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Thread: Top Gear SUCKS

  1. #1
    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Top Gear SUCKS

    Right. I've stayed up and watched Top Gear on the previous two Monday nights, and I've come to the conclusion that it has become a poor shadow of the great program it was before. I'm about to go to bed, but I shall outline my basic objections now, before elaborating tomorrow.

    My objections are general, but to save time right now I'll criticise specific aspects of last night's program.

    1) Test of Ford Focus. About 40% of the total time was dedicated to commenting on the looks of the car. Guess what geniuses? IT'S A TELEVSISION PROGRAM. PEOPLE CAN SEE THE CAR AND MAKE UP THEIR OWN MINDS. They don't need to be told what a car looks like. That was time that could have been spent commenting on interesting and useful stuff, like the car's crashworthiness, it's handling behaviour on the limit etc.

    2) Ferrari Enzo. Yes, the Enzo is very fast and very clever. It costs £400,000; so it should be. I don't need to watch Clarkson inarticulartly esposusing superlatives for BLOODY AGES to see that. Ten years ago it was different and interesting to see him reckon that a car would 'snap knicker elastic at 100 paces'. Nowadays it's just become very old hat, and he's lost the knack completely. Boring, get on with it.

    3) Comment on general car news. Their banter just isn't amusing. Stupid, laddish right wing views are aired, and yet it's all forced. The tall foppish one uses a story with a tenuous link to Bill Bryson as an excuse to lay into him as an American with a 'quaint' view of England. HAVE YOU READ ANY OF HIS BOOKS YOU TOTAL IGNORAMUS? He's lived here for 20+ years and probably has a much better perspective on England than you do. Tw@.

    4) Cool wall. Am I bothered about what a baying studio audience, egged on by a bunch of twisted middle aged gits, thinks of a car? Oh so Coleen has a Mercedes SLK. Never mind that it's huge improvement over the old model and a genuinely impressive car, it must be crap as a result, and lets have a cheap laugh at common people at the same time. Public service broadcasting at it's best.

    5) Star in a reasonably priced car. More total tedium while Clarkson kisses a minor celebrity's a$$. Then they do a lap that all looks pretty similar, thanks to a total lack of split times and onboard camera.

    6) Comparing old supercars to new. This could have been good, but unfortunately it still sucks because it's mainly still about pretty camera work and more empty superlatives from Clarkson. It could have been good but.....

    7) Stig, the one good driver on the show, just does a lap and doesn't say anything. When Tiff Needell used to drive the supercars you got the perspective of a genuinely talented and experienced driver on the greatest cars in the world. Now you don't.

    Honestly, Top Gear used to be a great program. Now it's nothing but a complete waste of licence payer's money.

    Rich :¬)
    Last edited by Rave; 03-11-2004 at 02:09 AM.

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    Senior Member schrickvr6's Avatar
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    I couldn't agree more, it's gone to the dogs.

    Obviously staged drag races that use clever camera angles to make the gap look bigger or smaller to suit.

    A bit of onboard footage? Yeah ok if like looking at clarkson's ugly mug as he toodles around an empty airfield talking crap.

    And then we have tory boy and clarkson jr. Arrrgggggggh NO! I do not want to buy a second hand 'rolls' or bentley for the same price as a family hatch!

    /rant mode off/

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    Bryce
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    watch top gear ? rolls over and continues to sleep..........

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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Interesting and very valid complaints.

    I'm a big fan of the current show style but this weeks programme demonstrated what happens when things are either taken too far or there's a distinct lack of news worthy peeps about.

    At the end of the day those who follow cars will already know the Focus has a dumpier, less taught shape and yet miraculously handles better and more smoothly. The problem with a car that's good but essentially dull it that like is that it makes bad tv. The superlatives have already been said before, we all know them, there's little else left to say other than it's a fine car and it compares very well with it's rivals. Maybe it would have been better making the point that these cars are now so close in the great depth of their ability that it's largely personal taste that will dictate purchases. The Focus is a safe buy, it just happens to be a good car as well.

    I was also saddened by the Enzo test. Unlike many I love Clarkson's delivery but in the Enzo he went to pot. The look on his face said so much about the car and yet the words just didn't match. There was no description, no talking through what his face was screaming at the screen. Did anyone else notice the aggressive understeer to oversteer the Stig was getting? The traction was great but a big car like the Enzo really needed to be hussled. No mention from Clarkson on that though.
    He loved the car that much was clear but where he usually injects some fact, intregue or titbit into the verbal string, aboard the Enzo a translator would simply be saying "Good, good, very good, good, good" ad infinitum.

    The news I like because, despite the bad jokes, it's one of the few car orientated tv shows that makes an effort to tell you what the industry is up to. The Bill Bryson were interesting for me as I've yet to read one of his many, many, many, MANY travelling books. Judgement is reserved

    Cool wall? I like a good debate over cars...I suspect there are others here who do too Besides the Enzo, despite all its great abilities, is one of the great ugly-stick vicitims of the last few years. The most glorious rear lights in production excepted.

