Friday , February 23 2024
Okay, I have an idea. Just hear me out.

A Tip Top Idea for Top Gear

I spent many hours last night watching car shows. Okay, maybe one car show and one movie. We'll be talking about the movie, Days of Thunder, in an upcoming review. Let's talk about the car show instead. Now, here's how this conversation usually goes:

"Gee Josh, what car show did you watch?"

"Actually, amazingly, shockingly, oddly, I watched Top Gear."

"You did? What did you think of the show?"

"I liked it, I really liked it. You may know that in the past I've called it 'quite possibly the best show on television.'"

"Huh, 'quite possibly the best show on television' you say? Really, why's that?"

"Well, you see, the show has this incredible way of mixing smart and stupid to create utterly hysterical, very informative programming. Beyond that, the style of the production is just so intriguing. Watch a car show on cable and you're likely to see a couple of burly men standing in front of some dirty junker that they're trying to make pretty once more. The guys will succeed in their task, and you'll be amazed, but it'll all be very static. That's not Top Gear."

"It's not? But surely I've heard you say that Top Gear airs on BBC America, that's definitely a cable network."

"Ah, you see, Top Gear is the exception that proves the rule. Top Gear manages to convey a love and knowledge about cars and is incredibly dynamic. The show doesn't just focus on old junkers, it also explores the supercharged and superfast. When the presenters go into the shop, they're far more likely to ruin a car than do anything worthwhile with it. Plus, did I mention it's smart and funny?"

"Yes. Yes, I believe you did."

Okay, that's how these conversations on Tuesdays usually go. But, not today. Oh, don't get me wrong, I'm still completely infatuated with the show, and if there was a Top Gear channel that aired Top Gear all the time I might never leave the couch (particularly if there were episodes I hadn't seen on). I'm just not going to talk about that.

Instead, I have an idea. An awful idea. I have a wonderful, awful idea (apologies to Dr. Seuss for that, but it's the right time of the year). Top Gear regularly puts stars into their "reasonably priced car." Forget stars. Put me into the car, let me run a lap on the track.

Before you turn away in shame and disgust, just hear me out. It doesn't actually have to be me in one of the reasonably priced cars. I mean, I would like it to be, but I'm actually very curious as to how the average Joe would do going around the Top Gear track. Sure, I want to see how David Tennant and Gordon Ramsay and Simon Cowell do; but I want to know about the average guy. This could be the average guy's chance to stick it to Simon or to get Gordon to hand over his chef's jacket. It could be fascinating. This season, the show is doing two stars every week; I think that next season maybe, just maybe, they should do a star and an average guy. And, who is more average than I?

See, think about it — they could totally do it. Run a contest on the website, select winners. I know that I probably wouldn't be eligible, what with me living on the wrong side of the pond (and never having driven on the left side of the road), but it would still be interesting to see. Wouldn't it?

About Josh Lasser

Josh has deftly segued from a life of being pre-med to film school to television production to writing about the media in general. And by 'deftly' he means with agonizing second thoughts and the formation of an ulcer.

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