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Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?  
User currently offlinesccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5615 posts, RR: 28
Posted (3 years 9 months 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 2354 times:

I submit, the answer must be, "Yes." Nothing else comes remotely close.


...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
42 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineArmitageShanks From UK - England, joined Dec 2003, 3645 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (3 years 9 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2331 times:

Quoting sccutler (Thread starter):
I submit, the answer must be, "Yes." Nothing else comes remotely close.

Seeing its in English and a rather niche show I'm going to have to go with "No"


User currently offlineDiamondFlyer From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1630 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (3 years 9 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 2320 times:

As much as I love watching the show, it's far from the best TV show in the world.

-DiamondFlyer


User currently offlinetravelavnut From Netherlands, joined May 2010, 1667 posts, RR: 7
Reply 3, posted (3 years 9 months 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 2235 times:

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 2):
's far from the best TV show in the world.

For me personally it is. It is in fact the only remaining TV show I stay home for or actually plan on seeing. Everything else, bar maybe the news, is downloaded and viewed when I want. But sunday night, BBC 2, is Top Gear night for Travelavnut. 

Of course there are documentaries and movies that I rate higher in education of popular interest/science and comedians (George Carlin, Eddy Izzard) that I rate higher in the laughs department. But when it comes to Sunday-Night-I-sit-on-my-ass-with-some-chips-and-a-beer-entertainment nothing comes close!



Live From Amsterdam!
User currently offlineGrahamHill From France, joined Mar 2007, 2869 posts, RR: 2
Reply 4, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 2201 times:

I don't know if it is the best TV show in the world, but I really like it! It is funny and talks about fast cars. Definitely in my Top 5 favourite TV shows  


"A learned fool is more foolish than an ignorant one" - Moliere
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6371 posts, RR: 9
Reply 5, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 2159 times:

I love the show, but I simply do not love all of the episodes. There are only so many Ferrari/Porsche/Lambo tests I can see, and every week is a bit much. They all start to mesh together at some point. Any car show can do that...what I love are the challenges (both cheap car or otherwise (lorries, turning cars into boats, etc.)) and road tests of cheaper cars - i.e. Clarkson's test of the (Ford?) as a Royal Marine landing craft. Things like that separate Top Gear from the pack. I set my DVR to record it every week, but I rarely watch it at its scheduled time. I would much rather be able to fast forward through the stuff I deem boring to get to the more interesting stuff.

User currently offlineAF340 From Canada, joined Jul 2007, 2786 posts, RR: 4
Reply 6, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2084 times:

Beyond watching some things on Channel Four on Demand (4oD), Top Gear is the only program I watch on the BBC iPlayer. It likely is my favourite program to watch, but it can get a bit repetitive especially if the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is someone not-particularly entertaining.

The challenges are absolutely hilarious to watch as are the specials (like the most recent one to Albania).

Jaezzer, Hammond, and Capt. Slow make a great team -- one that is likely unbeatable in current TV, all things considered.


User currently offlineDreadnought From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 8960 posts, RR: 24
Reply 7, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2079 times:

They have their highs and lows, but when they are on their highs they are unbeatable. The Botswana and Boliva episodes were particularly good.


Veni Vidi Castratavi Illegitimos
User currently offlinelewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3678 posts, RR: 5
Reply 8, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2078 times:

It is probably the world's finest car show. The direction, photography, jokes and crazy special episode ideas are hard to beat. Definitely not the finest show in general though.

User currently offlineDesertJets From United States of America, joined Feb 2000, 7811 posts, RR: 16
Reply 9, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2065 times:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 6):
There are only so many Ferrari/Porsche/Lambo tests I can see, and every week is a bit much.

That annoys me a bit, at the end of the day I could really care less about the latest Zonda or how fast the newest version of some Ferrari makes it around the track.


