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How piss poor was Top Gear last night?


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Yep, bad show from start to finish. Someone has taken their eye off the ball - the show is such as success and so far off the Beeb's usual programming the bosses don't care any more so producers get away with what they once wouldn't have done.

 

Clarkson has usually been a prat, with the odd bit of insight and genuine wit, Hammond is there as the sidekick and amuse the (largely?) female audience with JM as the intelligence. But the scriptwriters and plot devisers were at fault with the India trip - they should have worked out a genuine trade link and proved HMG wrong, while proving to the world we're still capable of laughing at ourselves and acting the fool. I enjoyed seeing the Shadow and XJS look utterly British and quite lovely - the Mini was the perfect example of how Rover Group ruined it.

 

Clarkson should go now to save his own brand, Hammond could be kept on for continuity. James May could make a really decent programme given his head. Something like the TV equivalent of CAR in the late 80s.

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Hill Street Blues ...far more entertaining ... Mick Belker FTW 8)

 

Rrrring! "Belkerrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!... Oh hi Ma.... Sit DOWN hairball! No Ma, not you..." For me, always the star of the show. :lol:

 

Oh sorry, this is a thread about Top Gear? Fuck that, it's about as worth watching as cricket. Give me QI any day!

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7 large would have bought a fully expedition kitted Series 2a Land Rover.... That's about the best advert for Great Britain you can buy. It would have romped the whole thing, carried ALL of the food on the roofrack, taken all the wallahs inside, climbed the mountains, and driven back again. But that would have been a boring TV show. Why do something sensible when you can fuck about? After all, it was a "Christmas Special" to all intents and purposes... I watched it... laughed like a drain when the winch modified the Mini, and held my head in my hands a lot of the time. But whisky helped. Lighten up. It's called light entertainment. The alternative is X-Factor. Be careful what you wish for.

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I saw literally about 2 mins of it when Ma_Sterling wanted to watch something else. I've not really been interested in TG for a long time. I did look pretty predictable from adverts, 3 British Cars driven across some rough land and possibly destroyed at the end. Looks as if I didnt miss much then.

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I'll admit I do follow TG religiously, its one of the very few progs I will make an effort to see, (although I usually skim past the inevitable supercar being thrashed around the track) what makes the show is the banter and obvious chemistry between the 3 presenters; most spontaneously funny part for me was the Porsche design pipes.

however..I did feel let down by the Indian adventure. too scripted, and the same jokes replayed on a different continent. I don't know, it just felt thrown together in a hurry and it shows. Its still a million times better than top gear USA where they actually feel the need to explain to the audience the bits they should be laughing at.

I also am a big fan of Hill street blues- despite the continuity cock ups. i.e, Renko driving an early '80s impala/caprice in pursuit, then when he pulls over the suspect the car has changed into a late '70s Plymouth fury..or the fact that the whole patrol fleet has changed to chevvies by the mid '80s, and they are still using stock footage of mid '70s Dodge monacos pulling up outside the precinct.

wasn't Ferillo's missus bloody gorgeous!!

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I have been a fan of Top Gear since its re-launch back in 2001 / 02, but I was disapointed with the India special - too many rehashed 'jokes' & far to predictable, as has already been said. I think a repeat of the Vietnam / Bolivia special would have been better.

 

The new format of Top Gear was launched to be a mix of motoring & entertainment show, appealing to a wider audience than the old Top Gear, which catered for the more serious car enthusiast. When the series first aired 10 years or so ago, it was presented by Clarkson (off of old TG), Hammond (who was plucked from satalite channel obscurity, where he co presented a motoring show on Men & Motors (?) channel) & Jason Dawe (who went on to present Used Car Roadshow on ITV6 or summat) & black Stig.

Dawe was there to provide 'buying advice' to the audience, in an irregular piece called 'Insider Dealing' I think, & the teaam also reviwed new, ordinary cars of the time, very much like old TG (the very 1st episode featured Clarkson reviewing the then new Citroen Berlingo Mutispace & prasing it!)

Obviously the producers thought the chemistry between the presenters wasnt quite right & out went Dawe, to be replaced by James May. Then the silliness started to creep in, & over time the presenters have become caricatures of themselves - Clarkson plays the bufoon, Hammond is the 'ditsy blond' type & May is the 'old man / captain slow' personna.

The BBC make millions off of this format (now even 5th Gear have started to copy the TG format, where as 5th Gear was always more like TG of old) & friends of mine (both men & women) who are not remotely interested in cars will watch TG for the 'entertainment value. If you watch an early TG episode, just look at how few people are in the audience (almost all of them male), compared to the latest shows (more younger / pretty ladies in the audience now :lol: ).

