Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Weekly Motorcycle TV Is Amateur Hour
I suppose I should file this blog entry under "Wishful Thinking."
I love the BBC TV show "Top Gear." If you are a car guy, even if only partially, you cannot help but enjoy Top Gear. The footage of the cars is dramatic, the music unconventional by American TV standards, and the three hosts are irreverent, educated, knowledgeable about cars, funny, and frequently bombastic. They are scathingly critical of the the cars they test when it is deserved and hesitate not a moment to poke fun at each other, America, British Royalty, or anyone else they think deserves a bit of puncturing. And they obviously love cars.
When compared to Top Gear all American motorcycle variety shows (and car shows) suck. They suck because they often appear to be done on a budget that would barely be sufficient for a high school health class video and it also appears that most of the production budget was spent on computer generated graphics for the opening of the show. They also suck because they cannot see past V-twins, Sturgis, Daytona Bike Week, stunting, and shilling for some motorcycle accessory company. It is apparently written into every production contract that the show must involve fake accessory installations, Sturgis, Daytona Bike Week, and boobs.
In large measure American weekly bike shows suck because the hosts of the shows suck at being hosts. They exude forced enthusiasm and they are seemingly untrained or are obviously untrained in speaking to an audience or to a camera ("jus keepin' it real, dood!"). Frequently the matter of simple enunciation is forgotten. Slurred words, poor grammar, and dialog handled awkwardly all lend an air of "Amateur Hour" to the bike shows.
The hosts of a first class motorcycle show should NOT chosen because they are a pretty boy with a square jaw line and a thick shock of soap opera hair. Some aging ex-racer who once took third place in a championship gets a thumbs down too because racing fame does not equal on-air ability. And because some bit of fender fluff has a double-D rack and her motorcycle license she is not automatically qualified to host a motorcycle show. I know some of my twelve regular readers would disagree with that last one. Gad, every time I see a motorcycle show host on a bike duck paddle to or from a stop I want to hit the delete button.
Someone please make a real bike show happen. I am tired of watching five minutes of, and then deleting from the DVR, "American Sport Bike Chopper Stunter TV" or whatever other lame, repetitious crap that is being foisted off as a motorcycle TV show this week. Or just bring back the old "Bike Week" show on SpeedChannel and let Dave Despain host it again. Is that too much to ask?
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"When my mood gets too hot and I find myself wandering beyond control I pull out my motor-bike and hurl it top-speed through these unfit roads for hour after hour." - T.E. Lawrence
An Important reminder from the past:
"I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations." - James Madison