Oh. My. God. ...So I'm near an actual television set that's actually on that's actually tuned in to an actual television channel for once (I can count the number of times that's happened this month on one hand, I think), and GUESS WHAT'S ON?
The world premiere of Top Gear, America-edition.
It started with my Dad coming in and being like, "Angela, you will not believe this, they've got a Dodge Viper racing a Cobra attack helicopter on the History Channel." (For you non-Americans, the History Channel, which once showed historical programs, now shows things like Ice Road Truckers and The Most Dangerous Catch.) And I was like, "Huh, sounds like Top Gear." And we were watching it, and I was busily explaining to my father what Top Gear was and why it was awesome... and then it WAS Top Gear.
I spent half the show being snooty and doubtful (American Top Gear, ffffff), but I think I've decided I'm fairly pleased with it. They've faithfully reproduced the look of the studio and the schnazzy editing style and the silly car shenanigans, and the guys are fun and knowledgeable and talkative and competitive. They have a "Big Star, Small Car" section... their Small/Reasonably Priced Car is a Suzuki, and their first star driver was BUZZ ALDRIN, HOLY SHIT.
And they even have The Stig... or I guess it's a Stig. Their judgmental Stig banner is actually a video screen, on which he occasionally crosses and recrosses his arms while judging you. They don't introduce him with weird jokes, but I think the Americans wouldn't get what was going on anyway. And American Stig doesn't listen to anything while he drives. Sad day.
I can't help thinking things like, "THE BRITISH TRACK IS PROBABLY WAY MORE HARDCORE" and "I BET ORIGINAL STIG CAN BEAT THE PANTS OFF AMERICAN STIG"... but on the whole, it looks like a fun time. And maybe they'll even acquire quirky personalities and in-jokes and ridiculousness, which is what makes the original so fun.
Next episode is drift-racing. With the legally blind.