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Top Gear on 60 Minutes

How can cultural elitists like ourselves put TV in the Culture category? Well, where the hell else is it going to fit?

Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby c02 » Fri Oct 22, 2010 10:56 am

This is really for RM!

Some say.....his pillock resembles an M5 gear stick...
and he spent his embryonic stage in the warm embrace....of a cam shaft....

All we know is, he's called the Stig!

I hope this was done to grease the wheels for Top Gear America. The trailer confirms my thoughts on the budget of that show.
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Nov 23, 2010 2:16 am

Sorry dude, was on vacation and only got back a few days ago.

So I just finished the premiere episode of TG U.S.

I didn't realize it was going to be such a carbon copy of the original. Right down to our very own unknown "Stig".

Not a whole lot of chemistry between the 3 hosts yet. But I've never watched for the hosts (although the Brits are excellent together). I've been a fan of Foust for years. I've seen him in various programs and have seen all the SuperCars Exposed episodes. I've also seen him race at a few drift events over the years. He's a perfect fit for this series.

I'm interested to see what they'll do with this series. It seems the UK version has tapped just about every clever thing you can do with an automobile already. I hope they don't just duplicate it all.

The attack chopper bit was a little lame I thought. It had potential but then fizzled rather quickly. I don't know Rutledge, but he seems like a fat pansy so far. I guess he's a NASCAR commentator or something. He reminds me of those gay guys that they call "bears" (thank Kathy Griffin for educating me on that term).

Buzz Aldrin was a bit of a "buzz" kill for the first celebrity guest. Don't get me wrong, I love the guy and he's right up toward the top of my hero list, but this show needs young male gearheads if it's to survive and prosper. I'd love to see Jesse James strapped into that shitty little Suzuki for a lap. Or James Hetfield. I was also disappointed that they chose a Jap car for such an important segment of the show. Especially with all the great cars the Big 3 are putting out now. I'd have thrown 'em in the new Fiesta!

Anyway, the original TG is some of the best television anywhere on the planet and I begrudgingly record every episode while cursing aloud that it's not in HD and chopped on all four sides. Drives me crazy. Plus the year that DirecTV shows in the guide are almost never right. I record what I think is a 2010 episode and it turns out being a re-run from '05 (again, have to try and judge the year by Clarkson's hair).

When you know the original series so well it's hard not to go in with unrealistic expectations I guess. I'll continue to watch solely for my love of all things fast. If it's even half as good as the original it'll be a triumphant success. There's a treasure trove of automobiles in this country and I hope they're granted access to use and abuse the hell out of them.

So what did you think c02? Has anyone else here caught it yet?

Thoughts? Hopes? Ideas?
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby c02 » Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:24 am

I haven't seen it yet but I have the DVR set to record Friday night. I'm interested to see it get off the ground. The problem is, the original guys are all journalists that love cars which is why, in my opinion, it works so well. They get it. They understand delivery, they understand how to push the information and they obviously have producers that knew how to develop them into celebrities. What I think we will see here are 3 car guys left on their own accord to shower us with their wisdom, and little wit; which could be the downfall. I like Tanner Foust but he also bores me when he starts getting into details. Again, I think the journalism background like Clarkson, May and Hammond is the difference maker.

The U.S. version may try and carbon copy the format but what really makes that show tick is the chemistry of the hosts and how they deliver the information. I love the cars, I love the speed, but if I'm bored I'm not watching (i.e. Nascar). There are plenty of car shows out there but none have hosts like Top Gear U.K.. Give a car to Foust and the same car to Hammond and I'll likely remember more about what Hammond says because of the way he delivers. The American show needs guys who know how to write/talk to people. The way we do things here is the opposite. We make celebrities in a field, journalists. NFL, NBA, how many of those guys are actually interesting to listen to? Shannon Sharpe the football player was fun to watch. Shannon Sharpe the commentator made me feel like I needed to learn a new language and made my ears bleed. Steve Young; great to watch on the field. Bag of boredom to listen to.

I know, this sounds a bit pessimistic. I love the series and I hope the US version does well. I just have an un-easy feeling that American producers will find a way to take a proven formula and screw it up.
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby HeyZeus » Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:39 pm

The US version wasn't bad. It was just ok.

I'll stick to the original.
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby c02 » Wed Nov 24, 2010 10:34 am

Saw the run from last evening.

The Stig......too easy to say, Paul Tracy?
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby Remember_Me » Thu Nov 25, 2010 12:30 am

c02 wrote:Saw the run from last evening.

