With an astounding twenty seasons under its belt, BBC's "Top Gear" has become somewhat of an institution on British television. The popular series for car enthusiasts shows no signs of slowing down and regularly features a roster of A-list celebrity guest stars. Sensing this voracious appetite for more, more, more--BBC adapted another version of their reality hit in 2010 called "Top Gear: USA." Hosted by Adam Ferrara, Tanner Foust and Rutledge Wood, this iteration got off to a pretty rocky start. Dedicated fans of the original series absolutely tore this new version apart as unnecessary and inferior. Dismissed as a pale comparison by many, the show soon found its footing and started to feel a lot more comfortable and a whole lot more fun. If you're shopping Season Three of "Top Gear: USA," I'm sure you know pretty much what to expect from this tried and true formula. It may never have the charm of its trailblazing predecessor, but it provides a lighthearted entertainment that never takes itself too seriously. I probably tune in more for the comedy than anything else!
I normally wouldn't offer commentary on a Third Season product. Everyone, by this time, knows whether or not the program is something that appeals to them. In this case, however, the listed product details tell you very little about the actual DVD release so I thought I'd color in a few details.
Season Three presents sixteen episodes from 2012 and 2013. Each was presented on television with commercial breaks so they run approximately 45 minutes in length for almost 12 hours of program content. The DVD set is spread over four discs and features a few Bonus items. Included in the special additions are host interviews, behind-the-scene footage, audio commentary, and extra scenes. If you love the show, it's a nice amount of Bonus material. But the show itself seems so informal, I'm not sure that these added specials actually offer much in the way of new insight. But some of them are quite amusing due to the casual chemistry of everyone involved.
(1) Police Cars, (2) Small Cars, (3) Cult Classics, (4) One Tank, (5) The Tractor Challenge, (6) Monument To Moab, (7) College Cars, (8) America's Toughest Cars, (9) RV's, (10) 150 Miles Per Hour, (11) Taxis, (12) Adam's Show, (13) Doomsday Drive, (14) Mammoth Mountain, (15) Minnesota Ice Driving, and (16) Viking Trucks.
The topics range from expected to unusual. Some personal favorites: Viking Trucks has the crew headed off to Iceland, and I liked this change of scenery, Doomsday Drive has the guys try to come up with the perfect car for post-apocalyptic devastation, and Taxis has them head to Las Vegas (I lived there and the cab experience is not to be missed) to see what's up with one of America's least glamorous jobs. Again, though, you already know if you want to add "Top Gear: USA, Season Three" to your collection, just wanted to spill on the DVD details. KGHarris, 8/13.