 

I will continue to watch TG, its good Sunday night escapism TV before Monday morning hits, & although I will never own (or particularly want to own) a Ferrari or Lamborghini, but I dont mind watching one being driven round the track. Just remember that TG is now primarily an entertainment / money making franchise now, not the 'proper' beard, pipe & tweed jacket motoring show it was in the 1980's / 90's.

 

You do, after all, have the option of watching another channel / reading a book / other activity if TG isnt to your liking.

 

I dont mean to offend anyone, its just my two pence worth :)

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Top Gear insists on equal numbers of men and women for their studio audience. They say it's to stop it being full of men in anoraks but in reality I think they would end up with a "Loose Women" audience, especially as they don't allow under 18s- so that rules out their other main audience of teenage boys.

 

I wonder why everybody's slating this one in particular, it sounded identical to every other one.

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friends of mine (both men & women) who are not remotely interested in cars will watch TG for the 'entertainment value

 

This is true. My sister who is not really a car enthusiast and drives a mark 5 Fiesta diesel (enough said) watches it, although I think Jeremy Clarkson is starting to get to her now.

 

For some reason I find Richard Hammond the most annoying, I can't see what he does that makes him such a celebrity! I do like James May though, I think he would be very capable of fronting an (enthusiast) driven car programme (maybe a classic car show)!!

 

I don't think Top Gear for me has quite the balance right. I had fond memories of Chris Goffey in his flat cap test driving Austin Metro's although having seen some of the videos of Top Gear of the eighties it does suddenly seem rather dull in comparison, although interesting for the cars featured!

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Lighten up. It's called light entertainment. The alternative is X-Factor.

 

Or, as I said earlier, NOT watching TV and doing something else. Your argument suggests that Brits are all sofa bound morons*, and we aren't.

 

 

 

 

 

*Oh shit - perhaps we are a nation of fucking idiots who need to be entertained. Glued to a DFS sofa, txtng on iPhones, games console to hand, brain in neutral. All we need now is something to bring us food and clean up the shit and we can watch TV ALL DAY and never have to think about anything ever again.

 

Jayzus. :shock:

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Wheeler Dealers is the best car programme on the box imho. Ok Brewer can seem a bit twattish but I find him quite likeable once you get used to him and it's a programme you can actually learn from too.

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I watched it; found it sporadically amusing but nothing more. It wasn't as good as previous episodes.

 

Unfortunately modern television, across the spectrum, suffers from the concept of mass market economics. In the old days it was perfectly acceptable to make a programme that catered to a minority of the audience and existed wholly to serve them. They were the principles upon which the BBC was built, presumably according to Lord Reith. Remember the cheapo documentaries of thirty years ago? I wasn't even born back then but have seen the re-runs and they were interesting in the right context. I'd like one about industry or commerce but bored by ornithology. So I wouldn't bother with the bird watching. However I would recognise the fact that others may be interested in such a show so would accept its right to exist.

 

Moving forwards. We still make cheapo documentaries but dress them up as entertainment programming. The subject matter has become more generalised and there are potentially fewer themes under discussion but the concept has fundamentally altered. Masterchef would be a prime example. I have never seen it all the way through but understand it is supposed to be a serious examination of top end cooking. But it is not. It is a game show loosely involving food. This appeals to a wider audience, who like game shows but have never been to a Michelin starred establishment, but removes some of the core content. The same goes for the endless raft of identikit music, dancing and how to buy a house type programmes.

 

Thus Top Gear. Cars are a minority interest. Most people have them but they are simply used as tools. Currently they are not considered to be a trendy thing to be an expert on; certainly not in the eyes of the media. Everyone pertains to know something about cookery or music production; simply because television tells them they should. Cars; no. So there is no great variety in the type of programming covering this subject area. The only thing available, really, is Top Gear. I discount Fifth Gear because it's boring.

 

So in order to appeal to a mass market, rather than providing in depth analysis for a few, they turn it into a fairly generic entertainment magazine programme. Simple really.

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Public School cunt he is.

 

easy tiger, not all of us public school cunts are public school cunts :D

 

I do agree that Clarkson is cunt however and he carries the 'school bully' flag well with Hammond being his toad eating fag (for the benefit of those who didn't endure a public school education that's a junior who makes you toast, polishes your shoes and who you occasionally get to bugger ) rather than a cigarette or a homosexual in the american definition.

 

agree with you that May will be offsky soon - he's clearly getting fed up with the childish destruction especially as all his other telly is about fixing things and being a proper man with a shed, pipe and all that.

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Is there room for Angela Rippon and Noel Edmonds test driving the latest offering from Kia and telling us how many MPG it does? More to the point, will it sell? Will it generate prime advertising space for the Beebs commercial arm?

