Top Gear has long been the undisputed King of all shows that are aimed toward the automotive industry. It’s so popular that the British original has spawned many offspring all over the world- From Germany to the United States and even the Chinese have their own variation. There is one competitor that doesn’t bear the Top Gear name… “The Car Show” hosted by Adam Carolla.
A natural thing would be to compare this to the original Top Gear, so I will… And I won’t hold back. Top Gear is Good! The Car Show not so much. What Top Gear UK does so well is pretty much everything- from the hosts to the cars themselves and especially the humor. The Car Show, I’m afraid, has none of this.
The hosts of this show makes absolutely no sense. Carolla is the main host but he has no real back ground when dealing with cars, he just likes them a lot. In this episode he doesn’t even go beyond naming a few cars- so why is he even a host? I have no idea, but it gets even worse. John Salley is also a host. If you’re not familiar with this gentleman, you’re not alone. Apparently he’s a big-name NBA player. Yes, an NBA player talking about cars… It makes no sense. He has literally no knowledge about cars; he thinks driving a Toyota Corolla is hardcore, I wish I was joking but I’m not. The other two hosts are Dan Neil from The Wall Street Journal and Matt Farah from TheSmokingTire. These two at least know about cars, but aren’t really exciting to listen to. So maybe the content will make up for the lackluster cast.
A show that’s called “The Car Show” should be all about the cars, right? Well here’s the breakdown of what went down in the debut episode:
50% Commercials/Advertising- understandable being that it needs its funding to drive some exotic and expensive supercars but it was a little too irritating. Hopefully as this series progresses it won’t depend on this so much.
25% Random and irrelevant ranting and bickering from the hosts with Adam Carolla make really lame jokes. It got very annoying.
15% Taking with Jimmie Johnson the NASCAR driver as their guest.
Leaving only 10% for actual car stuff. They tested the Rolls-Royce Ghost and raced the Porsche 911 GT3 RS against an airplane. Both were extremely boring, unoriginal (Top Gear had done both of these before) and not informative. The only thing I did learn about this segment is that Rolls-Royce is now a British company owned by the German Company BMW, like that really matters.
So another miss on their part. I will give the producers credit for taking their own route to differentiate it from Top Gear. What they’ve decided to do is break the show down in separate segments starting off with a news segment called 0-60, then going on to a Behind the Wheel segment where they drive a car or two for a couple of minutes, then on to talking with their weekly guest. From there they do a brief road test of some car and finally they go on their closing segment where they pick a topic and discuss it until the credits start rolling. Real organizational skills, unlike Top Gear which starts out with one thing, does another thing, brings you back to the original thing, and then back to another thing just before ending to show with what they started.
A real mess of a layout that gets annoying when you don’t care about the 1,000th Porsche 911 that is nothing different than the previous 999 models that preceded it, just continue with turning a car into a sail boat or a station-wagon into a three story motorhome. If you thought that rant was excruciating than imagine that going on for another 30 minutes, if you’ve done that than you’ve seen “The Car Show“.
Overall I will give Adam Carolla’s The Car Show a 4 cylinders out of 10. Here’s why, the hosts make no sense, the cars are almost non-existent, and their over-bearing mentioning of the Tire Rack was annoying. The only real positive is the producers. Giving the show more structure was a plus, as well as featuring a $300,000 Rolls-Royce Ghost in the first episode was unexpected.
You can watch the episode of “The Car Show” on Wednesday July 20th at 9pm central time on Speed Channel. But honestly I would wait to watch the season premier of Top Gear USA on the Following Sunday on History Channel.