TOP GEAR USA: Fast Cars, Slow Show

By Peter Jurewicz

Around a year ago, my brother Mike introduced me to a show that I never would’ve thought of watching without him recommending it for me. That show is the original, Top Gear from the BBC. Having learned of it from my cousin Steve, Mike informed me that it’s a car show, but its funny. Being the extent of my car knowledge is that when a light comes on, on the dashboard I should probably have it looked at, I was skeptical though I gave it a try. We watched the Vietnam special and I about died laughing and now I can’t get enough of this amazing show.

Hosts Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust, & Rutledge Wood

I soon learned they were planning a US version of the show and after being bumped around, cancelled and everything in between Top Gear USA, as I call it, premiered last night on the History Channel. The show is hosted by comedian/actor Adam Ferrara from Rescue Me, stunt driver Tanner Foust, and Rutledge Wood who hosted NASCAR Smarts on the SPEED channel. First off, I don’t like Tanner Foust. While he’s obviously a skilled driver, the guy has the personality of a brick wall. Even when he tries to emote and get into what’s going on in the show, it seems forced and faked like he’s uncomfortable being on TV. Luckily Adam Ferrara, who I was already a big fan, has enough personality to kind of drag him out of the mud and Rutledge has enough jokes to make me not completely hate him.

Much like the original, Top Gear USA has its challenges, Big Star Small Car (The Original’s version is The Star In The Reasonably Priced Car), and of course they have their very own Stig. Astronaut Buzz Aldrin was the first Big Star in the Small Car, and judging by his time the track on this show is a lot quicker and after seeing both his time and even the Stig going around the track, it’s not as exciting as the UK original. For their very first challenge, Tanner and Rutledge raced a Dodge Viper across a town against a Cobra attack helicopter. Though they try to make it exciting, the whole thing seems way too forced and doesn’t seem as entertaining as most of the challenges on the original.

So I guess when it comes down to it, I’m going to continue to give Top Gear USA a chance. Though it’ll either have to be replays or On Demand because there’s no way I’m missing The Walking Dead for this! So when I really need a Top Gear fix, I’ll more than likely continue to watch the ORIGINAL with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May!

Original Hosts: Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson & James May

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