sccutler
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Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 2:53 am

I submit, the answer must be, "Yes." Nothing else comes remotely close.
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ArmitageShanks
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:20 am

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"
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 3:41 am

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

-DiamondFlyer
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travelavnut
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:58 am

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!
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GrahamHill
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 10:40 am

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
 
sw733
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 1:02 pm

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.
 
AF340
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:01 pm

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.
 
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Dreadnought
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:10 pm

They have their highs and lows, but when they are on their highs they are unbeatable. The Botswana and Boliva episodes were particularly good.
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lewis
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:12 pm

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.
 
desertjets
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:39 pm

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.
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sw733
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:42 pm

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%.
 
kaitak
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:43 pm

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!
 
sw733
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 5:46 pm

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.
 
ba6590
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:28 pm

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.
 
exFATboy
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:36 pm

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".
 
GDB
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 6:46 pm

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.
 
mham001
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:52 pm

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.
 
noelg
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:54 pm

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).
 
richm
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:06 pm

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]
 
AeroWesty
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:06 pm

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.
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mham001
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Tue Mar 22, 2011 9:10 pm

Torrents give you full episodes.
 
MD-90
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:32 am

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?
 
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cpd
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Wed Mar 23, 2011 1:43 am

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.
 
Springbok747
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Wed Mar 23, 2011 2:03 am

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'.
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zalemam
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:07 am

Its the best only after The Office.

I watch all the old episodes on netflix  
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Kent350787
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Wed Mar 23, 2011 3:15 am

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 of Qi, which I find more regularly funny, so I switch over.

As for the Botswana episode, Oliver the Opel was been spun off into Hammond's "Blast Lab" kids game show....
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:25 pm

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

Can we assume that you aren't a resident of Alabama ?
 
MD-90
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Wed Mar 23, 2011 5:39 pm

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 26):
Can we assume that you aren't a resident of Alabama ?

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. I have a hard time believing anyone would play right into Clarkson's hands like that.
 
Bongodog1964
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:03 am

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 27):
Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 26):
Can we assume that you aren't a resident of Alabama ?

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. I have a hard time believing anyone would play right into Clarkson's hands like that.

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 operators of an Alabama gas statio have been provoked into extreme reactions in the past.
 
MD-90
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:47 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 28):
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 operators of an Alabama gas statio have been provoked into extreme reactions in the past.

That I can certainly believe. I'd like to know what sort of inflammatory comments were made off camera.
 
RussianJet
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Thu Mar 24, 2011 4:35 pm

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 sheer diversity and quantity of quality TV (and an even more immense amount of unwatchable tripe) which now exists, it is simply not possible to define any one programme as the 'world's finest'. People's tastes and opinions vary far too much to allow superlatives like these to be dished out in such cavalier and arbitrary style. Of course one is entitled to form and hold such an opinion as to consider Top Gear to be the finest TV Show in the world, but any answer to whether it can truly be described as such will only ever remain as opinion rather than fact. Such is the way of things.

Do I think it's a good show? Absolutely, in fact it's excellent. However, in my view it couldn't be the best, as it's not even my personal favourite.
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kingairta
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:02 pm

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 this past season were all an hour and a half with commercials.

Best show ever? For me it is. And as far as I'm concerned that's all that matters  

My favorite big challenges were the Bolivia, Vietnam, the amphib where they crossed the english channel and the toyota Hilux.
 
DiamondFlyer
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:15 pm

Quoting Springbok747 (Reply 23):
The best reality TV I have seen so far has to be 'Flying Wild Alaska'.

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 watch. Couple that with the fact that the girl on the show has been on Wipeout, and well, you can tell what audience they were trying to get with the show. Too much made up drama to be close to the real world to me.

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sw733
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Thu Mar 24, 2011 6:23 pm

Quoting DiamondFlyer (Reply 32):
Too much made up drama to be close to the real world to me.

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 - the planes, and the scenery. I pretty much watch it on mute and have other stuff going on because the "storyline" gets a bit ridiculous at times. I normally appreciate the Discovery Channel's ability to make a show without it becoming too reality-esque, but they failed here (rather, they changed their direction here...I'm sure it was on purpose). That being said, the scenery is often beautiful, so I still watch it pretty often.
 
mham001
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:29 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 27):
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. I have a hard time believing anyone would play right into Clarkson's hands like that.

I don't think they looked particularly good in that episode, in fact, they looked seriously scared. Just not a smart thing to do.
 
kingairta
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Thu Mar 24, 2011 7:43 pm

Quoting mham001 (Reply 34):
Quoting MD-90 (Reply 27):
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. I have a hard time believing anyone would play right into Clarkson's hands like that.

I don't think they looked particularly good in that episode, in fact, they looked seriously scared. Just not a smart thing to do.

People do stupid stuff when a camera is present.
 
srbmod
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Thu Mar 24, 2011 8:57 pm

The brilliance of Top Gear can be summed up this way:

Jeremy Clarkson and a Reliant Robin......

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQh56geU0X8
 
johnboy
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:07 am

Nearly unwatchable.
I'm always reminded of the old joke about men driving fast cars to compensate for their other "inadequacies.".  
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 1:14 am

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 27):
and no I don't understand how they managed to provoke such a filmable reaction at that stupid gas station.

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.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
ltbewr
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:16 am

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 Speed Channel, Spike Channel and a few others, but not like Top Gear UK in terms as to real entertainment. Last Fall, we even had a trial run of a USA licensed version, but it was not as good as the UK original as they copied too many of the same features and the hosts were a bit bland. As to the TG-UK, I do like their travels overall, but for the southern USA one. I also don't like their targeting Austin-Morris cars in their destructive stunts, I know some UK online friends of such cars who are deeply offended by their bashing such vehicles.
 
sccutler
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:44 am

Quoting Bongodog1964 (Reply 26):
Quoting sccutler (Thread starter):
I submit, the answer must be, "Yes." Nothing else comes remotely close.

Can we assume that you aren't a resident of Alabama ?

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-painting cars with provocative comments and being threatened by gap-toothed locals, I think it most likely these were organized and, if not scripted, at least done in a mock-serious manner. My experience with the deep south is that I generally encounter folks with a higher threshold for irritation than northerners, and further, I have seen profoundly worse examples of overtly racist behavior in "enlightened" places in the northeast and far west. Stereotypes don't fly so well with me.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:37 am

Quoting ltbewr (Reply 39):
Last Fall, we even had a trial run of a USA licensed version, but it was not as good as the UK original as they copied too many of the same features and the hosts were a bit bland.

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 happens to feature cars every now and then. For purists thats not such a good thing, but for us normal people its great and hilarious. What TG America needed was 1-2 funny guys plus someone who races. Actually to think about it probably the closest person in America whilst still being distinctly American to Jeremy would probably be Jay Leno.
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DiamondFlyer
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RE: Top Gear TV: World's Finest TV Show?

Wed Mar 30, 2011 1:46 am

Quoting Zkpilot (Reply 41):
Actually to think about it probably the closest person in America whilst still being distinctly American to Jeremy would probably be Jay Leno.

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 somebody else in. I've got no problems with Rutledge Wood or Tanner Foust, and think that those two were doing well together by the end of the season.

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