Saturday , April 13 2024
Another Monday has come and gone, that means it's time to talk Top Gear!

Top Gear Still Tops With Me

What do you want me to tell you? What can I possibly say to you? I've waited four long months to be able to tell you this. Every Monday night I've sat down, turned on the TV, watched my favorite show , and hoped against hope that they would, again, quote me. Well, they did. I'm happy to be able to come to you this very morning and tell you that Top Gear again quoted me in one of their promos. Oh sure, they used the same quote as last time, but they used it in a completely new promo.

Now, at this point you're probably asking yourself why you care that Top Gear had blurbed me. Well, you're a good person and so you want me to be happy. That's at least one reason, isn't it? Aren't you a good person? Don't you care about the happiness of others? Well, I should hope so.

Is that the only reason you should care? Certainly not. You see, while I usually watch television with 100 percent of my body, soul, mind, and spirit, Top Gear I watch with 120 percent. I am more focused in on it, more attuned to what is taking place, I am more critical of it. You see, if I come to you and I say that "Top Gear is… quite possibly the best show on television," I want that to mean something and not just the blurb. If I say such a thing, I want to be right about it. I'm going to sit there and watch the show with all the intensity I can muster so that I can instantly, and I do mean instantly, come to you and take back my praise — and I will if I thought it was misplaced.

Happily, I don't have to do that with Top Gear. Before even seeing the promo for next week's episode (where the blurb in question appeared), I was exceedingly pleased with this week's. It featured Jeremy Clarkson driving from London to Oslo in a race against May and Hammond who flew and then took a ferry. It's crazy, it's a 1300 mile drive, but it's great fun to watch.

Clarkson did manage a short rest in his ridiculously expensive Mercedes McLaren, but that may have been the car's one failing – the driver's seat didn't seem like a great place to spend a few hours getting shuteye. The rest of the car did seem pretty spectacular though. It looked phenomenal, apparently can do 208 miles per hour, and has over a 20 gallon fuel tank. Okay, I'll never need any of those things, but it sure sounds like fun and that, as I've said to you before, is what Top Gear is all about.

After watching dozens of episodes, I've concluded that it's these "challenge" episodes that are really where the show is at its best. The producers convincing the guys to do dumb things with cars (drive across the desert in an old beater, determine the fastest way through London during rush hour, this London-Oslo drive, turning cars into boats in order to sail the English Channel) always leads to a great hour of television. What I'd really like to see, though, are the behind-the-scenes machinations – the producers pleading with the presenters (if that actually happens); Clarkson, Hammond, and May grumbling about the idiocy of the task; that sort of thing.

Who knows, maybe we'll get that in the future, but even if we don't, I'll keep tuning in. And, I hope that by now you believe me that you should too.

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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