Thursday, January 27, 2011

Missed Gear

For every half-billion people who thought the History Channel's attempt at producing an Americanized version of Top Gear would prove pointless, lame, and disastrous there's one who didn't think twice about this issue and who also believes that WD-40 was accidentally invented during World War II when a Polish farmer was trying to keep fleas off his cows.

By itself The History Channel's attempt to become a franchisee of world's pinnacle of electronic entertainment is exactly good enough to hold the attention of the average U.S. television viewer who might otherwise envelope him or herself in the 247 flavors of Law and Order. Almost interesting enough to compete with the show about New Jersey beach trash. Not nearly exciting enough to compete with reruns of The Dating Game.

The sullen trio proffered as hosts, whose only cred in carguydom is one's ability to hold cars at a 45-degree angle to oncoming traffic (shown on what are purported to be public roadways, for goodnessgoshsake), another's talent at doffing tired dress-up-the-felon-for-court rectangle glasses to cleverly hide his days spent at the Golden Corral, and the other's knack for blending harmlessly into the whole lump of mediocrity, are simply boring.

TCC's advice: Find yourself a BBC broadcast of Top Gear. Or get old episodes on Netflix. Or buy the DVDs.

No other television program on Graham Hill's Green Earth compares to this British masterpiece. No other form of entertainment in any medium translates visual pop-culture genius through such pitch-perfect front men feeding from the overflowing twin troughs of literary sensibility and junior high school lav stall scribblings.

Not the Rolling Stones. Not the Beatles. Not Lucy and Ricky. Not Jerry, George, Cosmo, and Elaine. Not even Oprah and Gail.

Top Gear hosted by small, medium, and tall will make you wonder why all other public television sounds like dead people discussing the differences between beige and tan in a library.

It will make you wonder why survival-of-the-fittest commercial television is such a fickle parade of hits and misses.

It will make you wonder what kind of group-thinking cubicle-bound world produces the hopelessly self-deluded souls who dare to blaspheme the faultless automotive sunrises, sunsets, crashing surfs, chirping birds, babbling brooks, and thunderous flatulence that is Top Gear BBC with mere car enthusiasts squealing around in cars.

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