The end of the road for Top Gear?

Top-Gear-Jeremy-Clarkson-beach
Top Gear’s Jeremy Clarkson – Maybe he has lost his sense of perspective?

Last night’s episode of Top gear was for me, the end of the road. I’m canceling the series link and I am now officially bored of the programme. It has become too smug for its own good and is less relevant for the man on the street than it ever had before.

It used to be three guys sharing some irreverent banter and clearly having fun driving fast cars, who couldn’t believe their luck that they were getting paid to do exactly what they loved. But now it feels far more like self congratulatory rich blokes who fawn at the celebrities and look down on anything/anyone normal.

How can the £150k Ariel Atom be anything other than foolish when the £32k one that is within reach of normal people is fast enough?

I got up and went and made a cuppa half way through it. I never used to do this. I spoke to Tim Garratt and he said his son did the same. Even my mate at work – a mad petrol head – thought it had lost it’s appeal. None of us bothered to watch the Christmas episode on watchback, the people who I know did, said it was a bit dull.

The new Stig was reborn because they bring in £1million a year from Stig related merchandise. Doesn’t that mean that their anti establishment position is now blown. They have become the corporate establishment they used to fight against.

Perhaps Clarkson, should hang out with his mate AA Gill and reinvent themselves whilst they still have time.

Otherwise, I can see this as the last series of Top Gear in this format. The Brand values of Top gear are pretty much worn out.

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15 thoughts on “The end of the road for Top Gear?

  1. John

    Totally agree with you, the talk in the office has been along these lines for most of the last series as well.

    I briefly thought the first piece last night might have suggested a return to the old values – it was at least about cars! But the later pieces by Clarkson and Hammond were absolute drivel.

    Top Gear used to be essential watching in our house, it is now way down the list and unlikely to be watched for the rest of this series.

    Simon

    1. I think the piece about the Skoda Yeti was one of the worst pieces i have ever seen them produce. £22k is a lot of money for a car. It is not a bargain, it is still an expensive car for the vast majority of the population and the 911 article was also just ridiculous, without even the benefit of any humour backing it up.

      One of presenters needs to get out to retain their credibility. I would bet it will be James May. Clarkson is the big name though and if he walks away like he did in the old format, the whole thing dies.

  2. At least they’ve stopped buying each other presents only to smash them up when they do the road trips. That really spoilt it for me. I don’t watch it for the car reviews anyway.

    1. Maybe we’re all getting a little old for it and it’s just become a bit ‘Radio One’? That piece where Sienna Miller popped her head out of a glovebox was purely showing off about having some pretty showbiz mates and actually annoyed me on it’s own too!

  3. I’m going to try the counter-argument. Yes, TG does have its off-days, and James May clearly finds the forced blokeishness a load of old cock, as he might say. However, it’s still one of the best-produced entertainment shows on TV (it stopped being a motoring show when string-backed gloves went out of fashion). I thought the Christmas shows still had plenty of hoots per mile. Its problem, if it has one, is its focus on thast breed of high-performance brontosaurus which now look like pre-crunch relics. Like you say John, TG is a revenue-raising brand with all that implies, but when it’s on form it still makes so much of the schedules around it look like the creative committee-fodder they are. Anyway, list the alternatives!

    1. I agree with your points Richard. I guess my post is written more in disappointment than anything else. I suddenly noticed that my favourite programme had sold it’s soul. it has become a caricature of it’s own self. Yes it’s still miles better than Fifth Gear, but that’s not saying too much.

      For those of us who love cars, Fifth Gear do at least rag a lot of cars about in between the masses of ads they are forced to carry. It is actually a good benchmark in TV terms. If Top gear had been allowed to evolve naturally it is what it would have become. It was the massive rebrand and launch they did into the current studio format that brought it to where it is now.

      I think that’s what they need to do again, before it’s too late.

  4. I only managed to watch about half of the show tonight. I couldn’t quite be bothered with the hackneyed Aussie jokes and really didn’t want to hear the Boris Becker segment, which must have been longer than any of the other individual pieces?

    But I did love the rally car race and the overtake at the end!

    1. I hadn’t, but it is the case if them resorting to being more shocking to create news. Like the Sex Pistols of old (and Elton John last week)

      The line that gets me in that report is ‘Last week, the programme was named most popular factual show at the National TV Awards.’

      If it is factual, they have to be careful, if it was re-categorised as comedy or satire, they may get away with more!

  5. I have to agree with johnny.
    This was my absolute can’t-miss, favourite programme. Now, all of the humour is obviously scripted (and none of them are good enough actors to carry it off), the set pieces have all been seen before and, worst of all, the star-in-a-reasonably-priced-car slot has turned into a parody of a rubbish chat show.
    A sad end to an excellent show.

    1. I didn’t even watch it last night. Not eve sure if I recorded it either. That would never have happened.

      I think you’re right that when it was spontaneous it was funny, but now it’s scripted it’s just a bit too hammy for its own good.

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