Top Gear U.S. on History - Season Four

Discussion in 'Now Playing - TV Show Talk' started by tvmaster2, Nov 3, 2013.

  1. Nov 3, 2013 #1 of 29

    tvmaster2 Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2006


    the first three years had way more flops than successes, but has anyone been watching series four? It's almost as if the Brits have taken over production...just watched the amphibious show (ep 6), where a trip from Buffalo to Toronto via Lake Ontario was pretty damn funny. Sure, it was a rip of the U.K. version, but I laughed thru most of it...
  2. Nov 4, 2013 #2 of 29

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    I still don't care for the American version. I don't like the format of the show; I prefer the way the UK show has a mix of serious car reviews, car news, and "faffing about" all surrounded by the studio segments. I understand that the US version is sort of forced into the format that they have because of the limited time available in each episode, but I still don't like it.

    I also don't think the US hosts are any good at all, and I don't think they've gotten one bit better over the four seasons. They should have chosen some people who have significant experience as on-air presenters.
  3. Nov 4, 2013 #3 of 29

    Worf Well-Known Member

    Sep 15, 2000
    Probably an audience thing - remember Top Gear UK was sued by Tesla for faking a part of the review. The UK courts found that since Top Gear is not a serious show, no one should take what gets shown seriously and exaggerations and misrepresentations are to be expected because it's not real.

    Of course, American audiences tend to prefer cruder and more overt comedy and humor, so that's why Top Gear US is so much different. Subtle British humor tends to escape notice.

    Which when you consider the kind of people who watch History these days, is probably a good thing.
  4. Nov 4, 2013 #4 of 29

    tvmaster2 Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    If you think the humour (at least spell it right, yeah?) on TG U.K. is subtle, well..ok. I believe Jeremy Clarkson drove a dead cow strapped to his roof once...and then there was the Florida episode. Americans came off well during that show. Subtle? hmmmm.
    But I know what you mean - I've watched TG U.K. since the beginning, and like all American versions of Brit tele, they 'overproduce'.
    As for History Channel, yes, license applications in this country tend to be just a suggestion (see The Learning Channel - lol). There are good shows on Fox from time to time, but blaming viewers of those shows for the morons who watch Fox News wouldn't be fair :)
    Where TG U.S. initially (and somewhat still) failed, was the selection of hosts. They tried desperately to represent a cross-section of the American male auto fan, as opposed to three guys with chemistry. And they initially copied the Brit format right down to the 'star in a car' and the news segment, but the three guys just couldn't handle that.
    But what's interesting about both entries above is, I'm not clear either one of you saw this episode. Fascinating.
    Let us know if you guys have seen any of Season Four - it's improved. Obviously not up to the standard of TG U.K., but improved nonetheless.
  5. Nov 4, 2013 #5 of 29

    billboard_NE North Shore MA

    May 18, 2005


    I enjoy the challenge only format, Rutledge makes me laugh.

    If I only watched shows that were in the same class or better than TG UK, my Tivo would be pretty much empty.
  6. Nov 4, 2013 #6 of 29

    DevdogAZ Give 'em Hell, Devils

    Apr 16, 2003
    I've been enjoying this season, but I miss the previous format. I preferred when they would review cars and have the Stig racing the cars around the test track. I also liked seeing the celebs race around the track, although it would have been better with a better car. The studio audience was pointless.

    I've never had a problem with the US hosts as I don't have any experienc with the UK version to compare them to. I don't particularly like Adam Ferrara, but I think Tanner and Rut do a great job and both know their cars very well.

    The Can Cars Float? episode had some hilarious moments when
    Tanner and Adam's cars both sunk in Lake Ontario.
  7. Nov 4, 2013 #7 of 29

    tvmaster2 Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    lol - I hear ya. I think of that every time I watch 'The IT Crowd' - no one here had a clue...and the U.S. pilot was pretty weak.
  8. Nov 4, 2013 #8 of 29

    mattack Well-Known Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    I don't think I've watched many this season, but I do think the U.S. version is entertaining, and I'm not a car person.

