Top Gear – Great Show, But Makes Me Wonder About The Cars

I’ve just recently found a show on History channel, as well as the BBC over in the U.K. called “Top Gear”.  The show is great, both versions of it.  They pick out new and old cars, put them through challenges, test them on racetracks, and have a fun time doing it.  The show in itself is great, but I am wondering about some of the cars being built today.  Where can you actually drive them?

Take for example the episode I am watching right now.  They are testing “American Muscle” with some really nice cars.  A Charger SRT8, Mustange GT 5.0, and Chevrolet Camaro, brand new off the showroom floor.  The cars are absolutely beautiful, retro styled versions of the cars that started the “Muscle Car” era in the United States.

The Camaro comes with 400 horsepower.  The Mustang?  415 horsepower, 0-60 in 4.3 seconds.  The car I drive will do 0-60 in 5.5 seconds, and I cannot find any place to actually use the power; at least without risking my own and the lives of others, or my personal freedom!  I do still use a radar detector when I’m driving through the city, but actually opening up my own car is pretty hard to do.

So what is it about these vehicles that makes them so special?  They are nice to look at, yes.  They are fast, yes.  Handle well?  Yes.  But the majority of owners who buy these cars are not going to take them to a race track.  They are going to get used on the streets.

So, what happened?

Naked & Afraid – Really, Discovery?

I grew up watching the Discovery channel, and never had a problem turning it on to learn something new.  Over the last 10 years, though, the channel has started to change.  Or, grow up at least.  I’m a guy, so seeing more guy shows like Bear Grylls, Dual Survival, the car shows, the gold rush shows, etc, isn’t really a problem with me.  What is the problem is the level that Discovery has stooped to in order to get people watching their station.  It is pretty low, and the new show “Naked and Afraid” is the perfect example of this.  I’ve tried watching the show twice and it just doesn’t do it for me.

First, the survival shows really do work.  They are interesting, when you get the right personalities involved.  Pairing up couples together to survive is a great way to grab attention.  Look at the husband and wive survivalist pair that produced some good shows.  Discovery has taken it too far, though, by adding in the “Naked” portion of the show.  Pretty much, these people are followed around butt booty naked and told to survive.  I haven’t seen enough of the show to understand exactly what the thought process is behind why they needed to put that on television, but irregardless I don’t like it.

It is not the same Discovery channel that I grew up on.  If it is that difficult to get ratings and viewers then I don’t know what to say.  If this show lasts for 10 seasons I will come back to this and eat my words.  If it doesn’t come back after 6 episodes, I am going to continue to wonder wtf Discovery Channel is thinking with this eyeball grab.

Duck Dynasty – Rags To Riches Story

This is another odd show that one of the guys I work with swears by.  A bunch of rednecks in the Bayou with too much time and money.  I’ve always said that to have a balance in life you need to either have time, and no money, or have money and no time to spend it.  These guys have both, and it gets them into trouble — a lot.  The show chronicles their escapades while the ring leader tries to run a multi-million dollar business.  It isn’t always easy, but it is always entertaining.  The guys took off with an idea for duck calls and ended up turning it into an empire that employs the entire family.

When you watch the show, you don’t usually associate millionaires with the personas that these guys have.  The opening sequence shows them in cowboy boots, and business suits, with long beards and cowboy hats.  It encompasses everything about them.  But they didn’t always have the long beards.  In fact, in one episode their wives talked about how clean cut the guys were when they met, and as the business grew the guys let their beards grow out longer and longer, and now it has been adopted.

Buying The Bayou – Next Big Real Estate Market?

We watch a lot of television in our house.  While flipping through the channels the other day I cam across a new station where we live, called Destination TV.  It’s mostly about travel and sight seeing but there was one show that caught my attention, so I turned it on for a few minutes.  Buying the Bayou is a show about people looking to purchase property on the Bayou in Louisiana, to sum it up.  There is a few things about Buying The Bayou, though, that piqued my interest and got me wondering if this can really be true, or not.

To start off, watching some of the couples look around the bayou for these houses is almost ridiculous.  You have to travel up to an hour by boat to get back to the house.  Who would really want to be this secluded?  I understand being away from the world, but an hour long boat ride?  Not for me.  On top of the extremely rural nature of the homes, the price tags on these places is downright extravagant.  One couple wanted a house in the $300,000 price range and their only requirements were “running water, electricity, and indoor plumbing”.  For $300,000 I expect a lot more than just the bare necessities.  Maybe I’m spoiled, but that is a lot of money.

It’s just really hard for me to believe that people would really want to live in places like the Bayou.  I understand living outside of the cities and getting the same lifestyle but being so far out just doesn’t sit well with me.  Seeing the prissy wives that were looking for these expensive “shacks” blew my mind, too.