Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Top Gear - Season 16

This was sort of a low-impact season of Top Gear, though it was still Top Gear, so a lot of fun was had. The show introduced its third Stig after the second one outed himself, some new records proved the most recent Reasonably Priced Car is definitely the fastest one they've had, and the three hosts generally made asses of themselves in entertaining ways. Not much about the show has changed since I started watching it a few years ago, and for the most part they haven't really needed to. The formula just works, and as the first few minutes of the American version proved to me, messing with it in any way, even if it's just changing which three guys are involved, might not be such a good idea. The scripted elements are getting a little too obvious at times - we all know that a lot of the wackier moments are staged, but it's more fun when they seem like they could have been real anyway, and it's pretty clear that Jeremy didn't actually set someone on fire during the combine snowplow test.

Still, they've yet to go too far, and the overreaction to a throwaway line about Mexico proves the show still knows how to push buttons and entertain a gigantic audience. The Middle East special was one of their most daring stunts yet, and the race against the sun's rotation shows they still haven't thought of everything that can be done with the format. Jeremy mentioned in an interview that the three guys all agreed that it's just assumed at this point that the show will keep going like this until one of them dies in an accident, and while I'd hate to see that happen (and it almost did a few years ago), I admire their dedication to putting an entertaining and informative show on the air. I look forward to more later this year.

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