I too find the challenges they do to be the most interesting, but even then some of them come off as rather contrived and often stacked such that a given ending has to happen. I am mostly thinking of the Jeremy drives some stupid fast supercar and Hammond and James take some other form of transport. Of course Jeremy always wins. The Nissan GT-R vs. the bullet train one wasn't so bad, but it was still set up such that Hammond and Mays needed to switch modes of transport so often that Jeremy was going to win. The one where the car didn't win, that I can recall, was Hammond and Mays in the Panamera vs. the Royal Mail going from one end of Britain to the other. The mail won.

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 8):
Boliva episodes were particularly good.

Bolivia was probably my favorite, particularly watching them all suffer from altitude sickness.



I still find Jeremy Clarkson to be pretty insufferable.



Stop drop and roll will not save you in hell. --- seen on a church marque in rural Virginia
User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6371 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2058 times:

Quoting AF340 (Reply 7):
especially if the Star in a Reasonably Priced Car is someone not-particularly entertaining.

I always skip that part...just does not interest me. If I want to see an interview, I'll watch a late night show.

Quoting AF340 (Reply 7):

Jaezzer, Hammond, and Capt. Slow make a great team -- one that is likely unbeatable in current TV, all things considered.

Agreed, 110%.


User currently offlinekaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12594 posts, RR: 34
Reply 11, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2058 times:

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 10):
Bolivia was probably my favorite, particularly watching them all suffer from altitude sickness.

I thought that was certainly the best challenge; I really enjoyed it, but I enjoyed Vietnam and the drive across the M/E as well.

It is certainly among the best entertainment shows on television, no doubt about it.

It must make a mint for the BBC!


User currently offlinesw733 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 6371 posts, RR: 9
Reply 12, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 2055 times:

Quoting kaitak (Reply 12):
I enjoyed Vietnam

My absolute favorite

Quoting kaitak (Reply 12):
the M/E as well.

I was slightly disappointed by this one. I don't know...I guess I just expected more. I enjoyed it, but...maybe it was overhyped in my mind?

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 8):
Botswana

I absolutely loved this one, probably my second favorite after Vietnam...though I am biased towards southern Africa! Heck, they ended at the Namibia border...just wish they'd have crossed it.


User currently offlineBA6590 From UK - England, joined Jul 2007, 132 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2032 times:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 11):
I always skip that part...just does not interest me. If I want to see an interview, I'll watch a late night show.

I do the same, I guess they have the odd interesting guest but for the most part I just skip it.

Quoting kaitak (Reply 12):
I thought that was certainly the best challenge; I really enjoyed it, but I enjoyed Vietnam and the drive across the M/E as well.

I think the polar special was up there as well with the great specials. You have to give them some credit for the acheivement, pretty impressive for a bunch of tv presenters.



"Never forget, the higher we soar, the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly" - Nietzsche -
User currently offlineexFATboy From United States of America, joined Jul 2003, 2974 posts, RR: 9
Reply 14, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2028 times:

I love TG immensely, and wear my "I Am The Stig" t-shirt (bought before they sold them through the BBC America site and you had to order them from the UK) with pride. But "World's Finest TV Show"? It's hard to rank shows across different genres, especially with shows where the story is told across seasons and you're invested in finding out how it ends and what happens to the characters.

In my Top 10? Definitely. In my Top 5, sure, especially since my three "Previously' series all ended across the last few years. (That's my term for shows that start with "Previously on...", in my case the three were Lost, 24, and Battlestar Galactica.) But top? I'm not sure.

Quoting sw733 (Reply 6):
There are only so many Ferrari/Porsche/Lambo tests I can see, and every week is a bit much. They all start to mesh together at some point.

This is my biggest complaint about TG - sure, supercars are sexy, and I'm surely not looking for a "consumer review" sort of thing (especially since many of the more reasonably priced cars on TG aren't sold here in the US), but there's a limit. Now a supercar drive that isn't on the track, but also shows some great scenery, a quest for the perfect driving road, that sort of thing, those I enjoy.

