Life is Messy
Should I Stay or Should I Go
Netflix’s automobile reality series returns for a third season and 6 more episodes of car restoration and money woes. With a familiar format we’ve seen before and plenty of banter between the crew, Rust Valley Restorers wastes little time getting right to the heart of the drama. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that in Canada this third season is essentially the second half of Season 2. Those expressing issues with the continuing drama and various woes inside the workshop will undoubtedly remain turned off from this but fans should be in their element.
Picking up where the previous season left off, Mike, Avery and the rest of the gang return to the Rust Valley junkyard with a more optimistic outlook and hoping to move the business into the green. That’s easier said than done of course, as Mike slips into old habits and buys back a car that he originally sold last season, much to Avery’s dismay. These pockets of drama continue to crop up throughout the season and they’re interwoven around a much broader outlook this time around.
In episode 4 a demolition derby takes centre stage which serves as a nice distraction but Mike’s dwindling cash-flow continues to be the main source of drama here. This progresses through to the final episode, which serves as one last hoorah before the restoration season ends.
When the attention turns to the restoration projects though, Rust Valley Restorers really shines. We begin with a project to fix up a 1969 Road Runner but this soon progresses to include a 1965 GMC Handi-Van and a 1961 Sunbeam Alpine, to name but a few.
The stories for the various clients are generally interesting and Mike’s continuing battles around doing the best project possible while maintaining a profitable business serves up an interesting dilemma that encapsulates the show.
Stylistically, the series maintains a lot of the same ticks we’ve seen before. There’s lots of fly-on-the-wall footage, banter inside the truck as Mike and Avery drive around the rust valley labyrinth, and cutaway face to face interviews. All of this combines with the continuing inclusion of neat magazine-esque cutaways that inform about the history of different cars. All of this is, of course, familiar to anyone who was a fan of the previous two seasons and by now most people should be accustomed to the style if they’ve made it this far.
Rust Valley Restorers doesn’t reinvent the wheel or do anything particularly different this year – with the exception of that aforementioned Demolition Derby – but automobile fans should be in their element with this one.
Verdict - 7/10