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Great boys telly !

Can go over the top

Recommendable Yes:

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So, Clarkson and the boys have been up to no good again, this time accusing the Mexicans of being "lazy, feckless, flatulent and overweight", then referring to their food dishes as being like "refried sick". Whereas I can fully agree that Mexican food is indeed awful, stuff that should be cold often hot and stuff that should be hot often served cold, I think the lazy stereotype is unfair. The only people who do physical graft on the west coast of America are illegal Mexicans. Clarkson, of course, knowing the Daily Mail readers who ousted Jonathan Ross for similar banter are after him, deliciously invited Jonathan Ross on to the following show (with Mexican wrestling mask) to do the reasonably priced car lap, the apologies expected not forthcoming. Things didn't improve for Clarkson's lawyers in the same episode, opening up with a segment on Albania, where the boys were road testing a new Rolls Royce, insinuating that the country is full of stolen cars, gangsters and corrupt cops, simulating the bundling a fat Albanian mobster into the boot of a Zastava. Where as the Mexicans are some of the hardest working people in the world and so unfairly picked on by comedians it's all true about the Albanians, Tirana the mob capital of Eastern Europe and an incredible one-in-three of all stolen cars in the European Union ending up there. On the same show it was pointed out that one of David Beckhams cars also car turned up out there and that the Albanian foreign minister who signed an accord with Greece to try and cut down on the amount of cross-border criminality turned out to be driving a stolen Mercedes! Not surprisingly there have been no complaints from the Albanian consulate to Top Gear as yet. They either got the joke or enjoyed the fun publicity or the BBC gave them a suitcase full of money to avoid the boys being nudged off the side of a cliff road when they were least expecting it, Italian Job style!

The Top gear boys have form on portraying certain Eastern European countries as theivedoms, Romania getting both stereotype barrels back in 2010, which, of course, was very funny. The funniest things are often the taboo subjects, the stuff we are not supposed to laugh at, why The Office and Top Gear were and are such huge hits around the world. When Ricky Gervais slipped his beautifully nuanced cringe comedy out it was if someone important in the telly high court suddenly said we could snigger at certain stereotypes behind our hand once again and it felt good, laughing the greatest therapy of all, Top Gear deciding we don't have to put our hands in front of our mouths anymore. But the Daily Mail nimbi's are getting organized and the end is near for Top Gear on the BBC, 5000 complaints alone for the recent skit in America where the boys perform a spoof drive-by killing of the Stig after the stunt driver turned traitor with his book. It is unclear if the complainers were from the same gangland community that 95% of victims are in and as yet I can't recall fat middle-class and aged white folk shooting up likewise Americans with an Uzi to date. 6000 more Daily Mail readers complained about their Christmas episode mocking Muslims. Yes, you heard right, Daily Mail readers sticking up for Muslims! All these people that hate the nanny state are helping to create it.

-Some controversial moments-
(Verbatim wikkipedia)

July 2006 - Clarkson had agreed with a member of the audience that a Daihatsu Copen was "a bit gay". He also described the vehicle as "ginger beer", taken to be rhyming slang for the term "queer".

He suggested turn signals that displayed Hitler salutes, "a sat-nav that only goes to Poland" (in reference to the Nazi invasion of Poland), and an "ein fanbelt that will last a thousand years", a reference to Adolph Hitler's propaganda slogan of "the thousand-year Reich".

The BBC apologized to a number of Top Gear viewers following comments made during the first episode of series nine. Clarkson asked Hammond following his horrific 230mph crash, "Are you now a mental?", which was followed by May offering Hammond a tissue "in case he dribbled".

This, of course, is standard British male banter in the work places and pubs across the land. That is why the show recently topped the all-time top 100 poll for most liked TV shows. They have managed to stay laddish as everyone else has been dumbed down to idiot One Show levels and so grown their audience share. Failing comic Steve Cogan wrote an article in the Independent to attack their Mexicans comments and other comics chipped in. What their real grumble seems to be is they don't like it that they can't tell the same taboo jokes. Well guys the Top Gear lads tore up the dictates to not tell those gags and so they deserve their status.

From what we have found out over recent years on the show itself is that it's nearly all staged and scripted now to make a boring motoring show that was dropped in the 1990s more interesting and you have to fabricate a lot of it to do that. I never used to watch the show before because it was just boring car talk. Some rather dense viewers out there think the accidents they have, and indeed provoke, are real, like the airship with the caravan stuck underneath drifting into Coventry Airport airspace and the igniting of a similar caravan on a campsite was also an accident. They also thought the boys had killed a live cow and strapped it to their roof in America for the road kill sequence. And they say America don't get irony!

Other incidents created for TV reasons where Jeremy drinking gin and tonic on a frozen ocean whilst driving between Russia and America, critics saying it promoted drink driving, Clarkson saying it was 'international waters'. You all know the lorry drivers killing prostitutes one! The only one I felt was near the knuckle was going ahead with their train crossing road test smash piece where they let trains hit old fans on a crossing, this show juts two days after a real crash in Lincolnshire.

The show is syndicated around the world in all manner of languages and styles it's a fabulous earner for the BBC. When you get To Cruise on you know you matter. To is car and bike nut and loved the challenge, extremely competitive, nearly rolling the reasonably priced car on the final corner. Whether he was 'guaranteed' the fastest time so far as part of coming on the show we will never know.

The format now is less about a car review show and more about boys with toys, super cars and SUVs replacing good value hatchbacks. They do review 'normal cars' but they are quickly contrasted with glamour or some crazy stunt or challenge. They got in trouble in 2007 for not mentioning any of the big car of the year winners and since then have wandered all over the place like Richard Hammond did in that dragster car. Yes he did come close to death and a lesson learnt, but like with Noel Edmonds House party, when a member of the public dies doing one of those stunts its game over, Top Gear edging near that every series. But they have to keep pushing to keep the ratings and so it will happen.

I must admit its essential viewing now and I would vote for Jeremy Clarkson, although his TV persona is very different to his normal life, so they say. I say keep pushing it, verbally or physically, and so keep your core audience. The people who complain about the show rarely watch it and are just as likely to be Middle-Englanders with the same opinions. Yes the cast and the fast cars are the stars and this no longer an information packed motor show. But it is very funny and what else is there to make you smile on Sunday night as work and death beckon.
Summary: Clarkson for PM!

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Comments about this review »

Coloneljohn 21.03.2011 17:25

Well stated. some very interesting points here. John

elfbwillow 06.03.2011 18:39

I absolutely love top gear - specifically their full ep challenges though they can go over the top sometimes. I dont think they mean any harm in any way though sometimes some thought is perhaps needed on their part. Well reviewed

mattydalton 06.03.2011 18:31

I love Top Gear and think the trio work really well together. I cannot stand racism, but I do not think their tongue-in-cheek comments constitute this. Using stereotypes for comedy purposes is something that has long been practised. If this were to be punished, then surely stereotypical jokes about men, women, young people, old people, etc.. would surely have to stop. This would be a ridiculous scenario and I hope the nanny state doesn't get its way.

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This review of Top Gear has been rated:

"very helpful" by (96%):

  1. jjcross
  2. Coloneljohn
  3. frankiecesca

and 23 other members

"helpful" by (4%):

  1. sn0zb0z

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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