[01x08] November 17th, 2008

[01x08] November 17th, 2008


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melbournian

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9/10. That Lambo...I could cry. I am in LOVE.

Tassie trip - Need I even mention the filming by now? I think from now on I'm only going to mention the filming if it was actually bad as it was sterling as usual, although they could've taken a little extra care to make sure the cars were completely clean for the close ups, especially the Aston. Steve seemed the most excited by his car, which comes as no surprise since he had the most indescribably amazing one :) Warren's banjo playing was pretty funny too. The cars actually looked properly fast too, especially the in car shots, the background was just a blur. That would have been the coolest day of driving. The noise was fabulous too, I had a huge grin on my face whenever the cars zoomed past. Especially the Lambo. Good God. Would have been nice to see an actual conclusion though...when the second part ended I was expecting a third.

News - LOL HUMP!!! Couple of jokes still fell flat, but interesting stories and some genuine laughs.

SIABSC - meh as usual, even though I like Claudia Karvan. They should either let Warren do it or get rid of it altogether so they can fit in more good stuff.

WWTT - PLEASE let that be the last one. Ever. Unless they put the WWTT board up on the WWTT board at the start of next season. I thought Warren's head was going to explode with that rant.

Jag Review - Pretty darn good review, nice burning rubber, and that in car shot of the Stig coming around that left-hander onto the main straight was truly terrifying - they should have used that shot way, way, way earlier in the season to show how scary that turn actually is because from the outside it doesn't look like much.

Holden Vs Ford - YAY FOR CONCLUSIONS!!!!!!! I was surprised that the Ford came out in front though...I guess my ex-boyfriend's Holden fanaticism may have rubbed off on me just a tiny bit. Charlie's rant was brilliant too, it was great to see some actual passion and emotion. I really wish Steve had actually used that fire extinguisher, although it would have most likely ended in tears and asphyxiation, it would have been pretty funny...

eta: ok TGA producers please add to your shopping list for next season more cameras for test track. shooting from five k's away whilst the car is obscured by grass=not cool.
 
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Fleetfoot

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For everyone giving praise, ask yourself one question.
Would you pay $40 of your own money for the DVD of the series?
;)
Paying for this? No chance, if they gave the DVD away I wouldn't bother.
I watched all 8 episodes, downloaded one, haven't kept any.

It still comes down to:
No Passion, Not funny, mostly lame jokes,
No structure to ANYTHING at all, challenges weren't challenges
Reviews.. a few facts and smoking tires, no storyline, no emotion, no real comparision.

Scripts are useless as Cox can't read them without being too slow and boring. Nothing makes him a "character" nothing funny on the guy.
Steve is only ever talking from a point of view of being a pro driver which is 500% Fifth Gear (which lacks in the ratings game), yes him and Warren in the tractor was promising as they were "TG gelling" quite well but most of the time he's too much like Cox, nothing funny at all.
Find something for both of them the others can make fun off for starters, who knows, falling asleep all the time, being addicts to something.. I don't know..
Right now Warren is the dedicated idiot and the others walk around him nose in the air "I'm too pro to be an entertainer".
That's where the formula breaks down big time.

Now take the uk trio;
Hammond "white teeth, hamster, tiny little guy"
May "nerd, techy, captain slow"
Clarkson "no patience, powaaahh, useless with tools"
etc

That gives the script writer (mostly Clarkson) so much more room for fun.
Yes, it'll die out one day, but the producer said after series 8 or 9 they had run out of ideas and yet still they come up with stuff and their formula isn't that difficult to "crack" but the presenters and writers here should try a bit harder or they'll not make it to season 3.

TG isn't "all about cars" anymore, SBS didn't buy it to be another fifth gear, they bought the entertainment formula and are getting it wrong by putting 2 non entertaining guys in.

They need to do a LOT more polishing and my biggest suggestion is GO WATCH TGUK Seasons 6-12 before you film anymore TGau.

fact: replies to this forum went from 646 to 199 to 155 real quick and today it's only 60 most of which are triple posts from the same people.. so unless they get it right with the next lot we'll see the end of TGau :(
 
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tone76

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Well for a start 'What were they thinking?' would be in the form of a 'Who am I?' question...
LOL!

The scary part is that's actually not a bad idea. A 'who am I?' about a car where Waz starts reading a little about the history of the car, and then gives more blatant clues later on (i.e. engine sizes, production runs etc). Make it interactive with the audience and give them a TGA Series 1 DVD & an 'I Am The Stig' T-Shirt as a prize.
 

Wyvern

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I realise the show has its detractors, and that's good because hopefully the producers will take on board constructive criticism and it will make things better for next season - but I don't have any worries on that score myself because comparing that to the shaky start the series had shows that they have improved enormously over the 8 weeks of the run.

