Wanting to give everyone a fair shake of the stick, I watched Adam Corolla's Car Show on Speed TV last Wednesday. Corolla was widely tipped as the ideal frontman for the American version of Top Gear but he proved in his own show last week why he never got picked. If you thought Top Gear USA was bad, The Car Show made it look like high quality programming. So what was wrong? Well to start with the four hosts spent the first segment of the show sitting behind a desk doing various news items. It looked like any number of post-game or post-match analysis shows on US sports networks. Four wooden presenters in suits, discussing stuff whilst looking vacant and uninvolved.
Eventually they got on to the meat of the program - car stunts and reviews and here's where the show really hit it's stride in terms of being a full-blown suckfest. The 24 hours of "lemons" race was too obviously scripted right down to the dodgy driving and various incidents. The review of the Rolls Royce looked like Dan Niell had a teleprompter strapped to a trailer outside the car and the rest of the segments went downhill from there.
Top Gear USA tried to copy Top Gear UK, and did it badly. The Car Show by comparison tried to copy Top Gea USA - badly. You know how when you photocopy a photocopy the end result is blotchy and unrecognisable? That's what Speed Channel have managed here; a poor copy of a poor copy. I guess Americans really can't make entertaining TV shows about cars.
But they don't know that - Top Gear USA returns for a second season shortly. May the Gods of motoring have pity on us.