Friday, April 9, 2010

An Obsession

I have an obsession to admit to, one that’s gotten even worse while I’ve been over here in Britain. If they had a taping that I could go to, I would skip my two classes one Wednesday and go. As it is, the fact that the BBC iPlayer (basically like Hulu but run by the BBC, meaning you can only get it here in the UK) has this show makes it bad enough. There are three episodes up that rotate periodically. Oh, right, I should probably tell you the name of the show, if you didn’t guess it already: Top Gear. It’s a car show, where they drive amazing cars and have crazy challenges with extremely inexpensive cars. It apparently gets over 300 million worldwide viewers each week when it’s on the air (sadly, the US gets the episodes wayyy later).

At certain points the guys can be a bit crude, but in most cases they are hysterical. Each has his own quirk: Jeremy Clarkson, the host, is older, taller and vaguely heavyset; Richard Hammond is short and is constantly accused of having his teeth whitened; and James May is the knowledgeable/geeky co host, and is referred to many times as “Captain Slow.” I think what holds it together is the fact that they do seem to truly get along with each other. Yes, they get in fights during most episodes and one of them is angry at the other for a period of time, but then eventually they get over it.

They’ve done crazy things: attempt to make a space shuttle out of a car, race a Eurofighter Typhoon (European fighter jet) against a Bugatti Veyron (at that point the fastest production car in the world), make limousines out of cheap cars and then drive celebrities to a show in them, and so on. They have celebrities on to do a lap around their track in a very basic car, including Simon Cowell, Boris Johnson (mayor of London), Michael Gambon, Stephen Fry, the list goes on. They also do about one show a season where they go to some country (like Vietnam) and have a challenge. In the most recent one they had to get from Bolivia, in the jungle, to the Chilean coast, in cars they bought online. There are some truly scary events, driving over the most dangerous highway in the world involves a tiny road with a massive drop on one side. Of course, there are many random moments that are funny, and the guys imply that they didn’t know exactly what they were going to be doing, but I have a feeling there is some acting involved. That’s fine with me. In the end, they make an interesting and very entertaining show, and you should watch it. Just hop onto youtube and you’ll find plenty of clips.

I figured I needed to get something up here on the blog, considering it’s been a while.


  1. Top Gear is pretty easy to find online if you're in the states. I know a person who torrents them or watches them once they're uploaded to Youtube.

  2. I love British humor shows - its an addiction! Not so into car shows/Top Gear.