The Car Show hosted by Adam Carolla made its premier this past Wednesday night on SPEED TV. The new series was highly anticipated and the pressure to deliver surely must have been immense. Especially considering that it’s inevitable that they’re going to draw comparisons to Top Gear, a series which in the eyes of most has set the bar extremely high. But, before we start that debate, let’s first say that The Car Show, by my estimation, was a success. Sure, the production among other things could have been a little more polished, but that should come with age.
What’s important is that the premise of the show is on point, which it is. The Car Show is intended for true automotive fans, as it doesn’t appear to be your run of the mill show made for pretenders. In fact, in their first episode they competed in the 24 Hours of Lemons, infusing a bit of humor to a racing event that’s mostly only recognized by hardcore fans. Hopefully assuring that they will cover the entire and vast world of car culture, from the exotics to the everyday and affordable. What’s also promising are the hosts who all know their cars, which will definitely lend to some fun debates and exchanges. Something we’ve already gotten a glimpse of in the first episode.
As much as I don’t want to compare The Car Show to a series with many decades under its belt, the truth of the matter is that Top Gear has laid out a highly successful blueprint. One that they may try to follow, at least to an extent. Also in the first episode, was co-host Matt Farrah racing a Porsche GT3 RS against a propeller plane, in a stunt very similar to something we’ve seen on Top Gear many times already. That’s not where we need to see a recreation of Top Gear, the content itself needs to be original. Where they should steal a page from their book is in terms of the personality that’s used on the show. The banter and ribbing brings extra life to an already phenomenal Top Gear series. On The Car Show, ribbing and banter should be aplenty with comedian and car enthusiast Adam Carolla at the helm.
Adam is joined by the founder and creator of the Smoking Tire, Matt Farrah, Pulitzer Prize journalist Dan Neil, and former NBA star John Salley. The verdict is still out on how much of a car guy Salley actually is, but his experience on these type of sets should turn out to be valuable asset for the team.
So, is it better than Top Gear UK? Here’s my question. Does it have to be? Which may be a polite way of saying no. But, in all seriousness you can’t make that comparison one episode in. I would also say that it’s too soon to compare it to Top Gear USA as well. The Car Show in its own right is worth watching and has a lot of potential. I wouldn’t be surprised if ‘Top Gear UK with American flair’, turns out to be an accurate assessment of the show in the near future. Either way hopefully it does well, along with Top Gear USA so we continue to have more car shows to watch here in the states.