Hooniverse Asks: What’s a car-themed program with which you have issues?

I enjoy the Netflix series Formula 1: Drive to Survive. It gives a glimpse into a typically tight-lipped segment of the motorsport world. The show is wonderfully shot and often surprisingly candid opinions are thrown about. At the same time, this show serves  to further foster the notion that F1 is so overly dramatic at every level, it’s frankly tiring and does nothing to further the actual racing.

I’d be curious if the same drama would happen in rally racing,  amongst off-road teams, or with global sports car series and V8 Supercars. It’s possible this is the case, but I don’t believe it to be on the same level as with F1.

So while I enjoy the program I also dislike Formula 1 racing more and more with each new episode. Oddly, I like the drivers more. But the rest of the sport is wickedly insufferable.

Do you have a car-themed program that gives you similar issues? Or maybe you have the same thoughts on Drive to Survive? Sound off below.

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14 responses to “Hooniverse Asks: What’s a car-themed program with which you have issues?”

  1. OA5599 Avatar

    I have trouble figuring out how Samcrac’s stepmom can afford paying for all those auction cars.

  2. Sjalabais Avatar

    I find it strangely hard to enjoy car themed entertainment. Haven’t had a linear TV for 20+ years, so I watch stuff online.

    The fresh and funny relatability of the original Top Gear is long gone. Wheeler Dealers got old and odd, Ed was the show. RCG has one recipe and I’ve seen that enough. Jay Leno’s car presentations are entertaining and a good learning experience, while Demuro seems to be getting sloppy. The GAZ 24 episode left me outright angry due to misrepresentation, misplaced ridicule based on lack of knowledge, and just too much fake laughter. Many car review shows have presenters who are too preoccupied with themselves, rather than the cars, and episodes end up feeling long. Formula 1, to me, has always been about male divas, odd rules, and a 1%er approach to racing; can’t muster any interest.

    1. crank_case Avatar

      Likewise – my answer would be pretty much “most of them”.

      It’s annoying that most car shows always have to find an “angle”, like as if people who tune into a car show need something other than cars to get their interest. Perhaps for Top Gear, which is the BBCs biggest moneyspinner, that makes a certain amount of sense, but generally, no-one makes a straight car show about cars much – or assumes the view already knows the obvious.

      It’s a bit weird really, other hobbies have shows that are purely for people that like that stuff and don’t generally try to sop to other audiences – e.g. Gardening or Cooking (though the latter has spawned its fair share of lifestyle nonsense and drama too)

      1. outback_ute Avatar

        Exactly. So many shows are that dumbed down it’s almost like they are aiming at the under 10s, and often are more about the ‘deal’ or faked drama than any working on cars which is supposed to be the premise.

        1. Sjalabais Avatar

          Sort of a relief that I am not alone in feeling this way. I have tried a few reality formats, but the fast-paced clipping repeating the same scenes over and over, idiotic voiceovers, and fake drama over nothing happening is beyond what I can handle. It’s good to meet like-minded folks here instead.

  3. Neight428 Avatar

    I’ve nearly given up on teevee altogether, but back when I did watch the old “Wheeler Dealer” show from the UK, Edd would bust his butt restoring some interesting car that had the hell beat out of it, and they’d tally up the cost to calculate how much of a gain that they made on the flip, forgetting that as an actual professional mechanic, Edd and his crew would have charged $10k in labor for each one of these that they took on. They had to assume zero value there and price a repaint at like $500 to pretend like they were able to make money doing it. No one acquainted with the economics of car restoration took that part of the show seriously, I suspect. Overall it was a satisfying watch because the turnarounds were pretty stark, and the repairs were realistic and done pretty well.

  4. Jeff Glucker Avatar
    Jeff Glucker

    Also, you’re allowed to say you have issues with Shift Talkers here too…

  5. Maymar Avatar

    With the internet being a veritable firehose of content, it’s so easy to edit out content that annoys me. That said, I’ve complained about how Jay Leno will talk over his guests before (you’d think someone with decades of talk show host experience could guide conversation a little more gracefully), so I’ll say this much from a recent clip – Weird Al drowning out Leno by playing accordion while riding shotgun was just delightful.

    As for a completely dated complaint, I knew Speed Channel was a lost cause when they decided to air Nascar drivers playing poker, back when Texas Hold’Em was everywhere.

    1. Sjalabais Avatar

      That same thing has always bothered me with Leno, too. I guess making a career as a listener and getting real rich doing so just tossed him over into “my time to talk”-territory. He still does have some of the most interesting cars, often before anybody else, or just without competition. Like the Doble steam cars.

