You had me; you lost me: Regular Car Reviews

I don’t remember when I first saw RCR. I can’t remember whether it was the Miata (Track Day Bro) or the Corvette C4 (seauxoooo fahuunnnseaaaaa). I’m sure YouTube remembers, but I don’t want to dig through the metadata to find out and give Alphabet the satisfaction of letting me think their algorithms and tracking were helping Not Just Them.

Needless to say, as someone who has a Miata, and with a friend who was restoring a C4, I was hooked. Mr. Regular (nee. Brian) and Roman (nee. Nick) were perfect at not just describing what made a car wonderful, but the cultures around them too. They didn’t pull many punches on some of the things that made those cars and cultures suck as well. I followed and subscribed and joined the Reddit and bought merch and spent some money to have questions answered during the Youtube Live Streams… I considered joining the Patreon, I sent emails offering the Merkur up for review and was a bit to late as they had just finished a tour of the Southern US when I found his channel (and has only been back to get a Toyota Sera from ATL Imports and make fun of one of the car shows here).

Unfortunately, I was developing quite the classic Parasocial Relationship: I felt like the makers of RCR (especially Mr Regular) were becoming friends and I started to feel personally hurt when they offered up shitty reviews. And they started offering up a lot of shitty reviews, so many that it became a stereotype: If the car is a car that would have been loved/lauded if made between 1985 and 2003…. but made AFTER 2003… They’ll hate it. Oh and anything Mazda that isn’t a Miata.

Suddenly, thrifty and sensible appliance-cars are boring and nannying all the fun out of driving. They hate on the Kia Soul and the little-engined Mazda3. They would make a post bitching about the lack of flavor anything Nissan makes in the same channel they laud a well-kept Plymouth Horizon and an early 90’s Toyota Corolla.

Thus, RCR became something that used to cheer me up whenever I saw it, to something I had to be In a Good Mood to watch, and still sometimes had to steel myself incase it was a review that Mr. Regular made when he was grumpy because he drank too much and fucked up his bowels. And that’s not an over-reach on my part. The status of Mr Regular’s intestines is so prominent in his reviews that his bowels might as well be a third contributor to the show, which kinda sucks because it seems like Roman is probably the more solid writer of the two and The Really Shitty reviews seem like they are the times Roman took a break or otherwise couldn’t break Mr. R out of a funk.

I think the biggest reason I have grown afoul of Regular Car Reviews is that Mr. R reminds so much of myself, but a shittier version of myself I left behind a decade ago. He’s what I would be if I got more into my creative projects as a career and didn’t go as hard into Government/Tech, and it’s a weird juxtaposition because you’d think that my relative stability means I’d be the one to be more rant-ey and grumpy and less caring of what other people thought, but he’s the one that will skewer a car a lot of people like because the company that made it turned out a bad one his friend drove when he was in High School.

It’s not all bad, They started a secondary channel that doesn’t seem to be on a schedule or any sort of money. Therefore it drops all the pretention and excoriation and weirdness that I think most people have associated with RCR. It has more of the weird stuff that just happens to be going on in the creators life, and I haven’t had a “Ugh, that was a stinker and now I feel bad” reaction to any of those videos.

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