Top Gear is my new obsession, and believe it or not, it's a car show. Well, calling it simply a car show would be vulgar in my opinion, because the show is so much more. The three hosts, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and (my favorite) Richard Hammond are absolutely brilliant and hilarious. The show is smart enough to exclude a particular demographic, but accessible enough that someone like myself isn't lost in the car jargon.
Top Gear is a show about supercars, Porsches, Gumperts (that's a real car), Bugattis, and the like, but it also includes segments about regular cars (like Nissans and Fiats). Each show, the tame racing driver, known as "The Stig" drives a given supercar around the Top Gear track, and the time is recorded, with each new episode presenting a possibility for a faster car. The lap times are kept on a board that is brought out for each episode, and it is truly intense with each new car, because the top of the board is a sought after achievement. The Stig is a mysterious figure whose face is always covered by a helmet, and each segment you learn new facts about The Stig, for instance, it is rumored that one of his eyes is a teste...pure comedy, and man can The Stig drive!
Each episode also has some sort of challenge, one of the last challenges was for the three men to use a pittance of a budget to purchase motor vehicles to take them on a thousand mile journey from North to South Vietnam, the catch, because there's always a catch, is that they only had enough money to purchase terrible road bikes. The hilarity ensues as the trio heads across Vietnam through rain, painting one motorbike pink behind their companions back, and exchanging hilarious gifts that had to be carried on the back of Vespas and small bikes. Keep in mind, I'm behind on the series because I'm only able to access the show online through Netflix.
The knowledge of the hosts is staggering, and their passion is unparalleled. The three men have so much chemistry that you actually believe that they are best friends who sit at the pub after work. If I wasn't madly in love with Ben, I'd fly to England and try to date Richard Hammond, even though he's super short!
Top Gear has a celebrity in each episode (seriously, this show has a segment for everyone), and that celebrity gets a driving lesson from the "tame racing driver" and takes the reasonably priced car (currently a Chevy Aveo) for a ride around the track; like the supercars, their time is recorded, and the top of the board is the main goal for the celebs. I could blather on and on, but really, just check it out. If you have cable find it on the BBC, and if you have Netflix, stream them instantly. I'm currently streaming from season 9, but hope to be caught up eventually. This show has replaced every other show in my arsenal, and is permanently seated as my favorite.
My life goals have changed because of Top Gear, and they are:
1. Learn to drive a manual.
2. Become famous in England.
3. Get on Top Gear and drive the reasonably priced car.
Seems reasonable enough, aye?