The North American version of the tremendously popular and influential Top Gear it’s well on its way to a third season I believe. The show was strong on its first season but now it stepped up to a whole new league. I know a lot of people are gonna be mad as hell but I think in some aspects, TG US has surpassed the recent seasons of original version who’s descended into a tepid, overly scripted recipe.
Granted, most of the concepts for the challenges are not new, but they’re not a carbon copy from the original Top Gear either. The US version follows its own path and that’s brilliant. Even the guest part of the show is in a different format, and there’s no “some say…” for the Sting or strange music while he does the power laps.
There’s yet to be a weak episode in the season. The challenges with the low-budget luxury cars, the old 4×4’s, the 500 dollar cars…it all got me laughing by butt off throughout the episodes. Foust, Ferrara and Wood are especially entertaining and the best thing about them is that they aren’t out to be copies of Clarkson, Hammond and May; they do their own thing and their personalities show.
Plus, Top Gear US fulfills a very important task that the original Top Gear has always, always failed at: it gives American cars a fair trial. on UK Top Gear, there was only one occasion that I can remember in which an American car wasn’t immediately shot down before it even had a chance to prove its worth, and that was in the US muscle car challenge with the ZR1, CTS-V and Challenger SRT8 when Clarkson defended the ZR1, Hammond the SRT8 and even Captain Slow found something to like in the Cadillac he spent half the show complaining about. Now, with US TG, American cars are reviewed decently and their qualities shine through. Yes, we know the interiors aren’t great and there’s not always a great level of sophistication (and the show points it out often), but that pales in comparison with many other very important aspects like spirit, presence, personality and performance.
Miles ahead of versions like Top Gear Australia and Russian (that’s just plain scary to watch), Top Gear US is a won bet for the History Channel and there’s no reason for it not to have a great future. Original TG fans, give it a chance; if you don’t like it its fine, but don’t disregard it without even watching an episode.
Top Gear US website: http://www.history.com/shows/top-gear
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