This weekend sees the final show of the first 10 episode run of Top Gear USA. After forcing myself to sit through several episodes, I find myself using the mute button more and more. Admittedly, most of the episodes are getting better and better every week and the show’s hosts (Tanner Foust, Rutledge Wood, and Adam Ferrara) are more relaxed on camera. But the USA hosts just do not have the on-screen personality of the UK team of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May.
James May comments on the USA version from across the great pond, “‘We begin with professional racing driver Tanner Foust. Not only has he apparently emerged from the pages of Goethe, he actually sounds like he’s giving the car a thrashing.”
May comments onward about Rutledge: “Finally, we have Rutledge Wood, who is some sort of automotive analyst. He has a beard, he’s been seen in lumberjack shirts, he has nerdy specs, he’s from Alabama and he might even be a bit chubby. I’ve read him described as ‘bookish’.”
The key to watching (and enjoying) the show is to not constantly compare the hour-long extravaganza to the UK version. We know that’s tough, if only because the new show has been modeled so closely after the original. The fact is that every iteration of Top Gear will always pale compared to the original. It’s like watching a movie based on your favorite book; there’s almost no way the motion picture will be better than the paperback and your imagination. But in terms of a car show available to watch in the U.S., Top Gear USA definitely has the the goods to keep us watching… provided you can fast-forward and mute over the boring parts.
Top Gear USA wraps up this weekend at the usual time of 9/10c on Sunday on the History Channel. In the final show the guys look back at their highlights of the last nine weeks. Let us know your thoughts on the series as always below in the comments section.