    Though it does seem WAY MORE STAGED than any of the reality shows people keep saying are staged. e.g. the competitions where they 'just' barely pass each other at the very end, or you get a great shot of one guy passing the other, etc.. Still has funny jokes even if they're all written.
  9. Nov 5, 2013 #9 of 29

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    While still not up to par with the UK version, the US version has gotten better than the first season. Although a rehash of what was already done by the Brits (in their case, crossing the English Channel to France) I still enjoyed it. My favorite so far this season was the race between Tanner in the rally car, Rutledge in the Bentley, and Adam in the speedboat along/in the Snake River.

    Someone said in a discussion about one of the early episodes that it would take a while for these three to settle into a groove. As far as I can tell, the groove is:

    • Tanner -- juvenile race boy who thinks that faster is always better, no matter the situation . Witness his entry in the last segment -- a Plymouth Conquest/Mitsubishi Starion turned into a boat (dubbed the TurBoat).
    • Rutledge -- Definitely a taste for the quirky, with particular emphasis on VW.
    • Adam -- a penchant for Detroit land barges, a good thing since he tends to destroy everything.
  10. tvmaster2

    tvmaster2 Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    I particularly enjoyed the bit with the Canadian Coastguard:
    "when you get to Toronto, you'll need passports, you know?"
    Hysterical bit of pre-arranged comedy.
  11. ClutchBrake

    ClutchBrake Pass the gravy!

    Sep 5, 2001
    The big shock for me was...
    just how quickly Adam's went down.

    That was almost spooky!
  12. Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Active Member

    Dec 1, 2004
    I'll put in a good word for Fifth Gear. It's Brit. Good chemistry among the hosts, including a nice looking girl. It's much more oriented to true gearheads than TG. There is humor but it's mostly just banter rather than the slapstick of TG.
  13. LoadStar

    LoadStar LOAD"*",8,1

    Jul 24, 2001
    Milwaukee, WI
    Yes, Fifth Gear is quite good as well. I've always liked Tiff, and the other hosts are quite good as well.
  14. Fl_Gulfer

    Fl_Gulfer Tivo's R Us

    May 27, 2005
    Both shows are good in there own way but I have to say the Caravan Show a couple seasons ago from the UK version almost gave me a heart attack from laughing it had to be one of the funniest episodes of any show.
  15. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    I like 5th Gear for its content, though Tiff does come off as a bit arrogant at times. Vicki (and now, Jason) do tend to keep his ego in check.
  16. tvmaster2

    tvmaster2 Well-Known Member

    Sep 9, 2006
    with both Fifth Gear and Top Gear U.K. at our disposals, the U.S. version has a lot to live up to. I read TG UK spends 2M $ per episode!!! Really?
  17. Jesda


    Feb 12, 2005
    Fifth Gear is nice for its technical content but Tiff and Plato are a bore. They come across as exceedingly privileged in a less than flattering way. Great drivers though.
  18. Jonathan_S

    Jonathan_S Well-Known Member

    Oct 23, 2001
    That seems a bit high for an average week's show; but I could certainly believe it if that averages in the costs of each season's destination/special episode.

    $12 - $16 million a season, including the special, spread over only 6 - 8 episodes certainly seems plausable.
  19. DUDE_NJX

    DUDE_NJX Well-Known Member

    Feb 12, 2003
    It's still cheaper than a 20-minute sitcom episode in the U.S.
  20. RonDawg

    RonDawg Well-Known Member

    Jan 12, 2006
    This week's episode on the electric cars was mostly boring...probably not surprising given the cars :p

    The 1/4 mile times with the specialty all-electric race cars, the Tesla review at the end were entertaining. Rutledge's 57 MPH Leaf in reverse was mildly interesting (and obviously the car was modified to allow that). But the shopping mall drive-thru and the late night escape from the house were poor imitations of similar scenes from the UK version.

    They could have done a better challenge though that was suited to the range limitations of those cars. If you go too fast, your range economy drops and you become a DNF. The UK boys did that a few years back in their diesel car challenge from Basel, Switzerland to Blackpool, UK.

Share This Page

spam firewall