    Saw a Liana the other day, bad car. Often has good/interesting guests but even that dried up this week. He had to work ridiculous hard to get Geri to say anything. Substance would have been pushing it too far. I wonder if we've all got too used to seeing stars doing well? Despite everything we knew after a poor interview and general air-headness there was no way the lap would amount to much!

    On a sidenote the shameless book plugging exercise was a joke pushed to its usefull lifespan and beyond. I'm not really that interested and the (getting) younger TG audience couldn't care less. I've forgotten the name of the book anyway!

    The supercars were interesting but I agree the format was a little odd. Some high level camera work like last weeks beach shots would really show the speed of the cars through the fast sweepers and demonstrate the lines and shear brutality of their performance.

    Finally the silent Stig?
    I have to say I prefer not knowing who he is as long as the rest of the test team actually give the information, you so rightly point out, Tiff would most likely be uttering.

    Is it a waste?

    We know it can be great so no I want to keep it. Besides the other motoring shows already have the straightlaced approach covered.

    BTW
    What do you think they should restore? I'm afraid the Queens Rangie is near the bottom of my list!
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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vimeous
    The news I like because, despite the bad jokes, it's one of the few car orientated tv shows that makes an effort to tell you what the industry is up to. The Bill Bryson were interesting for me as I've yet to read one of his many, many, many, MANY travelling books. Judgement is reserved
    Well, I've read 'em all (AFAIK) and they're all great. Coincidentally though, Notes from a Small Island, his first tour round Britain, is probably the best. Start with that.

    Cool wall? I like a good debate over cars...I suspect there are others here who do too
    My point is that it's not a good debate at all. It's more rubbish comedy and prejudice airing.

    Finally the silent Stig?
    I have to say I prefer not knowing who he is as long as the rest of the test team actually give the information, you so rightly point out, Tiff would most likely be uttering.
    Which they generally don't.

    Is it a waste?

    We know it can be great so no I want to keep it. Besides the other motoring shows already have the straightlaced approach covered.
    What other motoring shows? I only know of Fifth Gear on terrestrial. That has the big advantage of being presented by Tiff, VBH (who has really grown on me, I think she's a very good presenter) and Jason Plato (also pretty good). The ad break in the middle means they structure the show in a pretty annoying way, and the premium rate phone in competitions are a pain too, but overall it's still far superior to Top Gear, which is essentially 10 minutes of entertainment stretched out to last an hour.

    BTW
    What do you think they should restore? I'm afraid the Queens Rangie is near the bottom of my list!
    Both cars from the last two weeks are very interesting. Shame they can't do them all TBH.

    Rich :¬)
    Last edited by Rave; 03-11-2004 at 03:56 PM.

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    HEXUS.Metal Knoxville's Avatar
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    I much prefer it to 5th gear and driven, Clarkson needs to be clarkson, its all those jumbled superlatives that make him worth watching it would however be nice to have a drivers opinion, you used to get it from VBH and Tiff more than clarkson.


    I enjoyed the old/new supercars feature even though i'd have liked them to do more with it than they did.

    Overall I do like the new topgear especially as its now an hour long whic is extra time the old one could have really done with tbh.

    btw vimeous - Gotta be that clockwork orange car man

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    ken
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    sorry im on the top gear beater side this time.

    i watch both prgrams and the missus likes Top Gear, nuff said ! I watch it because they do get access to the top 1% of cars, but mentioned here Jemy shouldnt be the reporter in these instances, he doesnt have the full race experience required, the stig who does know says nothing ... ?

    its more about looks and artificial stuff. Jemy is still ok but he cannot carry a whole program, the cardigan geezer should be working with alan Titchmarsh, more interested in mosses growing on old cack than petrol head talk or opinions, and that little hyped up squirt wants to come off the e numbered orange juice he's drinking, i saw him on some boat show the other month, he's a total sell out! full on old boy public school type ignorant rubbish

    5th gear i like cause the missus doesnt, the presenters actually know something about cars, they arent being advised by someone else in regards to weight balance, understeer etc and imho we see them in more realistic driving situations without all the expensive editng ......

    ok ...flame suit on ...
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    HEXUS.timelord. Zak33's Avatar
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    Tiff....while a talented driver....did my head in.

    He is not as articulate as you'd hope. And if he ever EVER claims that Nigel Mansel deserved to be pushed into that wall on the Touring Car Celebs day, I'll perosnally smack him in the mouth

    The redeeming feature is that half of the world though he was Tiffany Dell and was therefore a girl

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    HEXUS.Metal Knoxville's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ken
    5th gear i like cause the missus doesnt, the presenters actually know something about cars, they arent being advised by someone else in regards to weight balance, understeer etc and imho we see them in more realistic driving situations without all the expensive editng ......

    ok ...flame suit on ...
    And they especially don't get paid by car companys to run a feature on a car thats really a blatant advertisement

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    I love Top Gear, I think it's the best car show on the TV at the moment.

