Hyperdrive, either you've seen it flicking through Netflix, or you're hooked, at least on the concept as I am. For those who aren't aware Hyperdrive is Netflix's new series which as you can guess by the title, can only really be described as a kind of Takeshi's castle / Ninja warrior for cars. Yeah it's kinda as cool as it sounds. But is it any good? Well lets delve down this rabbit hole.
The concept is simple 30 drivers, 30 completely different cars, and some kind of obstacle course to test both driver and machine. Fantastic. Throughout this series we see different precision obstacles, such as having to flick the back of your car in to exuberant positions to hit targets, or to donut or J turn in a seemingly tiny area without incurring a penalty for hitting the sides. These are in my opinion, the fun obstacles the one's that actually test the driver a bit more. The speedy obstacles to me are a bit meh, whether it be the tunnel vision (I think that's what they call it) where you drive your car as quick as you can into an ever slimming gap, something all 17 year old drivers in the UK constantly did when parking up for a day at college, so for me a bit meh. But then there's the leveler.
The leveler is clearly the favorite of the show featuring in someway in all levels of the competition. Imagine if when you drove your toy cars up the see-saw in the park as I'm sure most children do at some point in their life, but that the see-saw moved under the weight of the car. Now the object of this is not to run a toy model up a pivoted platform it is to take your car and drive it up as far as you can without going off of the edge of a 6 story drop. Of course as with the physics of moments the further you get to the edge, the quicker you it drops the better your time, and of course, the bigger your balls. They use other variations with this obstacle such as balancing the beam which most drivers, really struggled with as they rely heavily on their spotter for guidance on placing the car.
The drivers and cars
Surprisingly, the car variation, was brilliant. I was expecting it to be a load of the same old cars going around (admittedly there's a few mustangs) but it isn't its a celebration of drift cars, muscle cars, beefed up family cars and even the odd super cars. This means of course that the cars are adapted naturally to different aspects of the track, the supercars are good at the point and shoot stuff but the drift cars have the ability to flick the back about and hit targets easily. There's a tasty rx-7, a tricked out Lamborghini Huracan and even a van, see, its literally whatever you can think of, but nobody brought a reliant robin along.
The drivers are obviously good drivers, although I think they may be benefiting from this being the first season to be honest, as I do believe that as this series has gained popularity more professional drifters and drivers may be interested in this. As at times, the driving seems a bit urrr average to be honest at times in terms of precision driving and what I know top flight drifters could do with a car. And of course, there is the odd wally with more money than talent which I think does the show a little dirty. I feel like this should be a challenge which just having a supercar shouldn't give you an advantage as it seems to at times.
Overall great car variation, drivers will probably improve in standard over the next series.
Ok I'm not American, so I don't understand America and this show is as American as Uncle Sam opening up a burger store. With the team of Rutledge Wood, Michael Bisping (weirdly), Michael Hall and Lindsay Czarniak they actually work pretty well together I think. The show may benefit from maybe giving them a bit more to do, however, if they were to develop a natural chemistry it could just make everything feel a bit well funnier. Without the cheesy lines and predictable one liners, but this is very much something which may come in time.
Of course, this is Netflix produced, the camera shots, fantastic, the little VT's to tell us more about the drivers, brilliant (maybe a bit more about the cars!). They do a great job in tying everything together and making the show feel slick smooth and modern. But well, what else would you expect?
The show has potential, the cast has potential, the only thing I would like to see more of is, creative obstacles, maybe something to push the car more, if this discourage's drivers from coming as to be scared of horrendous fixing bills, I mean surely Netflix can say we will pay for the parts for the car or something? I don't know the finances to be fair, also as I said improve the host chemistry, maybe in future take it to different obstacle course's in different countries?
I'd also like to see a bit more about the car's tell as more about the engines, give us some under bonnet shots, some under car shots, I'm not a producer just spouting out rubbish!
Should I watch it?
Yes, in short, if you like cars, and you like racing and drifting, then yes. It may even give you idea's for your car, or maybe idea's to enter series 2, who knows.