Monday, April 7, 2008
Backwards "TWIN" A Good Show In Reverse
There are a lot of things that SPEED has sorted out on their new Monday night TV series called This Week In NASCAR. There is one very fundamental thing that they have not.
Steve Byrnes hosted an hour with Michael Waltrip and Greg Biffle as the panelists on this week's show. As usual, the conversation at the top of the show was about the big Texas weekend and the many happenings over the past three days.
Regular viewers of the show knew that soon this good conversation would be halted, and it was. For whatever reason, it was time once again to look forward to the next Sprint Cup race before ever starting the review of the one that just took place...yesterday.
No one quite seems to understand what SPEED is trying to accomplish by putting the preview before the review. It certainly is tough to remove the current news and the current highlights and put them on the shelf for thirty minutes. For better or worse, that is exactly what TWIN did again this week.
Once the program got through the Phoenix preview and opened the door to conversation about Texas, things came alive. Waltrip was finally comfortable and outspoken on all kinds of topics, and even began to show his unique sense of humor.
For his part, Biffle was more comfortable on this program than he has been in a long time. The conversation about the COT, the dynamics of tuning the car and the problems the teams have been having was outstanding. Biffle brings a mechanical approach to racing in the same way that Waltrip brings an emotional one.
Steve Byrnes still has to integrate a lot of video and features into this program. Sometimes, they close down a good conversation that is in-progress. While the quality of the edited video is outstanding, this is the reason that the Inside Winston Cup program was once expanded to ninety minutes. Just too much content for an hour.
SPEED took a gamble in starting this franchise over, and TV viewers have watched the changes in this series as it has developed. Suggestions on other changes have included returning Ken Schrader to the panel and having a weekly studio guest.
The one curious item continues to be asking fans to wait thirty minutes to see the panel discuss the recent race weekend. This show was a good example of that, as the panel had a blast talking about Texas. As the series continues to develop, it should be interesting to see how long SPEED can stick with this format.
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