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In Plain Sight Doesn’t Put it Into Top Gear

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I woke up this morning with a plan.  I was all ready to tell you how I was very distressed with last night's episode of In Plain Sight.  I was going to explain to you that not only did the episode lack some of the basic common sense that I expect from shows, but that Marshall, Mary's partner, learning how to mambo is straight out of My Blue Heaven.  If a Steve Martin-type witness had been teaching him to mambo, it would have been enough to make me turn it off, but thank goodness that didn't happen.

Even so, I was prepared to tell you all about how I immediately lost interest in the episode once Sarah's witness was photographed and her cover had clearly been broken.  You see, at that point, I don't understand why our hero didn't pull her witness into the office and then get her on a plane out of town as soon as possible.  Surely that's what Mary should have done.  Surely, that's what any sane person would have done.  That, however, is not what Mary did.  Mary allowed the witness to continue with her wedding preparations. 

Are you kidding?  Is that some sort of joke?  The witness has been discovered.  The witness's life is in danger.  The U.S. Marshall opts to not pull the witness in, and instead leaves the witness in harm's way.  Yeah, what they were selling I wasn't buying. 

I was all ready to tell you all about those problems and my distress.  I was completely prepared to write something like six or seven hundred words on it.  Then, something amazing happened.  Something wonderful, something miraculous, and it appears that the U.S. version of Top Gear may still be on course.

That's right, there may still be a U.S. version of Top Gear.  I got a swell press release this morning from the folks at BBC American informing me as much.  They also told me that the hosts for the show have been announced.

Because you're dying to know, I'm going to tell you who they are.  First up, there's Adam Carolla.  We all know Adam Carolla; he's been everywhere and done everything.  I had no idea the guy knew about cars, but the press releases states, "Carolla is an avid car collector and owns several classic collectible Lamborghinis, Maseratis, two Ferraris and an Audi S4," so I guess he does.  He worries me a little because I think he may be too over-the-top funny and I want dry British funny with the show.

Then, there's Tanner Foust, who is, it seems, a professional stunt driver and has done stuff like ice racing.  Sounds like he could be a Stig-type, but apparently no, because he's listed as one of the hosts.  One of the films he did some of the stunt work for was The Bourne Ultimatum.  As you recall, there was a pretty solid car chase there, but I don't know how well that sort of thing translates to talking about testing cars.

Lastly, there's Eric Stromer, who is the host of the HGTV's Over Your Head.  He is also, it seems, a regular on Carolla's radio show.  I guess that means the two guys should have a rapport. 

All I ask is this of the hosts and producers (now that I've not been selected as a co-host and assume that a call for me to be the Stig is not forthcoming): don't mess it up.  The show is absolutely and completely brilliant the way it is, don't mess it up.  Don't "Americanize" it, don't "tweak" it, don't "jiggle" with the format.  You're talking about a hugely successful show the way it is, and if you change it, even if you think you're doing the right thing, you stand such a huge chance of destroying it.  Don't do that.  Don't be the folks that destroy Top Gear, even if it is just the U.S. version and not the original.

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About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.