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Top Gear then, right from the very off, let me make it hugely clear, I’m a big fan. Honestly. So before I go off ranting I just want to clear that up. I have nearly all of Clarksons books, (and quite a few of the others) – and apart from trying to stand in the crowd on the show (looks at Sharky) – I religiously tune in.
My biggest ranting point however, is this new “six show” format they have. It’s winding me up, Surely they didn’t always just do six shows a series and then have a massive twenty week break before coming back?
I know that the production values have obviously gone through the roof (I can’t imagine flying to Japan, filming a couple of cars, then jumping into spitfires and flying to Germany can be cheap) – but come on. Six shows?
I think because it’s so obviously gone big budget, they now feel that each part of the show has to be either, Dramatic, Comedy, or one of those races / car comparisons. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not a stick in the mud where they have to review “normal” cars, (I absolutely hate that argument – I’m seriously not interested in watching a Lexus being driven around a track).
But the one thing they really need to start looking at is the following predictability.
Clarkson will always win, be the last doing anything important and will always get the final word. Fair do’s, it’s his show, but it makes the other two presenters come across as a bit weaker than they did years ago, (where there was a real sense of being on an even keel)
James May will always be in the slow car, fair enough, but Richard Hammond will ALWAYS crash into him pretending that his “brakes have failed” – yes, it was funny the first time in the classic super cars but since then, it’s like brake failure happens in every single car ever made, it’s not funny now. We now expect it whenever they park up.
The set-up jokes are wearing off. I know they have to be set up because that’s what entertainment is, but a few “none-jokes” wouldn’t go amiss either. I mean, I have cobbles near me, and not once has my door fallen off. (And seriously, I’ve driven across them in some cars where I expected it).
Last nights final episode they took on the Germans, surprise surprise, they won in the final race. Yes, it makes for interesting television, but we really wouldn’t have minded if you hadn’t.
I think the biggest sign that the format has changed is that my girlfriend has stopped watching it as keenly as she did. (Which is a pity because it was pretty much the only thing we could agree to watch that didn’t end in “street” or “ers”)
My biggest worry however, is that I don’t know what to suggest to make things better.. Perhaps apart from dropping the six show format and going for, I dunno, Eight? And spacing out the obviously set up jokes a bit more? (That being said, the trips across Africa, the North Pole and America are certainly the funniest ones ever – and I think that’s because it was genuinely funny, as in, not set up.)
Oh and another thing: If Simon Cowell is reading this, I think Jay Kay cheated to get to the number one spot. Since when have they been allowed 9 laps and then the fastest time picked from it? That’s bollocks, isn’t it supposed to be, 8 Practice laps and then a final hot lap? I only mention this because every time they start their fast lap, people in the past have said stuff like “come on, this is it” and “here we go”.
Here’s a WikiPedia article to reinforce my shit.