History Channel, Please Cancel Top Gear

top gear
Top Gear

History Channel, Please Cancel Top Gear

Unfortunately real Top Gear fans keep having to endure more of what I would called garbage TV, Top Gear US. It's disappointing that the History Channel has not canceled Top Gear yet and I plead with you History channel, can you please cancel Top Gear?

For most gearheads Top Gear isn't just a show, it's an obsession. For those that love the show, and I mean the British Broadcasting Corporation's (BBC) original version, there is no better television show on the planet.

For those that are not familiar, Top Gear features three British auto journalists, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond. The show is comprised of car reviews, putting stars in a reasonable priced car or on a racetrack, and generally crazy antics in moving vehicles or vehicles with wheels of some sort.

If you were to ask anyone gearhead (or petrolhead as they say in England) about Top Gear, more than likely you will hear, “Top Gear is the greatest show EVER!” I concur!

Fans, like myself, of the one and only good and original Top Gear on the BBC, feel the History channel needs to stop. Please, please CANCEL Top Gear USA! We don't like it, we don't want it, and we really, really hate it. We rather have you re-run episodes of the original on the History channel.

Sure, Top Gear USA might be doing good business for the History channel. There is no doubting that. I am sure all of the History channel execs are pleased with their Nielsen ratings.

The thing is, for anyone who has brain that actually functions and that has seen the original Top Gear UK, why would you want to watch Top Gear USA? It lacks, the originality and chutzpah of the BBC version with the three awful American hosts, Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood.

Tanner Foust, a professional drift car driver, has little in the way of natural camera ability. Most of the time it feels like he is reading from a script, which I am fairly sure he did not write himself. Rutledge Wood, is the fun loving pudgy one out of the bunch. Somehow he just doesn't work either and it also seems like he reads from scripts which he clearly did not write himself.

Adam Ferrara, while I don't want to admit it… is actually quite good. (I might be biased, since I firmly believe all people named “Adam” are cool.) He is quick on his feet and is able to carry himself on camera well. No doubt working as a stand-up comic and actor, gives him an edge over the other two hosts. However, he can't carry the show for the other two and the three lack chemistry.

Top Gear USA just feels like a rehashed version of the original, which is not as good. Most of the episodes give the feeling of Deja-Vu of the BBC original.

I hate to say this, but we Americans have a serious problem of taking good British TV shows, and completely ruining them. Anyone ever heard of The Office? Now Julian Fellowes is creating an American “Downton Abbey” which I am fairly sure will not live up to standards of the original British Downton Abbey.

Besides Top Gear UK has been able to get some pretty impressive American stars on the show.  This includes Tom Cruise, Cameron Diaz, Andy Garcia, and even Slash from Guns N' Roses.

Even with History channel's success with Top Gear USA, I highly doubt it will continue to grow. Being among the coveted young demographic that History is so keen on, I realized something… most 20-30 year-olds, don't have cable.

Young people are used to watching TV and movies over the internet on services like Netflix, Hulu, and if necessary ripping shows they like. On top of that cable subscriptions have declined during this horrendous economy. Most young people are part of a generation of CableNevers meaning we have never subscribed to cable.

You can watch Top Gear USA episodes via History channels website. However, even with high speed internet and fast computers, I can say this with certainty, History channel's online video player doesn't work.

Due to History channel's lack of artistic sensibilities, I have deiced that I must boycott watching the channel. (This won't be hard for me to do, since I am a CableNever.)

What are your thoughts about Top Gear UK and Top Gear US? Do you despise it like I do or think History should make more episodes?

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Top Gear UK vs. Top Gear USA: Which Top Gear is Better?

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Top Gear

If you love cars as much as I do, you inevitably love Top Gear. If you don't know what Top Gear is, I can sum up the the TV show for you like this, “The greatest thing EVER!”

Top Gear shows you what happens when you let loose three crazed automotive journalists and give them an unlimited budget to do what they want with cars. The three hosts Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond get into wacky situations during each episode. They engage in antics such as driving to the North Pole, crossing the English Channel in homemade amphibious vehicles, and trying to prove British Leyland built good cars, just a few situations the three hosts get into during an episode. Top Gear goes boldly where no other TV show goes. It also answers the question of what every man would do if he could remain a kid forever.

