Comparisons are both unavoidable and inevitable. Tomorrow evening, SPEED debuts its all-new and highly anticipated weekly automotive television series, The Car Show. Hosted by comedian and car buff Adam Carolla, with co-hosts Dan Neil, Matt Farah and John Salley, the self-touted "ultimate car lover's show" will be scrutinized from set design to sign-off as viewers attempt to parallel its agenda and personality with the BBC UK's wildly popular Top Gear and the more recent domestically sourced Top Gear USA show from The History Channel.
After a day spent on the set at 20th Century Fox Studios in Los Angeles last week, we left smiling and very impressed.
As expected, a decent chunk of the production is filmed outside the studio. The venues vary from public roads to race tracks (both concrete and dirt in this particular episode) and other interesting gathering spots (Carolla interviews several amusing civilians and delivers some good laughs at the Pomona Swap Meet & Classic Car Show). However, the glue that will need to hold the show together (and keep viewers from channel surfing over to Mythbusters) is the chemistry between the hosts back in the studio. They've got a good shot at this – these guys are a witty and amusing cast of characters.
Our take is that The Car Show is a clever blend of unscripted individuality. It is a carefully calculated mix of The Man Show humor, The Smoking Tire rambunctiousness, The Wall Street Journal objectiveness and the curiosity of the The Best Damn Sports Show Period. Bring out Peter Brock with his stunning Shelby Cobra Daytona Coupe MKII, a live interview with Dario Franchitti and some special guests and the hour becomes even more compelling.
Catch The Car Show this Wednesday, July 13, at 10 p.m. EDT on SPEED.