My whole family has loved Top Gear for a long time. I have an image in my mind of my son-in-law, tears rolling down his cheeks, watching the guys attempt to navigate the Avon river in a homemade hovercraft, laughing so hard that he was almost as funny as the show. But not quite…. Really, it is hard to put it into words. Top Gear has been the most successful “reality” show, although it isn’t quite real. It is the best because it is over the top. Way over.
Much has already been said about the sad end of the show, which came about because the BBC fired the star of the show, Jeremy Clarkson, for assaulting a producer. I neither defend Clarkson nor do I feel that the BBC did the wrong thing. No doubt all will suffer. Some are saying the show will go on, but I’ve watched a few shows with the co-stars, James May and Richard Hammond, as main presenters, and none of those shows were worth watching. Both May and Hammond are pleasant, but no more so than your average television presenter. No, there is some mysterious chemistry that seems to develop when Clarkson is on screen with these side kicks. Yes, the word here is chemistry: Clarkson is the catalyst, and the other gents are reactants. Take away the catalyst, and you have… the American version of Top Gear. The one no one watches.
This is worse, far worse, than Two and a Half Men without Charlie Sheen. (And that was pretty bad.)
Since the BBC has something to prove, they will no doubt put out a show with the same name and flashy videos, in order to fulfill contractional obligations, as well as to demonstrate that the show must go on. But it will suck.
I seldom watch television, but I generally make an exception for Top Gear. Oh, well, time to read another book.