350 million viewers a year? That’s probably an underestimation…
Never thought I’d watch a car show where I’d care less about all the exotic Ferraris and Paganis and more about the people who drive them. Top Gear has never been about just the cars. The trio – consisting of Jeremy “The Orang-utan” Clarkson, Richard “Hamster” Hammond and James “Captain Slow” May have been the sole source of amusement for show’s entirety. It can be summed up like this – you don’t concern yourself with the car’s specifications, you want to see if they can turn it into a caravan and go camping. The show’s littered with entertaining segments, except the “Star in a Reasonably Priced Car“, which you skip because you’d rather see them “Do the news!”.
To sum it up – it’s a car show hosted by three bickering gentlemen, broadcast in over 200 countries.
It doesn’t matter that the show’s scripted. You want Clarkson to rant about the stupidity of the government’s policies. You want Hammond to risk his life in a Ranger Rover, trying to climb a dam. You want May to lecture on about the alternative uses of tampons. If its bizarre, they’ve already done it.
The unapologetic humour, the deadpan-ish narration, the special episodes where they travel, sleep in tents and eat wild berries for breakfast are just some of the instances of what makes it work. It’s a factual television programme on paper. But in reality, its much more than that.
Highly recommended. There’s no dearth of footage, there’s over 200 episodes, you can pick up from anywhere. It’s the gold standard of humour on television. At least it was till Clarkson’s contract ended. LeBlanc and the others are passable but have some huge shoes to fill.