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Thursday, September 13, 2012

What Makes the show Top Gear so Successful?

What Makes the show Top Gear so Successful?

What is Top Gear?
One of the UK's most popular series since 1977, Top Gear now brings its high-adrenaline action entertainment to America. Top Gear delves into the colorful history of the automobile and showcases an offbeat celebration of the art of driving, featuring super-cars, extreme stunts and challenges, car reviews and celebrity interviews, as well as the eccentric adventures of its hosts with Top Gear's customary wit and humor. Hosted by comedian and car buff Adam Ferrara, champion rally and drift racer Tanner Foust and racing analyst Rutledge Wood, Top Gear explores the history of America, one lap at a time. - From the History Channel

1) Characters
When you are trying to understand why a show is successful you must look at the characters behind the show, either scripted characters or reality characters. The characters must by dynamic. Lets take a look into the characters of the hosts of Top Gear:
Adam Ferrara-

Adam Ferrara is an acclaimed comedian, who starred on the Emmy-nominated hit FX show Rescue Me and appeared opposite Kevin James in the theatrical feature Paul Blart: Mall Cop. A regular comedian on various hit talk shows including The Tonight Show with Jay LenoLate Show with David LettermanThe Viewand Rachael Ray, Ferrara has been dubbed "hilarious" byEntertainment Weekly and is a two-time nominee for best male stand-up by the American Comedy Awards. Adam's favorite car is a Pagani Zonda F Roadster. From the History Channel
Why Adam Works:
 Adam is entertaining to watch mostly because he is a comedian and he is naturally gifted at making people laugh. This is contrasted by his "toughness and fearlessness". You don't see too many characters that are both tough and funny. That makes him a dynamic character because it is something unexpected. He is also entertaining because he absolutely LOVES cars and he knows everything about them. He can transcend his love for cars to the audience in a way that the audience finds funny and entertaining.

Rutledge Wood-

Rutledge Wood is truly car-obsessed and at an early age learned from his father the business of buying, restoring and selling new and old vehicles. His love of cars led him to NASCAR, and to starring in NASCAR Smarts on the SPEED Channel, a NASCAR trivia game show with Kyle Petty and John Roberts. He's also a roving reporter for NASCAR RaceDay Built by the Home DepotTrackside Live and NASCAR Live. To this day, Wood has owned over 40 cars and trucks ranging from a Volkswagen Rabbit pickup truck to Hondas, Chevys and even the obscure 1975 Bricklin SV-1. His favorite is a 1953 Plymouth Suburban that was given to him by "the king" himself, Richard Petty. From the History Channel

Why Rutledge Works:
 Rutledge has a unique character. He is a quirky intelligent hillbilly who loves cars. His character is dynamic and entertaining to watch because he is both intelligent and has hillbilly qualities. You typically don't associate hillbillies with being intelligent. This mix of character traits makes him interesting to watch as an audience.

Tanner Foust–

Tanner Foust is a three-time X Games gold medalist (2007, 2010), and two-time Formula Drift champion (2007, 2008). He has twice represented Team USA in the annual Race of Champions, teaming with NASCAR star Carl Edwards in 2008 and Travis Pastrana in 2009. He returned to the event in 2010 as teammate to Mick Doohan on the All-Stars Team. His varied race experience includes years of open wheel competition, rally racing, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb, the SCORE Baja and additional types of sports car racing. His stunt driving includes work as a lead driver in films such as The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, The Bourne Ultimatum, The Dukes of Hazzard, Red Dawn and Iron Man 2, and in numerous popular TV shows and commercials. Foust's 2011 racing program is supported by Rockstar Energy Drink, Ford, Etnies and Motegi. From The History Channel
Why Tanner Works:
  Tanner's character is entertaining because he is the "pretty boy." But he shocks you with his abilities at what he does. He is fearless and has a great passion for what he does. His driving skills alone will entertain the audience.

What to learn from this:
You can take a boring person and have him kill the biggest bucks and etc. But unless that guy is interesting and can relate to the audience, the show will never last. What makes a character interesting and entertaining? Opposite characteristic traits or unexpected traits. Examples: A micro-biologist race car driver, intelligent hillbilly, lawyer who is also a rock star, a city boy who is a big hunter, bis muscle guy who is emotional, etc.. Dive into yourself and find those character traits that make you unique and that might be unexpected. Don't try to fake these characteristics. It is something that has to come to you naturally or the audience will be able to tell. Some people just don't have a dynamic enough character to be entertaining on TV.

What do you think? We’d like to hear from you. What are your thoughts about character development? Leave your questions and comments in the box below.
What Makes the show Top Gear so Successful?
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