There were still a few scripting/editing issues (the Tassie film did end a little abruptly and it would have been nice to see the final discussion take place, say, in a bar at the end of the drive rather than in the studio), but I don't feel any need to deconstruct them in any depth because damn it, I came away from that episode happy.

So... the Tassie drive had some nice moments, was nicely shot and featured beautiful cars. I don't ask for much more than that - Wazza playing the banjo was a nice touch though :) I loved the description of the Aston Martin E.C.U. as a K.E.Y. and the sound of the Lambo being "a four-wheeled orgasm" (I've always thought that was a perfect description).

The News was a good, solid segment.

SIABSC. Did exactly what that does on both sides of the world. I have no idea who she was, but she seems to like cars and I thought Charlie seemed more relaxed interviewing. He's definitely better when he has something to do with his hands... but back to that later. Tidy enough lap, too.

WWTT. Well, hmm... it is played out and I think they'd be well advised to drop it next season, but if they've been building up to sticking the original TG3 on there, it almost makes sense as one-season gag. I like self-deprecating humour, so fair enough. Let it die now, though.

XF review. Nicely done. It was nice to see a comparison, however brief, with some of Jaguar's earlier models. Again, Charlie was better and he sounded more enthusiastic than he has before. He actually talked about the car. "I've got the traction control off because I like to drive like a child" made me smile. And the "Aussie Bloke Test" tied in with some work I've been doing at university, which was reassuring. And there was a definitely conclusion. Better. Of course, it led into a power lap, but to my surprise the Stig intro was less overplayed than before. If TGAu has to do that - and I don't see them dropping it, somehow - then that was another little improvement.

I was concerned that we really didn't need another "Red Vs Blue" but if it was going to be revisited, it had to be the Falcon and the Commodore. Here in the UK we don't really hear much about them and they are unmistakably Australian cars, designed and built for conditions very different from ours. I thought it was a pretty balanced piece and Steve and Charlie seemed to be enjoying it - and it came across on screen. And Charlie's impassioned speech on behalf of the Australian motor industry was a good point, well made - especially to someone who remembers watching their own domestic car industry collapse. The difference is that ours was brought down by politics and poor standards, so we ended up with nothing worth saving. Australia! Don't let it happen to you!!

Overall, an entertaining and well-balanced end to the season.

More general observations:

Now the pressure's off a bit - season 2's moving forward and the first season is done - the guys all seemed massively more relaxed. Coming back to Charlie's hands, he was certainly less "expansive" this week, and it made a difference. Warren and Steve have stopped trying to fit into their pre-determined roles and Wazza in particular has shone. He might have started as the "old fashioned, slightly eccentric chap" but he's turned out to be a little bit bonkers and good fun. Steve is still "the younger, enthusiastic one" but he's calmed down since the start of the series and he's probably the easiest of the three to relate to on a general level. And watching the end of the episode again, no, the chemistry isn't 100% yet, but they have gelled to a greater extent than the first episode suggested. I think "nerves" - not necessarily in front of the camera, but all round - played a part in the wobbly start to the series. Top Gear is almost iconic, and as such it would have been a hell of a big ball to drop. It wasn't perfect, but I think they managed to hold on to it.

Have they made Top Gear? Possibly not, but they're making an entertaining show about cars and that, as I've already said, is good enough for me.
 

fink99

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I thought this was a fitting final episode...some good stuff...notably an improved Charlie. Some cringeworthy moments though. Warren's reaction to being left behind in the shop ("Oh, no, they've gone without me"), plus some of the in-studio stuff.

They need a new/more writers and a notebook and pen for filming days. Just why so many of the stories in the series petered out I can't fathom...what are story producers for?. Have the tale worked out and list the shots as you go. A conclusion to a filmed story can be something as simple as (like someone has already mentioned) an end-of-the-day pub sketch, or a final piece to camera...there's no excuse for having to leave the thing dangling and then to having to cut to a studio shot of the 3 of them looking slightly uncomfortable and relying on a dodgy script to get them out of trouble.

So who'll be back for series 2? I'd like to see all 3 back but with less rigid studio roles. I think replacing any of them would be a mistake, as the gelling thing would have to start again, which slows the process.

Cheers everyone...especially Mr Glenn Vovo, for being such a good sport. It's been fun
 

bolly

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Post #62 from Fleetfoot is among the most intelligent and on-the-money bits of analysis of TGA Series 1 that I've read here.

Thanks for reminding us that quality thinking - without ranting - is possible on this forum Fleetfoot.

:D
 

Bomber

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Charlie's impassioned speech on behalf of the Australian motor industry was a good point, well made - especially to someone who remembers watching their own domestic car industry collapse. The difference is that ours was brought down by politics and poor standards, so we ended up with nothing worth saving. Australia! Don't let it happen to you!!
I believe our "domestic car industry" has been like it currently is in the UK from the start (overseas manufacturers producing cars locally). The Falcon and Commodore are a unique Australian design but they have traditionally been modified American (in the case of Ford) or German (in the case of GM Holden) designs. The profits go overseas to large multinational corporations so in the long run all we would lose was a unique design. And with the amount of "corporate welfare" these companies have recently received it's becoming increasingly not worth it just to preserve these large 6 cylinder cars.
 

