The American Version of Top Gear Looks... Okay?

As a fan of the UK's Top Gear and an altar boy for the Church of Jeremy Clarkson, I was mortified when rumors of an American version of Top Gear pulled out of the garage. Names like Jay Leno and Adam Carolla were bandied about as potential hosts, further cementing my poo-pooing of it (I like Carolla in small doses, but didn't see him as a good fit for Top Gear).

Eventually History Channel took the plunge and got the rights, making this potential nightmare a reality. And when I saw that the network released a trailer for their version of Top Gear, complete with hosts I had never heard of, I thought it would be a good opportunity to tear it a new exhaust pipe. But lo and behold, I found myself thinking, "This looks... alright."

Now don't get me wrong, I still don't think it has the chops to even come close to the UK version (which is near perfect), but it's a heck of a lot better-looking than I thought it would be. Plus, and most importantly, it appears to capture the spirit of Top Gear (though I'm not discounting the fact that because my expectations were so low, anything above a complete wreck would look good).

Judge for yourself:



One suggestion: Secure your in-car cameras better and don't put two of your hosts in black-and-white plaid shirts. Hurts my eyes, dude!

The new hosts are Rescue Me's Adam Ferrara, pro driver Tanner Foust, and Speed Channel's Rutledge Wood. What's your take on the hosts and the show itself?


Follow TV.com writer Tim Surette on Twitter: @TimAtTVDotCom

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The show is so dull. There's practically no banter between the hosts, the challenges are uninspired, the production values are a joke (just what kind of camera did they mount in the cars?), and the whole thing fails to justify its own existence in light of BBC America and the UK Top Gear's YouTube channel. Why do American TV producers think we need our own version of everything? Hollywood, you're included in that question.
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Overall, I agree with Mr. Surette's assessment. It does seem to have the spirit and feel of the original. And maybe, it will be good to get some more American opinions, references, POV.. That said, I've often wondered why it is reasoned that UK shows must be redone for American audiences.. Increasingly kind of weird in this Internet-connected "global village" of today. Understandably, there is some humor that doesn't translate well, or is so fast, it's not even literally understood by many Americans. (I think if given a chance, though, more of an appreciation would develop..) But Top Gear is not one of those shows.. It plays fine here.
Certainly the original Top Gear and its hosts aren't going to be topped, but maybe a flavor variation will be... alright..
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I agree with DutchZombie.
It's just not the same. And it's kind of weird to watch a show called Top Gear, about cars, but with different hosts.
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Horrible!!! No cpt. Slow, no "hamster" Hammond, or Clarkson is no Top Gear and not worth watching. Long live the Stigg!!!
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It's the right sorta idea I guess... the hosts aren't as good though. They seems to be a bit fake.
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Top Gear UK can never be matched for their awesomeness
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the hosts don't really know how to compose themselves like the guys from the uk one.
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It looks like the producers "get it" by the feel and challenge...

But the hosts are bad. As another said, they look too much like frat-boys unlike the lovable dorks that host the original.

Also, very worried about Stig treatment.
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that unimaginably sucks , i stick with UK's Top Gear . can any body tell how is America stig look like . the hosts really stinks . i like history channel but this didn't any body tell them it will fail like the Australian version .
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It's sterile and hateful.
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Well, I for one think the've done a pretty decent job (judging by the trailer). The "moonshine run" is a good idea and it probably appeals to the us audience.
As for the presenters: You sinply can judge them , simply by watching this trailer.
Give 'em a chance. At least it looks better than the australian version.
Let's face the facts. It is impossible, to make it as good as the UK version. Simply because there is no Clarkson, Hammond or May. They make this program what it is.
But i think, Top Gear US has potential.
Oh, I'm german btw. and longtime fan of Top Gear. I wish WE had some program like that, but german televison is just terrible.
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The hosts are like some college frat boys. I just don't feel IT when I watch this.
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Cmon, british top gear is legend! how can they top it? and why they even try? because real Top Gear is the best(not the best from these two, I think british Top Gear is the best show about cars), why they need another one?
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Why are americans always trying to fix stuff that is'nt broken. The UK came up with Topgear first. Deal with it, and move on. Grow some balls and come up with something else that 1.3 billion people will watch. 3 douchebaggy hosts with plaid shirts are not going to cut it. Ever.
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Top Gear (UK) just recently started here in Germany with that crazy episode in Romania or Hungary (not sure... the one with the Dacia Sandero)... This trailer looks same as sick, so I would say, it has potential to at least make it to German television as well (with same as bad dubbing)... :-/
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I know this cant be as good as top gear UK ,theres no topping jeremy clarkson ,james may ,richard hammond and i dont think i will even give this one try. is there stigs american cousin or something?
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You have to remember, the UK version has been on the air for 15 seasons now. If the US version is going to be any good will depend on how the show and the characters develop. We're all so used to Clarkson's bunch, that it's hard to imagine anyone taking their place. But this will have to be a decidedly American version anyway because American's definitely have a different sense of humor.
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I'm sorry but it looks like just another crappy rip off. Its too similar, if they are gonna do their own version of the show.. they have to actually have to try and make it their own, they cant just copy it. Aso I think they are a bit over their heads with this one, I'm sure these three guys know their cars but do they honestly think that this version will match up to the UK version.. I mean its freaking Top Gear, its one of the most popular shows around, I dont think anyone is ever gonna make a version that will match up Jeremy, James, & Hammond.
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I really cannot see what the problem is, ppl who like cars will watch it, ppl who don't, they won't. Does it really matter that the idea came from someone else?
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Why does America keep trying to steal good British shows and turn them into crap?
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Looks horrible in every kind of way.... Let Clarkson & Co. do their thing and dont try to copy it with some american schmucks....
Where they do it naturally this just looked forced and scripted.
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Blasphemy! Although, it might well be successful to American audiences...but i won't watch it. It doesn't have Clarkson's childishattitude towards cars, Hammond's excitable disposition, or James May...Period.
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Looks good.
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I felt the colour drain from my face when I saw this article. There is a crappy British show called Top Gear, and then Australia made an even worse version, and now America is trying too?! CANCEL THEM ALL BEFORE THEY CONTINUE MULTIPLYING!
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It's all wrong. It will be terrible. Nothing is better than May, Hammond, and Clarkson. And everything sounds better in and English Accent. What they should do is give the budget used for this series to the BBC and let them make more Top Gear episodes. UK is the Bugatti Veyron SS whereas US is a Peugot.
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I think I just might watch this.
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