R.I.P. Top Gear

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by TonyTheTiger, Mar 25, 2015.

  1. Aug 1, 2015 #181 of 241
    RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    Neither...

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    That's part of it, but I think the cost of "petrol" has a lot to do with it.

    Ignoring the ones that are MoT failures (like that Isuzu Rodeo Clarkson was driving), many of the cars they are getting for absurdly cheap prices (as compared to the US) are gas-guzzlers like luxury vehicles and SUV's. When I was last in the UK (technically, Northern Ireland) in 2012, petrol was $8.something per US gallon. So the only people who can regularly afford to drive these vehicles are people with money.

    However, unless the car is some rare example or otherwise highly desirable, the folks who own such cars tend to not keep them long and move on to the next new thing. But because of the high fuel consumption, they don't tend to attract the typical used car buyer, so the price has to keep falling before it gets a buyer.

    Here in the US, a used luxury car doesn't have to fall as far in price since our fuel is more affordable for the average person. If you ignore maintenance costs, it's not hard for the average working American to afford to drive a older Lexus or V-8 Mercedes or even a Rolls; not so for the average European.

    Used cars do have a market in the UK; it's not like Japan where relatively recent cars are being sent to the scrapheap because their value has fallen very far in relation to the costs of keeping it on the road.

    That's my observation anyway, based on my visits over there. The friend I used to visit over there (before he emigrated to Canada) told me that MoT prices weren't that expensive, definitely not $500. Halfords (the equivalent of Pep Boys over there) says the government only allows MoT Centres to charge a maximum of 54.85 pounds for an MoT
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2015
  2. Aug 1, 2015 #182 of 241
    whoknows55

    whoknows55 Well-Known Member

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    The other issue is that road tax in the UK is based on either engine size or CO2 emissions so the older large engine cars are more expensive annually even if you don't drive them much.
     
  3. Aug 1, 2015 #183 of 241
    Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Active Member

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    It's not the cost of the MOT itself, it's the repairs needed to pass the MOT. In the US, you typically get emissions tested and maybe a couple of safety items like brake lights and turn signals. In the UK the list of things that have to pass inspection is pretty staggering.

    http://www.motester.co.uk/mot-information-for-motorists/mot-test-checks-list (note that there are two pages of items and the second page is the most extensive)
     
  4. Aug 2, 2015 #184 of 241
    RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    I had to look at that URL twice to make sure it wasn't what I originally thought it was :D

    I was just addressing the part about the MoT itself being expensive, which it's not.

    But even here in California where we only have to do smog inspections every two years, it can be a major hassle to get an older car passed. The actual smog test results get forwarded to DMV, and if your car emits way too much pollutants, it gets classified as a "Gross Polluter." That means your car can only be tested at a "Smog Test Only" center.

    One thing I've noticed since the advent of the Smog Check II program is that even though we don't have rust problems with our cars except in beach areas, you don't see very many cars older than about 15 years old on the road here anymore. I know someone who (through marriage) had a mint-condition Pontiac Fiero, the highly (maybe only) desirable 1988 model, that he had to sell to an out of state buyer because the car wouldn't pass smog.
     
  5. mrizzo80

    mrizzo80 Well-Known Member

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  6. Feb 5, 2016 #186 of 241
    RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    Neither...
    I didn't see a thread for it so I figured this is as good a place as any to mention it.

    Former Friends star Matt LeBlanc to co-host the renewed Top Gear

    I only know him from his most famous TV character so it will be interesting to see if his talent at humor will translate into the show. Chris Evans, and (if the rumors are true) Sabine Schmidt may be good hosts, but I'm not sure if alone they can recreate the chemistry of Clarkson, May, and Hammond.
     
  7. Feb 5, 2016 #187 of 241
    Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Active Member

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    I think LeBlanc is an inspired choice. Name recognition, is doing great comedy work on Episodes and he has still has the record time for a star in a reasonably priced car.
     
  8. Feb 5, 2016 #188 of 241
    Hoffer

    Hoffer Eat Lightning ----- Poo Thunder TCF Club

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    I thought he was the new host of the American Top Gear, until I clicked the link to the story. He's hosting thee Top Gear.

    Before clicking the link, I also thought it was weird that Captain America Chris Evans was going to be on Top Gear.

    I will for sure check out the new show.
     
  9. Feb 5, 2016 #189 of 241
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    I just question the choice of an American host for Top Gear (UK). They seriously couldn't find enough appropriate car people in the UK that they had to select an American?