Wyvern

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I believe our "domestic car industry" has been like it currently is in the UK from the start (overseas manufacturers producing cars locally). The Falcon and Commodore are a unique Australian design but they have traditionally been modified American (in the case of Ford) or German (in the case of GM Holden) designs. The profits go overseas to large multinational corporations so in the long run all we would lose was a unique design. And with the amount of "corporate welfare" these companies have recently received it's becoming increasingly not worth it just to preserve these large 6 cylinder cars.
Good point, and you're right, of course - but the multinationals are at least producing a uniquely Australian product and I just hate the thought of cars becoming even more homogenised than they are at the moment, and I suppose I like to think that somewhere, someone is bucking the trend on a properly national scale (rather than here, where "bucking the trend" basically involves a few blokes in a big shed in Bristol producing a handful of cars that are well made but a bit bonkers). I mean, from a rational standpoint, I can see those big 6s are a bit of a relic, but I don't know... I just think so many things get lost in the global "one size fits all" thing. Still, it's market forces at the end of the day, and if nobody is buying them, then credit crunch notwithstanding, their days are probably numbered.

It's late and admittedly I'm tired, but I can't think of anything that we have these days that is immediately, uniquely British (regardless of the origin of the manufacturer) but aimed at the mass market in the same way that the Falcon and the Commodore are immediately Australian. Mind you, that may not be a bad thing; to instill quintessential 'Britishness', we'd probably end up with something that didn't work properly but came with a tea set as standard ;)
 

tone76

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I can't think of anything that we have these days that is immediately, uniquely British (regardless of the origin of the manufacturer) but aimed at the mass market in the same way that the Falcon and the Commodore are immediately Australian.
The closest thing you guys would have to the Falcon and Commodore would be the Mondeo and Vectra, I suspect. That said, neither of these are terribly British as such.

The other thing is that there's a 3rd option in the mix there somewhere, too. In Australia it's the Toyota Aurion; in the UK it seems to be the BMW 3 Series ...
 

stuvik

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I don't know about anyone else but with a "drive", at least the ones I do, there aren't people who close entire sections of road for me. As much as I'd love to drive the Targa roads TGA drove, I know it'd be impossible purely because of this fact. I'm sure I'd be stuck behind at least one caravan. What was Warren thinking stopping at an antique store? Yes, it was funny but how was it relevant to the driving? And why didn't he say much during the drive?!

Putting TGUK on the WWTT board is probably a bit of tongue-in-cheek in response to the boos and hisses from people who didn't/don't like TGA (but still watch). Touche boys! :) Warren's rant about Babylon was a bit long-winded but I think his point about tolls was a valid one (at last! mockery of recent news relevant to Australia!).

The thing that surprised me most about the Ford vs Holden segment was that they actually didn't sit on the fence this time. And Charlie FINALLY showing some passion was a nice change too. For that brief moment during his rant he actually came across as someone down to Earth.

This episode: 9/10...suprisingly better than what I expected and a promise of improvements to come.
 

colddayin-hell

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Sorry, it was a bit blunt.

Rowntree to be specific.

If they found a female host who could be funny and was interested in cars, I have nothing against that at all.
 

bolly

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What about a woman to replace Cox?

Catriona Rowntree?

;)
That would completely ruin the "foolish secret men's business" aspect of the Top Gear format. I think it would be a disaster. Nevertheless, I think they could do with a guy who's a bit more left-field, not your typical revhead.

Despite Warren being compared to James May, I reckon they don't really have a character like him at all, which is a shame, because he breaks the 'typically blokey/competitive' stereotype and brings a different type of humour to the show... so that's what I'd hope for. (Not a James May clone though.) In polls on the TGUK section of the forum, he's actually the most popular presenter of the three UK hosts.

By the way, I'm in no way misogynistic. I just don't believe that putting a woman in the mix would be a solution to the hosting woes.
 
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fink99

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My crystal ball(s) tell me that all three will be back next season...I think we'd better get used to that idea.

Sorry, Catriona (shudder).

Sorry, Glenn Vovo.
 

Icedvovo

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My crystal ball(s) tell me that all three will be back next season...I think we'd better get used to that idea.

Sorry, Catriona (shudder).

Sorry, Glenn Vovo.
Hahaha. That's funny on quite a number of levels.:blink:

FYI: ABC2 are showing Peking To Paris at 10:30pm on Wednesday nights starting tonight. Starring Wazza! (without a mustache!!)

It's a beautifully put together show. ;)
 
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