Saturday, 17 March 2012

Guilty Pleasures 12

Once upon a time there was a car show - a reasonably standard magazine format show dispensing consumer advice on the one hand whilst also featuring aspirational super-cars on the other. But all was not well behind the scenes and most of the presenters walked out of the show and (pretty much) straight into a new show on Channel 5, imaginatively entitled 5th Gear.

I say "imaginatively titled" as the show from which they had walked out was Top Gear... 

From the ashes of that show, a new show was born. A new show, also called Top Gear. But this show was not a car show. This show did not dispense consumer advice on one hand although it did feature lots of aspirational super-cars on the other.

This was an entertainment show. Built with a mix of super-cars, "races" in which the presenters take on bizarre challenges, guest stars who get to drive a reasonably-priced car (currently a Kia Cee'd), an unidentified tame racing driver and, most of all, Banter.

And so this new show became a staple of (eventually) Sunday evenings. And every week during each series, I guiltily lay my Liberalism to one side and prepare to laugh, snigger and wince at the pronouncements of Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May.

It's all kicked off each week with "Jessica" by the Allman Brothers:


Note for American readers: The US version of Top Gear, although a close copy of the original, hasn't quite managed to get the right dynamic between the presenters right yet and lacks the banter that holds the UK show together.

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