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Fox is Driving me crazy, Episode 2

Published Apr 17th 2007, 3:29am by


Ap_drive_logo_2 Does Fox cross the gender lines with its new action-adventure driving drama? I'm not sure.

Last night after watching the premiere of DRIVE on Fox, I was unable to say whether I liked or disliked the show. I chalked it up to too many distractions and watching the show too late at night. But since then, I've been discussing it with a male friend of mine. He had a much different opinion.

He said he was skeptical going in, but addressed a necessary thought whenever investing oneself into any television show or movie. Mainly one's ability to suspend disbelief to "gloss over numerous plot holes used to get the show on the road (as it were)."

He gushed: "Know what? I can do that for a chance to see an impromptu Cannon Ball Run, the race every boy dreams of entering." Maybe that's the point. I LOVE to drive fast, and enjoy the adventure of a long road trip, but I've never fantasized about joining the cross-country Cannon Ball Run. Maybe because I'm not a boy?

He helped me identify some aspects that link the show to other popular shows on television... For instance, we gain insight into the character's backgrounds and motivations through vignettes a la "Lost"--but the adventure of the road trip is more like the style of "Amazing Race" for the everyman contestant racing their heart out, but not knowing anything beyond the next goal.

So far, the characters still seem shallow, but it's only two hours in, and I'm sure we have much to learn about them all. They have to be shallow now, so we can wade in deeper as we discover each person's back story.

The producers have tried to appeal to all generations of both sexes by incorporating a diverse background of ethnicities and ages, though so far, I'm finding the women on the show to be stereotypical 'characters' ranging from the powerful and elusive woman with a chip on her shoulder, to the mousy housewife trying to escape from her abusive history (while pathetically apologizing for shooting a bullet into her foe's tire), to the sassy teenager trying to figure out why her ordinarily predictable father has impulsively pulled her out of school for a road trip unlike any other 'family vacation.'

The savvy car fan might have appreciated last night's homage to Smokey and the Bandit when the driver of the Trans Am uses his CB radio to convince a posse of truck drivers to entrap an SUV full of competitors in order to gain a lead. (I didn't "get" it, unfortunately.)

Of course, my friend mentioned that the best way to get ahead in a race such as this would be to utilize a GPS-enabled smart phone, so they would have portable navi and the ability to Google the clues. And of course, so far, nobody has figured that out. In fact, I haven't seen anybody use anything any more sophisticated than a regular old road map. And now that I think about it, hardly anybody even uses a cellphone, other than the ones they were each given at the beginning of the race.

Unfortunately, while some of The Race contestants actually applied for the privilege to compete, some of the others were only given 15 minutes to hop into their car and join the event. This didn't give them much chance to prep their cars for the challenging trip, or even install their copy of "Streets & Trips" before hitting the road. Which then led to the discussion of "what car would you take if you were to enter The Race?"

I'm looking forward to tonight's episode. I've already been told to expect some new twists relating to other historic car enthusiast 'moments.' In the meantime, here's a peek into the database to help you acquaint yourself with the DRIVE characters.

Also, Fox has got an official fansite at www.drivefans.com where you can find discussions and additional photos. I haven't been there yet tonight because I don't want to risk any spoilers.

Brandy_schaffels_s_3 by Brandy Schaffels
Contributing Editor and Television Watcher



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