    So far, we know for sure Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc are hosting. Jalopnik believes the third host could be Chris Harris. Sabine Schmitz has also been rumored to be involved, but I rather think she'll be a guest on the show, rather than a full-time host.
     
  10. Feb 5, 2016 #190 of 241
    Hoffer

    Hoffer Eat Lightning ----- Poo Thunder TCF Club

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    Hey, too many American shows are being hosted by Brits. It's about time Americans start hosting their shows. :D
     
  11. Feb 5, 2016 #191 of 241
    heySkippy

    heySkippy oldweakandpathetic

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    I think LeBlanc is a bad choice. I watched him host one of the "best of" Top Gear specials recently and he's got all the personality of a cardboard cutout.

    Of course, I think the reboot of Top Gear is doomed anyway, so it probably doesn't matter.
     
  12. Feb 5, 2016 #192 of 241
    RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

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    Neither...
    It could be to make the show more appealing to Americans, who pretty much don't know who Chris Evans is. Brits are far more familiar with LeBlanc than we are with Evans.
     
  13. Feb 5, 2016 #193 of 241
    Big Deficit

    Big Deficit Happy now?

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    Matt Leblanc is too close to Adam Ferrara for my liking though I will admit to liking him on Episodes while not being much of a Ferrara fan ever. I also think it's a mistake having non-British hosts for the British series. At the end of the day? This is a buddy show and will only succeed if there's chemistry between the hosts. Reference the US version where there is none.
     
  14. Feb 5, 2016 #194 of 241
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    I think one of the reasons Top Gear was so successful is because the three hosts each had very distinct opinions and had experience writing and articulating those opinions. When Clarkson said something, you knew that he believed what he was saying. Same with Hammond and May. Thus, the show appeared (and was) largely a conversation between the hosts. Sure, much of it was scripted, but even when it was scripted, you got the feeling that the hosts wrote the script, so even the scripted conversations felt authentic.

    With LeBlanc, we've really only ever seen him act with words written by others (Friends, Joey, Episodes). So while I have no doubt that he'll be able to competently act the part of a car show host, I question whether he'll be able to have enough input in the writing to make his portions seem authentic rather than him just playing a character.
     
  15. Feb 5, 2016 #195 of 241
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    I still lament the fact that Adam Carolla wasn't available for the US version. He shot the original US pilot for NBC with Rutledge and Tanner, but NBC passed. Then, when History decided to revive the project, Carolla was under contract for another show that ultimately didn't get picked up, but that brief window killed his availability for TG (US). It would have been interesting to see how that show was perceived with a true experienced host and bona fide car guy leading the show rather than all three of them feeling like they were looking to someone else to lead the show.
     
  16. Feb 5, 2016 #196 of 241
    LoadStar

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    Well, that's what the most recent version of Top Gear was. We don't know what the "new" Top Gear will be like. It could end up being a completely different format.
     
  17. Feb 5, 2016 #197 of 241
    LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

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    I've often said that I'd love to see a US Top Gear with car guys that are charismatic enough to carry a show. My examples were Jay Leno, Chris Titus, Adam Carolla, or Tim Allen. That's really the biggest problem with the US version as it stands - the hosts have no real charisma.
     
  18. Feb 5, 2016 #198 of 241
    DevdogAZ

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

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    I think Rutledge and Tanner are fine as second/third fiddles, but they're not lead hosts. And Rutledge is too likeable to be delivering potentially scathing reviews of cars. And Ferarra isn't a lead host or a car guy. He was a horrible pick all around.
     
  19. Feb 5, 2016 #199 of 241
    ClutchBrake

    ClutchBrake Pass the gravy!

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    As it stands? Is it still on?

    I honestly thought it was cancelled some time ago. I forced myself to watch it but didn't really enjoy it. There were a few decent bits here and there. The writing and chemistry was just awful though. Forget the fact that it was called Top Gear.

    If it is still on I'll probably go back and skim what I missed.
     
  20. Feb 5, 2016 #200 of 241
    nirisahn

    nirisahn Well-Known Member TCF Club

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    Agreed. I've seen him on multiple interview shows. His voice is kind of low and soft. He doesn't think quickly on his feet. He's generally pretty boring when he's not working from a script. Maybe Top Gear will be different because he is a gear head, so instead of having to answer other people's questions he'll be talking about something he loves and has had time to prepare for.
     

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