I managed to catch the first episode of the new Top Gear US, and thought I would share some thoughts about what I thought. Sadly, the intro to the series is the same song and feel of the UK version, which is perfectly fine, if you’re watching the UK version. But we’re not, we’re watching the ‘new’ American version, I was really hoping for an American intro. This goes for the stage and set too. It was all good and awesome on the UK version, but it really seems forced and out of place on the US version.
The three hosts all have the same american accent, except for Adam Ferrara, who has a slight New York accent, but it comes and goes and isn’t noticeable enough for my tastes. They really should have gone for more diversity, get some southern accents, californian, thicker new york. I would love to see someone with a Texan accent talking about his favorite muscles cars.
What the three hosts don’t share however, is road experience. It’s obvious that Tanner Foust has the chops to give the best visuals for the camera, his handling of the Viper was exceptional. The other two spent their time in the driver seat going in a straight line and going relatively slow and didn’t really give me the impression they were too comfortable at the higher speeds they tried for at the end of the episode. Also he reminds me of young Rick Astley.
Rutledge Wood is mentionable only because he has a pimpin beard. Other than that, he seems uncomfortable on camera.
And some quick comments on the different bits:
Snake Vs Snake:
Weak and obviously staged, not too sure about the legality of going 150mph on public roads, but it was nice to see the US Military involved, though it would have been nice if they had mentioned where the Cobra was really from, who was flying it and all those other various cool odds and ends.
same shtick as the UK version, same helmet, same jumpsuit and same color as the UK version. As i mentioned before, they really need something to differentiate themselves from the UK version.
Big Star in a Little Car:
First guest for the American show was good, Buzz Aldrin is an all around American hero, so he fit well, and he interviews pretty well, though some of the questions and jokes seemed uncomfortable.
Completely weak that they’re focusing on foreign made cars on the first american episode, and they went in straight lines, yet again. At least the Stig got to take a couple turns in the fast foreigns.
It has problems, but so did Top Gear UK when it started/restarted. If they can get away from the formulaic and forced feel to the show, I think they might be able to survive and even thrive. I’ll stick with it for the first season see how it goes. I have a particular weak spot for American Trucks and apparently they’re going to be beating some up in a future episode.