      Somewhat unrelated: A pristine, 27 years stored, Yugo is being sold on BaT in 19 minutes:

      No Reserve: 1986 Yugo GV

    2. Neight428 Avatar

      As I recall, Fox bought Speed about the same time they took over the NASCAR contract and it immediately went into the ditch. I was big into motorcycle road racing at the time, and you could get AMA, WSB, MotoGP probably three nights a week, but then they switched to the NASCAR content that was all driver personality focused with nearly zip about the racing and machines. You went from having stuff like the Reno air races to Kyle Petty’s favorite fishing spots.

  6. Lokki Avatar

    I confess to liking ‘Drive To Survive’, although I will say that the series follows the “Rule of Sorcerers’ Apprentice” which is to say a great TV show can be truly magical, but like any magic trick, the more often you repeat it, the less magical it becomes.

    Still, I get it. There are only twenty (20) F-1 driver’s seats at any given moment, in a world of seven billion people. Even if you assume that only one person in ten million wants to be a Formula One driver, that’s a lot of competition for twenty seats.

    These guys start out at age six or seven in go-carts and racing literally becomes their entire life. You find out you’re pretty good and soon you’re training every day, and then all day every day….and you keep winning. Then: enter The Demon Dollar. Suddenly you find out that some clod who isn’t nearly as good a driver is faster than you because his daddy bought him a better car. All you can do then is go begging for money from fat old men who will fund you if you wear a uniform that say’s ‘Schwartz’s Butcher’s: our pigs squeal in delight!’ in big letters on the back. You still end up with equipment that isn’t as good as the rich kids, but you compensate by showing everybody that you are faster than your car lets you be. For a few dollars more….

    And somehow you keep winning or at least driving much better than your equipment. You remind yourself about Fernando Alonzo who is always a half-a-second-a-lap better than his teammate in the same car. “Be like Mike Alonzo!

    Now you’re in Formula 2. How long can you ride the wave before you fall off and disappear in the surf, like so many others have before you? You develop an obsession – you’re so close, dammit! So you start doing whatever it takes…you hang your ass so far over the line so often you start to like it out there. Finally you make it to “The Big Show”. You get a seat in a car whose beer-baron owner is probably wanted by the financial authorities in three countries, but it’s a set in Formula 1! And here you are:

    Yeah, you’re in a car that isn’t very good, and there’s no money, and there’s still that rich clod – whose daddy has bought him an entire Formula 1 team! But… there are better cars than the one you’re in, and if you can really show your hustle, maybe you can get a seat in one of them. So you go all out, all the time. You hang your ass out over the line in a car that has no business out there, but if you don’t take ‘wreckless chances’, you lose your seat. You get aggressive, like that autistic kid, Verstappen. He’s a winner. But don’t get too aggressive, like that idiot Grosjean. He’s a real loser. You start watching the other pilots start cracking up under the pressure. Albon who was so fast, now can’t get with five positions of his team mate – he gets the axe, never to be heard of again. Gasly, gets demoted, demoted! to a lesser team -in the middle of the season with the whole world watching. You can’t allow yourself to despair. You have to remind yourself of George Russell. Russell is in a pig of a car always close to the back row, but he’s hustling away back there. One day, ‘The Mighty Hamilton™️‘ decides he has the flu, and the Gods Of Whim gave Russell a seat in ‘THE CAR’. Russell, a nobody, drove the goddamn wheels off THE CAR, and would have won if they’d let him.

    Suddenly you have hope again. If Mephistopheles calls on you, you have to show him you’re ready to do whatever it takes.

    …“You’ve put your bet on Number One, and it comes up every time.
    The other kids have all backed down and left you first in line.
    And now the time has finally come to find out just how big you are:
    To take your place in the race of faster motor cars.”

    (*Jethro Tull, from ‘Thick As A Brick’)

    So, anyhow, yeah, I like the show.

    1. Jeff Glucker Avatar
      Jeff Glucker

      Definitely agree it’s an entertaining show. It absolutely does not make me like F1 the sport anymore, however.

  7. William Byrd Avatar
    William Byrd

    Loving the third season of DtS. Much of what I don’t like about motorsports is the lack of drama. Aside from a good pass here and there, it’s just not that interesting. If you have “characters” or personalities, that helps to find someone to root for.

  8. marko320 Avatar

    My favorite is the F1 Drive to Survive show on Netflix. The second to last episode of season 3 is the best thing I’ve seen in years. Roman cheats death. Checo goes from last to first and gets a new job. On the flipside, Motorweek is the worst show on TV. I’ve hated it for decades.