The original version of Pimp My Ride is the most predictable MTV show since Room Raiders (and just about every other show in the current schedule), but provided host Xzibit the chance to get some extra screen time for one of his shitty new albums that nobody buys. The basic concept at least made sense, since people in LA loves them some cars with “hot graphics”. For some strange reason (i.e. a lack of original ideas), MTV UK decided to launch a local version of the show, but instead of tailoring the format to British viewers, they’ve ripped-off the US version, shot for shot. Most disturbingly, instead of casting a well-known UK rapper, they’ve hired a middle-aged, balding radio personality who dresses like a teenager and peppers his speech with out-dated hip-hop buzz words from the 90’s. That’s right, I’m talking about Tim “Timmy” Westwood, close personal friend of Kanye “Liberache” West, and host of the Radio 1 Rap Show. Even that guy from The Streets would have been a better choice!
Where the American version is boring as fuck, the UK version is possibly one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen, although not in the way that the producers intended. While having X knock on your door would be pretty exciting to any teenager driving a bucket, having a seedy-looking character like Westwood arrive at your house may confuse youngsters into thinking he was there to repair the TV or return dad’s lawnmower. The girl tries to fake being excited to see him (knowing it’s worth it to get her run-down car fixed) and gives him a hug, which Timmy seems to enjoy a little too much for my liking. He then proceeds to exclaim “DAMN!” every couple of second while he examines the car about to be pimped, all the while encouraging it’s owner to refer to it as their “ride”, despite the fact that – if Minderhas taught me anything – the Brits call their car a “motor”.
When the “big dog” arrives at England’s answer to West Coast Autos, instead of the stilted Mad Mike and the crew, we find a bunch of oddballs including a chick called Pinky (because she’s…wait for it…got pink dye in her hair), a pasty fat bastard with earings and a manager with a some kind of metrosexual hairstyle. Flippin ‘eck! Not only that, but instead of Caddy’s and the like, they’re hotting-up Morris Minors!
When the painfully predictable conclusion is reached, Timmy attempts to recreate the “pimp pinch” move on the young girls top, with pathetic results, and proceeds to crack some seriously unfunny gags, leaving the viewer to scratching their head on some “why is this guy on TV”? The answer, of course, is because Dizzee Rascal was busy. It’s only a matter of time until that guy who was Mr. Bean is hosting Punk’d UK.
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