It struck me last night (and every other time I’ve watched the past few years), that I haven’t written about “Top Gear” lately. It is something that has perplexed me – the not writing about it, not the series itself (although I do have questions there).
Keep in mind that at one point I argued that the series was the best show on television. Sure, I’m an anglophile, but the combination of Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond is something wondrous, and when you combine that with great looking cars, stupid challenges, and general ridiculousness you have a recipe for brilliance.
So, if I still love “Top Gear,” and I do, why haven’t I had much to say on it?
I have come to the conclusion that my writing significantly more about it would, essentially, just be rehashing that which I’ve already written. The series hasn’t changed all that much in the past few years, so what else is there to say?
In fact, the answer is just that – the series hasn’t changed all that much in the past few years. Last night’s challenge actually overtly echoed one of the greatest challenges the show has ever done, a race through a major city by multiple means of transportation to determine which is the best.
The first time out, something like seven years ago, the guys did this race in London and last night it was St. Petersburg. They even used the same basic types of transportation: mass transit, car, boat, and bicycle. It was still fun and funny last night, but it certainly had the sense that it had all been done before.
As I said above, it was an overt echo. They talked about the London race in describing why they wanted to do the St. Petersburg one. They weren’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes, they were just going back to what had worked before.
The truth is that I enjoyed watching the episode immensely and laughed multiple times during it. I don’t for a single second believe that Clarkson had no idea how to drive the hovercraft, but watching him get it wrong was great.
I also liked Hammond driving the new Lamborghini in a different segment, and that piece, too, offered callbacks to old episodes. They actually inserted a montage of Hammond driving other Lamborghinis on earlier episodes. It worked. I remembered virtually all of those occurrences. Reliving them was great.
But, that’s why I don’t talk about “Top Gear” that much anymore. It is still there. I still watch. I still think they’re not as dumb as they act. I still greatly anticipate the show and think it’s one of the best hour to 90 minutes you can spend each week. I also think it’s probably worth talking about more than I do, yet as the show itself is rehashing old stories, I would find myself rehashing old posts to write about it more.
So, there you have it. I highly recommend “Top Gear.” I love it and hope that one day I will have the opportunity to sit down and talk cars, TV, and life with the three men. Writing about it weekly, however, I don’t see happening in the near future.
Photo Credit: © BBC Worldwide 2014