Most car shows on TV revolve around some kind of “race-against-time restoration” and the internet is overstocked with amateur mechanics dispensing DIY advice. George Karellas’ “Soup” series has a little bit of both, but with visual twist I really like.
Karellas presents himself as an everyman car guy with limited skills, workspace and tools. Like so many of us, he’s got a penchant for weird cars but hasn’t had the motivation to step up and start fixing the Range Rover, Lotus Esprit or VW van rotting on his lawn. The first minute or so of the first episode will get you up to speed.
Now I’m not sure if I agree with his “if I were just chipping away for an hour a week, I’d have a drivable car five years later” thesis but I can definitely relate to his taste in cars and his struggle to get self-motivated.
Karellas’ format leans more “entertainment” than “education” in that there are way too many minutes of him prattling on about whatever for you to easily use these videos as instructables for your own project. But there’s enough happening to keep the show interesting besides his melodious Irish(?) accent, like interviews with other enthusiasts and random musings about neat cars that he finds to film.
The production value of the Soup series is excellent and the featured vehicles are very much My Shit, but what really stands out in these episodes are the stop-motion clips focusing on the dismantling and repair of specific sections of cars.
I’ve never seen car repair documented in this way, and man, while it must take forever to film, it sure does look amazing. These shots are peppered throughout the Soup’s eight episodes to date and they’re really fun to watch. Karellas’ narration helps you understand what’s happening, which makes the clip engaging even if you’re not taking notes.
While Karellas is not the first person to use a stop-motion style to show a car being built or repaired, I think he is the first to seamlessly combine it with a voiceover and make it part of a narrative story like he does.
And hey, if there is a dilapidated old rust bucket in your life that’s been daring you to try and revive it, these videos will give you a good idea of the pain and labor you’ve got ahead of you. Top tip: fighting rusty bolts in real life is not nearly as magical as it seems in these stop-motion clips. Maybe that’s part of the reason watching Karellas work is so satisfying!