Format: Three-Disc DVD
Starring: Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust, Rutledge Wood
Studio: BBC America
Review by: Bill Jones
If you’re the type of person who loves extremely fast and exotic vehicles, love sitting around watching gorgeously shot car porn of them AND enjoy three dues dragging it out and making terrible jokes while you’re watching, then Top Gear’s reinvention in the United States by BBC America is just for you.
It starts out with the right idea — a car show by fans of cars for fans of cars, on which said awesome cars are put through the ringer for challenges, stunts and, of course, races for top lap times, with faceless driver The Stig handling these portions of the show. In addition, the show offers a segment called “Big Star, Small Car,” during which celebrities cruise the track in a small Subaru to compete for the best lap time. All of that is fantastic, and the show is shot and edited in an engaging manner.
What is not so fantastic are the hosts — Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood. While they may very well know their shit when it comes to cars, Wood is usually the only one showing a really glimmer of being interested in what he’s doing, and unfortunately most of the time the show just uses him to make jokes about his “quirky” personality.
Actually, most of the time the show just tries too hard in its dialogue. Whether the material is completely scripted or ad-libbed by these wannabe comedians, it plays terribly. Along with the fact that it feels dragged out and would have been served just fine by a half-hour format, these guys do everything in their power to make the car porn experience more like three hack comedians performing in front of car footage.
The Complete First Season DVD contains all 10 episodes, which means eight full-format episodes, a special on “America’s Toughest Trucks” and a “Best of Top Gear: Season 1” finale that’s basically a recap of the first nine episodes. Ultimately, it’s very few episodes for a full season, while each individual episode feels way overblown.
There is also an audio commentary, but only on one episode (thought that may be a blessing) and an extras reel that clocks in at approximately 12 minutes. Again, maybe less is more in this case, but for diehards looking to pick this up on DVD, it’s a rather slim package, despite its three discs.
For more info, bbcamerica.com
Pads & Panels received a copy of the DVD courtesy of the studio for review purposes.