Definitive Analysis of Robertgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread
Junkyard Wars, when it first aired on TLC, was head & shoulders above all the tedious, unoriginal television pablum because of two reasons: (1) Its content, and (2) Robert as co-host. Americans get way too much of America on television. Every movie and and television show is usually shot in New York or L.A.---enough already! Finally we had something different---something new, with unusually entertaining personality.
Junkyard Wars' American appeal came from the bizarrely endearing personality of its host Robert. My best friend and I would talk on the phone after each episode, reflecting with much laughter on all the hilarious subtleties of Robert's personality; from the way he would try to imitate a buzzer, contorting his Kinski-esque mug, to his fat, stubby necktie with a knot the size of Cleveland. All of his uninhibited childlike mannerisms and British colloquialisms were to us (and many others I'm sure) 90% of the show's charm and uniqueness. Because of Robert, it was the one show I would look forward to watching with the same excitement I had as a child (and I'm 31 now).
To clarify this point, imagine the Crocodile Hunter with Steve Irwin as host. Animal Planet attempts to air similar shows with different hosts, but they all pale in comparison (embarrassingly so) simply due to Steve Irwin's inimitable childlike personality and enthusiam. Without Steve Irwin, the show just becomes yet another in a long line of indistinguishable animal shows. The same goes for Junkyard Wars. Sure I enjoy the content--one of the most original shows I remember in my life. But, to remove the key host and relocate the show to some Nashville junkyard with power lines in the background is enough to turn me off the show completely (others I've spoken with agree).
Imagine if the Crocodile Hunter is suddenly hosted by Eric Estrada and they move it from Australia to Carson City, Nevada. That's very close to what Junkyard Wars' producers have done to the American audience. Watching the teams pick parts from rarely seen British vehicles like Scodas & Minis was another part of the show's charm---instead, we now have to suffer the NON-BRITISH teams yanking huge engine blocks out of yacht-sized Oldsmobiles & Cadillacs...and what's worse...we now have a male host with the charisma and charm of a timing belt.
I doubt we'll be seeing the new host's clever and quirky personality captured in RealAudio streams on the web site like Robert's was....WAKE UP, PRODUCERS! BRING BACK ROBERT OR YOU WILL RUIN WHAT *WAS* THE BEST SHOW ON TELEVISION!
The British backdrop, hosts, teams, and banter made that show---now bring it back the way it was! We're SICK of American shows, American gameshow teams, and worst of all...boring, egocentric, unintelligent American hosts!
"PRODUCERS, YOU HAVE ONE SEASON OF PURE CONSTRUCTION TIME REMAINING!" Leave the show the way it was when it was the talk of the town. Get Robert back, keep filming in the UK, and keep the British teams on the show or you're going to lose a lot of previously die-hard fans.
-- RC Collins (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 10, 2001
RC Collins, there are now 2 different shows. The American version called Junkyard Wars of which you are watching season 1 at the moment with George & Cathy, and the British version called Scrapheap Challenge (also shown in the US as Junkyard Wars) with Robert & Cathy. The arrival of the new US version has not affected the recording/broadcasting of the UK show which I believe will be returning for a 4th season later in the year. I assume you will get to see this in the US as you have done with the 3 previous seasons.
If you do not like the new US version, there is still the UK version with Robert and Cathy to watch.
-- dave stevens (email@example.com), January 10, 2001.
Good point Dave... the people who don't like watching George can watch the British version only, and those of us who will watch even if Erik Estrada were hosting...(who, by the way, I was sure when I was a freshman in high school that I would someday marry! : ) But, alas, I digress...) will watch BOTH versions!
-- Rhonda (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 10, 2001.
Erik Estrada may not be available though......he's been busy with the Jenny-O turkey police.(LOL)
-- The Zipper (email@example.com), January 10, 2001.
While it may be true that the personality of Robert is more suited to the finess of Junkyard Wars and I would like to comment that I do not enjoy the Americanized version nearly as much as the Queen's edition, there is no way I would not position this show at the top of my watching list. I do wish that the American racers had not been shown within a week of the British, but who cares, most of us watch for the physical art...not the personalities. If ones interest is in personalities, then I might suggest the series of sitcoms and soaps riddling the broadcast day.
-- Nigel Washington (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 10, 2001.
Half the appeal of the show for me and my wife were the British teams' mannerisms and expressions (No US team could match the characters like the Bodgers!). I was dissapointed when Robert was replaced by an overacting Hollywood gameshow type. Bring Robert back, keep the British teams, and can the jerk who changed the shows original format.
Mark and Tammy Lenox
-- Mark Lenox (email@example.com), January 10, 2001.
I wanted to add my voice to this as well. Collins, thank you for putting this so eloquently...Robert made a good show incredible (as Catchy does as well I should say)...George seems like he's trying too hard. As much as I loved the show being broadcast from the UK, I'm done with it until the British version airs here...and if it doesn't, I suppose I may be done with it for good...and I'm not alone. My brother got me watching, and I've since drawn in about 5 others...but none of them are happy with the changes and are probably done watching. Bring the British version to North America!
-- Mike LeSauvage (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 10, 2001.
RC has alot of good points, "the best ones yet." I don't mind the teams being from the state's or that it's filmed here. It's all about Robert and How Someone didn't want to kick down and fly him over the pond...Dave Stevens up top says To "watch the UK version" I say Piss-off! We all want Robert Because he's the man. He Makes The Show!
"Oh Yea-Nosh Rules"
-- Wallace Dee Steinog (WallaceDg@aol.com), January 10, 2001.
Nigel--if my taxable income was as narrow as your comprehension skills, I'd be driving a Ferrari. You completely missed the whole point of RC Collins's message. If you followed the logic of your own ignorant retort, you could just drive to your local dump, pull up a lawn chair and finish that quart of Schlitz you're swillin' from...PHYSICAL ART?! Yeah, buddy...just like the Statue of David, huh.
There are TWO elements that comprise that show (and any other with a team-on-team format): HOSTS AND contestants. Good thing you're not producing television...err.. "physical art", otherwise all that would be left are your sitcoms and soap operas.
One-dimensional television.... go get 'em, NIGEL.
-- Lance Sullivan (email@example.com), January 10, 2001.
Quick question. Why isn't the original host still on the show? Was he told to leave or did he leave on his own? If he left on his own there's nothing the producers can do. Well maybe they can buy him back.
-- Tyson Fortowsky (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 11, 2001.