    However, before you all give me a roasting, I DO like Driven / 5th Gear etc too... I'm a car 'enthusiast', I like to hear Clarkson's not-so technical descriptions of how it feels to drive the Enzo, or equally on the flipside, how crap a car is, or looks.

    Do you really want Quentin Wilson back on Top Gear? Talking about that 'classic car' of yester-year?

    Who would you have presenting Top Gear instead?

    How would you present the show to the viewers?

    Whats the main difference between Top Gear and the other car shows on TV?? They have a LIVE audience. Would you travel many miles to watch Tiff Needell spout out boring figures about a 5door family saloon car? Or would you prefer Clarkson entertaining you with his funny quirks?

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    'ave it. Skii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead_Head
    Would you travel many miles to watch Tiff Needell spout out boring figures about a 5door family saloon car? Or would you prefer Clarkson entertaining you with his funny quirks?
    Why not both ?

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    VTECmeous Vimeous's Avatar
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    Despite everything I like all the motoring shows. Each has interesting features and at some reasonably presenting power. Late night Ch5 has some fun racing progs too (I keep hoping to see Zak and co ).

    Regardless of the programme, if it has cars, I'm there.
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    Administrator Moby-Dick's Avatar
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    Btw Vim I think I have all the Bill Bryson books . you have but to ask

    the only think Clarkson is any use for is as a measuring stick for tall people to see if they fit into cars.

    I rarely agree with his motoring views ( although he does acknowledge the S13 as a drift monster ) , but I did like his pice on the Arnhem Landings , but I was a bit less superlative than his motoring rants.

    I'm a little tired of the top gear format personally and find some of the more straight laced motoring programs more to my taste ( I used to like deals on wheels f'rinstance )
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    Now with added sobriety Rave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lead_Head
    or equally on the flipside, how crap a car is, or looks.
    Yeah, but as I say, can you not see it with your own eyes and make up your own mind?

    Do you really want Quentin Wilson back on Top Gear? Talking about that 'classic car' of yester-year?
    YES! Quentin Wilson is a great presenter, he's wasted on all those 'Britain's Worst Driver' type programs.

    Who would you have presenting Top Gear instead?
    As already stated, VBH, Tiff, Quentin, maybe Jason Plato; getting Mike Brewer involved wouldn't be a bad thing. The young guy they have on now actually isn't too bad, I think he would be fine away from the negative influence of Clarkson and the other old git.

    How would you present the show to the viewers?

    Whats the main difference between Top Gear and the other car shows on TV?? They have a LIVE audience. Would you travel many miles to watch Tiff Needell spout out boring figures about a 5door family saloon car? Or would you prefer Clarkson entertaining you with his funny quirks?
    Well, a TV program is supposed to entertain the millions of people watching at home, not the couple of hundred in the studio while it's being made. I can't see that the audience adds anything to the show AT ALL, they're 70% of the problem in fact.

    Tonight I watched that cooking program on BBC2 which is filmed in front of an audience. In a lot of ways it's similar to Top Gear; a lot of the program was concerned with picking your own mushrooms/ truffles, and going on a hugely expensive gastro tour of Tokyo eating £90 a slice beef and £100 a time Fugu. Not stuff that's hugely relevant to the average viewer, but that is potentially interesting if filmed properly. I don't have a problem with devoting screentime to fantasy/aspirational cars; like it or not we live in an aspirational consumerist culture. I'm unlikely to be able to afford a Ferrari or buy truffles but that doesn't mean I'm not interested in them.

    In the case of this food program they do a fairly good job and the presenters are fairly personable; it has the potential to be a good program. Again though the studio audience adds nothing and results in wasting time that could be spent showing us something interesting. It's as if someone at the BBC has decided that the way to perk up a program on any subject is to film it in front of a live studio audience. It's just not the case.

    Rich :¬)
    Last edited by Rave; 03-11-2004 at 11:38 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rave
    Yeah, but as I say, can you not see it with your own eyes and make up your own mind?
    I thought it was quite funny when they parked up the Focus and no-one batted an eyelid... it proved the point which they were expressing about it's looks. They can't really say a statement and not back it up with evidence.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rave
    YES! Quentin Wilson is a great presenter, he's wasted on all those 'Britain's Worst Driver' type programs.
    I think he is a good presenter too, but not for Top Gear. I think he just simply would not fit in with the show.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rave
    Well, a TV program is supposed to entertain the millions of people watching at home, not the couple of hundred in the studio while it's being made. I can't see that the audience adds anything to the show AT ALL, they're 70% of the problem in fact..
    I think the show is made to entertain the crowd which is there, and Clarkson plays upto it. All 3 presenters do, would one of them go off on his rant about Bill Bryson if he didnt have an audience behind him??

    Why don't you write to Top Gear? I've heard a few people grumble about the programme now, but I still think it's great

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    Senior Member Stringent's Avatar
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    Heh, why not email this thread to the Top Gear email address

    I enjoy it, personally I like the funny quips and banter that goes on. However I have read all the posts, and do have to say, yeah thats true to most of it. I dont think Quentin Wilson would fit in there now.

    However I'll still be watching it.

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