it actually has nice potential.

  10. @Krys well I did give it achance, that's why I watched 4 episodes before posting this. I'll be honest for all that I have been reading telling me that I should wait, it really hasn't changed much, 4 shows in it's still rehashing the same old skits.

  11. I just watched an episode of American Top Gear for the first time. Epic fail. It was everything I though it would be. They tried to copy the British formula verbatim (beater challenge, supercar test, The News, silly race, SIARPC, etc) but also appeal to the Lowest Common Denominator.

    The fat guy isn't funny and has a stupid name. The tough guy is a stupid Long Island stereotype that isn't funny. Tanner Foust can drive okay, but alas isn't funny. And somehow all together the total is actually less than the sum of the parts.

    Sadly, nearly every American TV show these days fails to capture our own sense of humor. It seems like the media is trying their best to make us all dumber.

  12. Well I didn't think it could get any worse, but I just saw the Tony Hawk interview. One of the most awkward I've ever seen...

  13. Wow nice video, really i enjoyed to see your video.
    Used cars

  14. Thanks for the epic addition to the comments Used Cars! I'm sure you're not just an advertising bot. That would be preposterous!

    That said :P When are you going to post my review of the Runoff's I emailed ya AC? I did work hard on it heh.

  15. TGGB= Larry, Moe & Curly

    TGUS= 2 Shemps & Joe Besser

  16. Kent is NOT "some god forsaken part of England". Kent is actually referred to as "The Garden of England". I should know because I actually used to live there.

  17. I think we all need to step back and look at this differently. Weve all been watching Top Gear for years, and we all love it, so its only natural for us to hate TGUS. But the vast majority of America has NOT been watching Top Gear for years, and Top Gear is wildly successful because it appeals not only to the die-hard car guy crowd, but also to those who dont know what the oil change sticker means. (Can you actually tell me you havent wanted to strangle Jeremy Clarkson when he tries to explain technical details?) Ask someone you know who has no interest in cars to sit down and watch an episode with no bias, and see if they get a laugh out of it, because that's what TGUS is after. Do I agree with alot of the hate comments? Yes, but I think we all need to chill the hell out and see what this show turns into. I for one enjoy the Top Gear format with some refreshingly American points of view.

  18. @ Anonymous: Oh boy, In trouble with our British friends again :). You know what happens when you live in NYC for a while, every other place becomes "god forsaken" :)

    @CLark, well here's the thing though: my lovely wife, who would never watch a car show actually chuckles at Top Gear but she just won't watch TGUSA. Considering the real Top Gear is now available and in heavy rotation on BBC America, why tune into the History CHannel to see a bland version of the real thing. Did you guys see that Stig farm skit? It's comedy genius, period. Call me back when Tanner and the fellas come up with anything 1/10th as brilliant as that!

    @Aceshigh: worry not, it is in the pipeline.

    oh and merry Christmas everyone!

  19. I like how people are comparing a show, 5 epsidoes in, to one that is 15 seasons+ in.

    Instead of bashing it, sit back and remember that not everone in america has watched top gear UK, nor has BBC! You can't just 'jump into it' and expect everyone to understand.

    I think they are doing a fine job. Sure it's slow, sure it's boring...but not everyone was Peter North on their first date ya know?

  20. @AC: I live in New York too.

  21. The 'Stig Farm' bit is hilarious!

    I gave Top Gear US 3 episodes and gave it up. The chemistry amongst the brits is perfect, there is none to speak of on the US show. In fact, I don't even get the impression that those three are even car guys.

    And how lame is it that the best thing you can come up with to flesh out the Gallardo SL, Balboni and the Murci SV is a standing mile? Totally lame.


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