YouTube has a ton of awesome content. I’m going to try to review a few channels for y’all every week or so because, well, because.
Look, I #consume a lot of #media, and at some point of watching that much #digitalcontent, you’ve got to start answering some difficult questions about what you’re doing with your life. However, if you say that you’re watching it to “review” it, well then, this life-draining hobby that prevents you from actually driving or fixing the vacuum leak that has haunted your Miata for the last 6 months suddenly becomes socially acceptable. So here it goes.
Anyway, if you’re only getting linked over to YouTube, I’d highly recommend you drop by the site itself and make yourself a few subscriptions. And I’m over here working hard to make you’re picking the right ones. Odds are you’ve seen these linked. Good for you.
Regular Car Reviews:
If you can, I want you to imagine a world very similar to ours - identical in every form and fashion, both physically and culturally - with one small exception: there is zero automotive media. No Car & Driver in the waiting room, no Top Gear, no Top Gear’s zombie ghost that’s coming next, no Doug DeMuro being the automotive journalist equivalent of Tom Green. This magical world experiences all the same automotive wonderment and banality that both you and I do through all the years.
That world is Pennsylvania.
I can completely understand both Mr. Regular and The Roman have created a polarizing show that I would imagine a significant percentage of car fans probably consider a swing and a miss. Folks out watching those supercar sighting videos and Twitch feeds of GTA V probably don’t meet the age or cultural exposure requirements that a couple of dark, twisted, and well-read English literature master’s degree holders have set forth with some amateur GoPro cinematography and a little help from the Jalopnik editors. And, yeah, if you’re new to the channel and don’t have a high-tolerance for the motion-sickness induced by switching from high to low brow comedy in burst-fire succession, then this isn’t going to be something high on your list.
But the writing - oh the writing - is absolutely like nothing else in the automotive world, period, bar none. It is as though someone has given two dedicated and deeply talented car enthusiasts who have been completely deprived of automotive content their entire lives a channel on YouTube and told them to do something they thought was a “car review”, a phrase entirely alien to these native Pennsylvanians. They’ve found this bizarre and delightful manner of placing even the most taupe of the automotive world in a context both from a cultural and historical standpoint to the point where the chaff of your daily commute will stand out.
The majority of all car reviews today dedicate themselves to the pretty pictures and reciting press releases verbatim with bits of hyperbole mixed in because they grew up torrenting Top Gear from the old FinalGear.com late on Sunday nights because that’s all automotive journalism in video has ever been. Mr. Regular and The Roman have flipped that model and created a series of videos that focus on the car from the perspective of owners and enthusiasts - not from a third party advertising and PR firm that haunts the field today. They find value in honest cars and imperfections. They pick up on idiosyncrasies that develop after a hundred thousand miles, not after a quick jaunt around the southern tip of the Iberian peninsula in an all-expenses-paid press event.
Being able to identify the Catera as “Cadillac’s Chris Gaines album” or the Dodge Nitro as “an entry-level SUV for entry-level masculinity” is what separates these guys from the rest of their peers. The all-access, “we’re really, *really* new to this whole journalism thing” exposure to their fans (despite retaining anonymity) is just icing on the cake. This channel pushes the current boundary of superficial automotive reviews into a new place. In a post-Clarkson era, the land of sublime cinematography and quips to reinforce nationalistic stereotypes about cars looks vulnerable to something a bit more thoughtful - even if that’s not your thing. Go ahead and take a look. It’s a new world.