Quoting DesertJets (Reply 10):
The Nissan GT-R vs. the bullet train one wasn't so bad, but it was still set up such that Hammond and Mays needed to switch modes of transport so often that Jeremy was going to win.

Yes, some of the races are a little contrived, but they're generally constructed to be at least somewhat competitive, although the deck is stacked a little in favor of the car - c'mon, it's a car show!

In the case of Japan, sure, you could have had the race start at the Hakui trajn station and end right next to the bullet train station in Yokohama right in the middle of the evening commute...and sure, the train would have won easily. Instead, Hammond and May had to make transfers, while Clarkson had to go through the middle of Tokyo (which, as it turns out, wasn't that bad) and deal with a sat-nav system that didn't speak English.

And don't forget the London race (car vs. bicycle vs. boat vs. public transportation), where the car cane in dead last.

The fact that most of the races are relatively close shows that the producers do make at least some effort to make them fair, if for no other reason than a blowout would make for boring TV.

Quoting ArmitageShanks (Reply 1):
Seeing its in English and a rather niche show I'm going to have to go with "No"

If you want to be the world's most popular show, being in English is a actually a major advantage - while Standard Chniese ("Mandarin") may have more native speakers (and Hindi-Urdu and Spanish are roughly equal to English, give or take a million or two), when you factor in second or third language-speakers English is probably the most common language on Earth, with estimates of total users ranging anywhere from 1 to 1.8 billion, depending on level of fluency (and literacy) required to define a "speaker".

Now as for the "niche" part, that I can't really dispute, although the show's appeal goes beyond car enthusiasts. From 60 Minutes:

"We asked the executive producer, Andy Wilman, to try and define the show's appeal. "It's a journey into the male mind, which, I believe, is a really, potentially, very funny place. 'Cause, let's face it, nothing happens there".


User currently offlineGDB From United Kingdom, joined May 2001, 13253 posts, RR: 77
Reply 15, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2025 times:

Quoting Dreadnought (Reply 8):
They have their highs and lows, but when they are on their highs they are unbeatable. The Botswana and Boliva episodes were particularly good.

Agreed, though my personal favourite was the Vietnam Special.
Probably since I have no great interest in cars as such, that one didn't even feature any!

To me, it's a comedy, which is how the show has evolved.
They are the modern day Three Stooges, or 'Laurel and Hardy +1'.

They play exaggerated versions of themselves, Clarkson in particular, those who get offended by him should really remember you are not meant to take it seriously.
I mean, the sheer level of innuendo for a start.

Best show ever? No.
Best total piss take of factual shows with absurd characters? Absolutely.


User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3723 posts, RR: 3
Reply 16, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1992 times:

Quoting sw733 (Reply 11):
I always skip that part...just does not interest me. If I want to see an interview, I'll watch a late night show.

I usually skip them too but every once in awhile, the interviews can be entertaining. Last season's visit by the mayor of London and previous season with Cameron Diaz/Tom Cruise were good.

Best ever? I don't think so, for one thing, the seasons are too short.


User currently offlinenoelg From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 1991 times:

I used to love Top Gear but these days it's all racing Ferraris around circuits, really couldn't care less about them. The challenges are very good, but they've hardly done any recently (although the Iraq one at Christmas was good).

User currently offlinerichm From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 803 posts, RR: 7
Reply 18, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1986 times:

I enjoy the show greatly and always look forward to watching it on a Sunday night. That said though, I do think that the consistency of quality is somewhat varied. For me, I find their expeditions to be much more entertaining compared to shows predominately filmed in the studio.

Like many though, I would like to see them showcasing more "normal" cars as opposed to super cars. I'm not too interested in seeing how long it takes one car or driver to drive around a track but that's just me.

