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Ken Block's Gymkhana Amazon Show Is About the Danger in Going Viral as a Business

Image: Amazon Prime Video/YouTube (screengrab)
Image: Amazon Prime Video/YouTube (screengrab)

Gymkhana—those ridiculously entertaining videos featuring rally driver Ken Block doing insane stunts in absurd driftmobiles—is now a new Amazon Prime video series called “The Gymkhana Files.” And my god does it look promising.

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The show, whose new teaser you can see below, is meant to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of Gymkhana 10, which Amazon is hyping up big time, claiming it will be Block’s best video yet. And that’s saying something, because previous Gymkhanas have been watched over half a billion times according to Amazon.

Apparently, for this upcoming video, Block and his team traveled to five locations with five different race cars—one of which is a totally custom vehicle that the public hasn’t seen yet. The whole job apparently took the team a year to complete.

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Amazon Studios gives a little synopsis of what this new video series will be, writing in a press release:

The series follows Block and his team of Hoonigans as they attempt to create the greatest automotive video of all time, GymkhanaTEN, while simultaneously dealing with the dramatic ups and downs of racing in the World Rallycross Championship.

The first two episodes premier on Friday November 16th, with two episodes coming out each Friday after that until the eighth and final episode—and GymkhanaTEN itself—drops on Dec. 7.

That can’t come soon enough. Because I can’t wait to learn more about how this man pulls off the seemingly-impossible time and time again.

Sr. Technical Editor, Jalopnik. Always interested in hearing from auto engineers—email me. Cars: Willys CJ-2A ('48), Jeep J10 ('85), Jeep Cherokee ('79, '91, '92, '00), Jeep Grand Cherokee 5spd ('94).

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DISCUSSION

eddiebrannan
Eddie Brannan

I’m a bit at a loss to know what you think is “seemingly impossible” about the Gymkhana videos. Block is a capable stunt driver and has a lot of funding behind him to build or buy optimal vehicles and secure dramatic locations and shoot it all with decent production values.

Stretching the BTS footage into a TV series just seems like it’s going to be interminable reality-show unreality featuring those annoying Hoonigan dudes.

My prediction: intrusive editing, irksome music, fake deadlines and crises, staged blow-ups and fake panty-bunches, and the actual Gymkhana footage milked to death.