The Stig......too easy to say, Paul Tracy?


You read that somewhere didn't you?

Why do you say Tracy?

And if this is Top Gear "USA", then I want an American Stig and American small car (bit of an oxymoron, I know).

Paul's a Canuck and the Suzuki doesn't do it for me.

I also love Helen Mirren as an actress, but if I see her as a guest doing laps then I'm done.

I want burly American fuckers in a Fiesta flipping it over at least every other show.

And Angelina Jolie.
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby c02 » Thu Nov 25, 2010 9:25 am

Nope, didn't read it anywhere. It's just the first person that came to mind having seen the Stigs lap. He slouches just like Tracy does among other things. I figured the first american Stig would either be Ken Block or Paul Tracy and he's too short for Block. I know Tracy is a Canadian but I'm guessing for American producers that's close enough. I haven't paid attention to who directs, produces, etc...so it would be interesting to note whether there is overlap with Battle of the Supercars beyond Tanner Foust. If there is, I'm even more strongly in favor of Tracy as the Stig.

I'm also disappointed in the Suzuki. I thought for sure it would be a Focus Coupe. Buzz Aldrin seemed plucked from obscurity and I really didn't get why he was there. He is certainly a historical figure but I would gather a good majority of the under 20 something crowd had to hit Wiki to figure out where they've heard the name before. I mean, if they are going to start with the F Listers, grab a Paul Reubens or a Charles Bronson. At least everyone has seen their faces in the last 10-15 years. Of course, I'm still trying to figure out who the hell Seasick Steve is so who am I to judge celebrity.

Remember_Me wrote:And Angelina Jolie.


Now you just sound like Hammond. :P
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby Remember_Me » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:28 am

Watched last nights show earlier today.

*sigh :roll:

Although, they did mention Angelina Jolie and the dog at the end did make me laugh.

So not all was lost.
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby Petro » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:57 am

Remember_Me wrote:I also love Helen Mirren as an actress, but if I see her as a guest doing laps then I'm done.



Hasn't she already done laps in an inexpensive car on the original Top Gear?
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby c02 » Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:39 pm

1:52.8 in the Lacetti.

I know it's only two episodes in but I don't see this show moving forward for too long unless they change out a host or all of them. Is it me or did it seem like they are trying to make Rutledge the American Clarkson. He made a couple of silly comments about brits while reviewing the Aston Martin and it smacked a bit of Clarkson's off-hand comments about Americans any time he reviews an American car.
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby persia » Fri Dec 03, 2010 1:50 pm

There's a Top Gear America?!?!?!? Why wasn't I informed?

c02 wrote:This is really for RM!

Some say.....his pillock resembles an M5 gear stick...
and he spent his embryonic stage in the warm embrace....of a cam shaft....

All we know is, he's called the Stig!

I hope this was done to grease the wheels for Top Gear America. The trailer confirms my thoughts on the budget of that show.
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby fisticuffs » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:42 pm

Loved the original so I gave the USA version a shot. Unfortunately one of the hosts is my dead on doppleganger. I couldn't take it. Way too creepy. Back to re-runs on Netflix.
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby Bad Gradger » Fri Dec 03, 2010 2:59 pm

Here's the problem: The BBC forgot that Top Gear wasn't always the most popular non-sports TV program in the English-speaking world. It used to be a conventional half-hour automotive program that got cancelled. It used to have a fat guy who was hired to replace James May in the revamp. Building the program took far more time, patience, and effort than any American network would have shown.

They also forgot that what makes Top Gear work is its absurd Britishness: Clarkson going on about the war, May's pedantry, Hammond's overeager sincerity, a cheeky fixation on cleverness and underdogs.

Now they have an American version that hews precisely to the formula: same theme, same set, same segments, same Stig. Of course it won't be as good.
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby persia » Fri Dec 03, 2010 3:32 pm

Plus the Brits gave us these stupid talent shows like America's got talent and Dancing with the Stars which are worse than their insipid British originals. The American versions of "Life on Mars" and "The Prisioner" sucked badly too. When you try to "Americanise" British TV it almost never works.

About the only American copies that were better than their British Originals were "All in the Family" and "the Office."
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Re: Top Gear on 60 Minutes

Postby Remember_Me » Fri Dec 03, 2010 7:56 pm

Petro wrote:
Remember_Me wrote:I also love Helen Mirren as an actress, but if I see her as a guest doing laps then I'm done.


Hasn't she already done laps in an inexpensive car on the original Top Gear?


Yes, my point exactly.
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