[Edited 2011-03-22 14:07:39]

User currently offlineAeroWesty From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 20822 posts, RR: 62
Reply 19, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1986 times:

Love the show, but hate the chopping BBCAmerica does to it. The difference vs. the full version is amazing—whole segments go missing at times, and the films get portions snipped here and there. To really enjoy it, I have to watch the free On Demand version my cable co. provides. I wonder if the presenters have any say in what gets chopped in their films.


International Homo of Mystery
User currently offlinemham001 From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 3723 posts, RR: 3
Reply 20, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 1982 times:

Torrents give you full episodes.

User currently offlineMD-90 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 8508 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1913 times:

According to this Guardian article it's the most illegally downloaded show in the world.

How many other shows can claim 350 million global viewers?


User currently offlinecpd From Australia, joined Jun 2008, 4881 posts, RR: 37
Reply 22, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 1908 times:

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 21):
How many other shows can claim 350 million global viewers?

I can think of one that does over 500 million annually.

Top Gear is pretty boring now - it's the same old thing over and over. If only they'd change it up a bit.


User currently offlineSpringbok747 From Australia, joined Nov 2004, 4387 posts, RR: 10
Reply 23, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 1900 times:

Its a great show, but I wouldn't say it is the best show I have seen. Its in my top 5 certainly. The best reality TV I have seen so far has to be 'Flying Wild Alaska'.


אני תומך בישראל
User currently offlinezalemam From United States of America, joined Sep 2007, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (3 years 9 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 1882 times:

Its the best only after The Office.

I watch all the old episodes on netflix  



Patience is Virtue
25 Kent350787 : I don't like it enough to download it, but it is great fun. That said, the last 30 mins of it on free to air here in Oz clashes with ancient repeats o
26 Bongodog1964 : Can we assume that you aren't a resident of Alabama ?
27 MD-90 : I am a resident of Alabama, love the show, and no I don't understand how they managed to provoke such a filmable reaction at that stupid gas station.
28 Bongodog1964 : Jeremy Clarkson has a knack of knowing just how to winf people up in order to create publicity, supposedly far more media savvy people than the opera
29 MD-90 : That I can certainly believe. I'd like to know what sort of inflammatory comments were made off camera.
30 RussianJet : Certainly not the best show ever. In fact, I would suggest that owing to the development explosion TV has undergone over the last few decades, and the
31 Post contains images KingairTA : BBC America is now upto date with BBC2. And they air the entire episode. No more editing to get under 60 minutes with comercials. The episodes from th
32 DiamondFlyer : Really? I mean, really man? That show is awful. Its so hyped up on the "ooh, they might crash because of the clouds" routine, that its almost sick to
33 sw733 : I watch the show (well, I DVR the show and watch it leisurely with the ability to fast forward) on a weekly basis, but I watch it for two reasons - t
34 mham001 : I don't think they looked particularly good in that episode, in fact, they looked seriously scared. Just not a smart thing to do.
35 KingairTA : People do stupid stuff when a camera is present.
36 Post contains links srbmod : The brilliance of Top Gear can be summed up this way: Jeremy Clarkson and a Reliant Robin...... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQh56geU0X8
37 Post contains images johnboy : Nearly unwatchable. I'm always reminded of the old joke about men driving fast cars to compensate for their other "inadequacies.".
38 JBirdAV8r : I thought it was at least fairly obvious it, like most of their run-ins with the law and locals, was completely staged. Maybe I'm wrong.
39 ltbewr : Finest, no - popular is probably more accurate. Entertaining to most men who like cars, yes. There are some other car shows in the USA, mainly on the
40 sccutler : I am not, although I have found Alabama to be a warm and inviting place, and have enjoyed every visit there. As for the whole business of spray-paint
41 Zkpilot : a bit bland? thats being generous! The thing people often forget is that TG is no longer just a car show... it is actually a comedy talk show that ha
42 DiamondFlyer : God no. IMO, Jay Leno would have actually managed to make the show worse. I think they would be ok if they get rid of Adam Ferrara and brought somebo
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