 

But the whole point of everyone paying the TV licence is that this shouldn't be a consideration. The BBC should be delivering public service broadcasting, not pandering to the lowest common denominator like some kind of modern day Live! TV...

 

 

aye tae that!

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I still love Top Gear. I like the three presenters, the supercars and the general poncing about with cars. I cannot for the life of me see what the problem is with 99% of episodes.

 

I work with cars, play with them in my spare time, collect the bloody things and more often than not still find TG great fun. Wheeler Dealers is shit of the highest order, Brewer is a clueless spiv cunt who I find 100000000000000 times more annoying than almost anyone on TV (the exception being Penny Mallory).

 

Driven was shit. 5th Gear is boring and that spanner who does "a car is born" shouldn't be on Telly. That's more scripted than pretty much anything out there. Old Woollard TG was good at the time but it would last 5 mins now - because it's shit.

 

TG will never win over petrolheads with the likes of the India disaster, but. I like pretty much everything else they do. Wish they'd kill more Marinas though.

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Don't like TG. Didn't watch it. Haven't for years. If it's your thing though, I'm happy for you to enjoy it.

 

I watched Hill Street Blues on 4oD instead, which is a far more entertaining series. Mick Belker FTW 8)

(and what Eddy said too)

 

Now THAT'S more like it - just off to work out where 4oD is amongst the hundreds of channels that lurk in my Virgin box :D:D:D . See you later.

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I'm probably not qualified to comment as we don't have a television but there was in one edition a rather fit German lass who would make a very suitable replacement should one of the presenters decide to leave. I believe she is an automotive journalist and appears in a German motoring program. My opinion of the program as a whole is that it was very good but has had it's day and is now rather stale.

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I didn't watch it and from the reviews here, I'm glad that I didn't. However I did watch the programme that followed it 'Three men go to New England' in which Griff Rhys-Jones, Dara O'Briain and Rory McGrath started off in Maine and had to find suitable historic boats to take part in a flotilla in New York to celebrate the 125th birthday of the Statue of Liberty. Similar idea, three middle-aged men go on a road (oops sorry, water :oops:) trip and do various things on the way. Only differences are that they were entertaining, met some interesting folk along the way, and had a genuine affection for the various craft that they got involved with, rather than using them as props for childish jokes. Mrs A and myself enjoyed it so much that I think that rather than bring back William Kiss-of death Woollard and his cronies, those three should take over Top Gear. Unlike the present lot, they are true professionals and I'm sure that they would get the balance just right between the car side and the entertainment side.

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Clarkson has proved he can do decent telly, especially if you have seen some of the serious documentaries he has done over the years. Hammond is only really suitable as a voice over idiot/BBC local radio presenter, & May, his Manlab/Toy progs have been entertaining, but his 'James & Oz' get pissed and row a lot shows, well....

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I'm probably not qualified to comment as we don't have a television but there was in one edition a rather fit German lass who would make a very suitable replacement should one of the presenters decide to leave. I believe she is an automotive journalist and appears in a German motoring program. My opinion of the program as a whole is that it was very good but has had it's day and is now rather stale.

 

sabine-schmitz-dmotor.jpg

 

top-gear-nuerburgring-van.jpg

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Don't like TG. Didn't watch it. Haven't for years. If it's your thing though, I'm happy for you to enjoy it.

 

I watched Hill Street Blues on 4oD instead, which is a far more entertaining series. Mick Belker FTW 8)

(and what Eddy said too)

 

Now THAT'S more like it - just off to work out where 4oD is amongst the hundreds of channels that lurk in my Virgin box :D:D:D . See you later.

 

I've been watching the series on my laptop, as I don't have a TV any more. So far, I've seen 36 consecutive episodes since Christmas Eve; only 110 more to go :lol:

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Dear Sir.

 

I cannot believe we've had so many mentions of fifth gear, but so far, no pictures of Vicki Butler-Henderson.

 

Please rectify this immediately,

 

Yours Sincerely

 

Mr Hugh Janobb

69 Pervert Street

Little Wanking

nr Brownwings

AB69 1FU

 

 

Editor reply:

 

Vicki_Butler-Henderson-75869.jpg

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The humour in TG is about repeating the same joke over and over again - it's the repetition rather than the joke itself which has become the point. So all the episodes follow the same format and use the same ploys for comedic effect. Some folk will appreciate and enjoy this, others will be mightily pissed off.

 

It matters not a jot where the episode takes place, nor what the underlying plot is meant to be - it's three blokes whose characters we recognise messing about in cars (or even not) in front of the camera. It's not really got anything to do with motoring as we know it.

 

For what it's worth, I thought the India edition was ok but not their best effort. It was predictable and formulaic but that was the entire point. It would have been improved by having had 30 minutes shaved off it though.

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