Top Gear UK is an immensely popular TV show. I am not the only one who thinks so, as the original British Top Gear has an estimated global audience of 350 million people in 170 different countries every week.  (According to Wikipedia!) 

Americans like to copy good British TV shows. The Office, American Idol, Survivor, Big Brother, etc. were all British TV shows first. Now you can add Top Gear to that list. The History channel now broadcasts an American version of Top Gear with Rutledge Wood, Adam Ferrara, and Tanner Foust. Top Gear USA follows the same format as the original Top Gear, with the three hosts reviewing cars, getting into crazy situations, having celebrities on the show, etc.

The fact that Top Gear USA is still on TV probably makes diehard fans of the original British version groan with pain. The first time I watched an episode of Top Gear USA I didn't like it. This might be because the hosts are not nearly as witty and entertaining and majority of the segments seem to be carbon copies of the original.

Brits, it seems, are just better at making good TV than “Stupid Americans” as Europeans might call us. It makes we wonder if there will be an Americanized version of Downton Abbey. (At least we make great action movies with lots of explosions!)

I may have my own opinions about Top Gear USA. However, I'd like to hear from my readers on which you prefer.

I have compiled these videos for a heads-up challenge, Top Gear UK vs Top Gear USA. Which do you think is better? Watch the videos and decide for yourself. Leave a comment below and share your opinions.

TRAILER 

SKIERS VS. CAR

Top Gear USA – Mitsubishi Evo X by cjrobe0

VIDEO GAME VS. REAL TRACK

Top Gear -NSX @ Laguna Seca

CELEBRITY APPEARANCES

CAR REVIEW

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Top Gear America… Will it Work?

What do Survivor, American Idol, Big Brother, and The Office have in common? Well, like many popular American TV shows they are remakes of popular British TV shows. Now you can include Top Gear on that list.

Never heard of Top Gear? The BBC program happens to be one of the most popular TV shows on the planet. The irreverent, crazy, and wildly fun BBC series featuring Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond is shown in many countries around the world. The show follows these three friends who are crazy about cars. They go on car adventures, such as a race between a car and bobsled, a race between a climber and car, a race between a Bugatti Veyron and an airplane, a challenge to cross the English channel in homemade amphibious vehicles, a drive to the North Pole, etc. They do a segment called, “Stars in a Reasonably Priced Car,” where celebrities get into a Suzuki and race around a track, then have their times posted on a board against other celebrities. Sometimes they might even review a car.

Originally Jay Leno, who is a car nut, was approached to do the American show. He would have made an excellent host, but in his article in UK’s The Sunday Times entitled, “I hope we don’t ruin TopGear,” Leno discusses why many believe the American version will never work.

“I like the show just the way it is. Jeremy and the guys are extremely talented … I think it would be impossible to recreate or live up to the standards of the British show.

I don’t think you could be quite as freewheeling with your opinions as you can on the BBC, because sponsors pay for the programmes. Sponsors would be unlikely to embrace any criticism.” (March 30, 2008)

Leno is right. Will it be possible for sponsors to put up with criticism of their products and still advertise on the show? It’s telling that the show is airing on the History Channel. Originally the show was slated to go on NBC primetime. The History Channel is far from primetime.

The BBC version is an extremely fun show to watch, even for non-car people. It’s yet to be determined whether this new American version will be of the same caliber. Few sequels and remakes are. They have done remakes of the show in Germany, Russia, and Australia. The American version will be produced by BBC Worldwide so it will retain some of character of the original.

America is a car-obsessed culture, and we are highly dependent on our automobiles. The show could work well. Those other TV show remakes are still on the air (except the Russian version) and are quite popular. Maybe the producers will find what Americans audiences will like to see and will strike a chord, but it will be challenging.

The hosts will be professional driver Tanner Foust, comedian and actor Adam Ferrara, and racing analyst Rutledge Wood. The American Top Gear is going to be airing Sunday November 21st at 10/9C on the History Channel. Fortunately, I don't have cable.. so I can't watch and be disappointed.