No More TGA until the end of the year

The Spie

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Well, an "ultra" is generally a fan of something so obsessed with the object of his affection that he loses all rational thinking regarding it. I know the term is used in some countries (Spain, for one) to describe the most fanatical of football supporters.

If Ewen used it to describe, let's face it, us, I think it's sour grapes on his part for us pointing out that he's the weak link in the cast.
 

Ravenlord

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So its another name for a fanboy then?
If so, either label would be wrong in the context. Fanboys would defend TGAU beyond the realm of logic and never utter disparaging remarks - they would be incapable of causing TGAU harm.

As has been said previously regarding Nine, it's just an eyeball numbers game. They are trying to attract a demographic that can be marketed to, and they must feel quality content for car enthusiasts isn't the right bait.
 

dophoto

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I know it wasn't up to UK standards but it was still better then the reality crap we have on now.

I hope SBS pick it back up, as Ch9 ruins anything it touches.
 

stevanford1

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Off Steve Pizatti's twitter:

"It's true - as of next week, TGA will be on at the special time of not at all. Sorry to the open-minded people that gave it a go and enjoyed!" Pizzati tweeted.

"We're told the last three episodes will make an appearance in the summer. Or try Blockbuster Video in the BetaMax section."
Looks like it's goneski.
 

GerFix

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^ Closure. This was obviously coming following the (merciful) truncation of the series for a second time.
 

Elijah B.

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TGAus was a show that had potential but, in my view, didn't quite reach it.

That this happened probably isn't from just one reason but many, ranging from the abilities of the various presenters and the roles they were told to play, to the format, to the story choices, to the way stories were handled to even how Post Editing was done. There is no one way to do any of these things in a show, as evidenced by the nature of complaints that people have made over many differing matters, with some people praising the very things that others hated.

One thing is inescapable though, which is that the producers of the show never really worked out successfully what would appeal to a mass audience, and didn't have the ability to understand why it wasn't working, or know how to adequately change the show to suit. However, I believe that the demographic is out there for a car show but they couldn't find it with the approach they took with TGAus. I hope the producers, etc, aren't foolish enough to blame the audience for the shows failure: it up to them to produce a show that people want to watch; if people aren't watching in adequate numbers then somebody's doing something wrong.

For myself, there were three things I didn't like about the show: one was that the stories were usually not anything I cared about or wanted to know about, the second was the emulation of the waspish infighting (that made Clarkson etc entertaining) didn't work so well in the Australian context; I would have like to see them as mates working together instead of trying to stuff each other up and constantly criticizing, bickering and sabotaging each other. The third was I personally really disliked the appealing to the lowest common yobbo denominator; something that is extremely common on the Nine Network. Still, this is just one bloke's opinion and mileage may vary.

Having said all this and laid out some criticism, let me balance that with the comment that I didn't hate the show, or even dislike the show overall; TGAus wasn't a bad show, and if it had had the hooks that pull people in (which the UK show does have) it might have been successful. If the concept is ever resuscitated in the future I would like to see the presenters, not as three knockabout ordinary guys but as three distinct personalities, easy to define. The Boorish Oaf, the Excitable Impatient and the Subtly Humorous Ecentric are none the worse for having been used before.

I am sorry to see it go.
 
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stiggie

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I will miss TopGear Australia. I think it is shameful how Nine treats both programmes and viewers. I think the problem with Nine's attitude was best demonstrated by the CEO when he said that pleasing advertisers was the network's priority, not pleasing the viewers. It won't be long before they don't have any viewers and then they won't have anything to sell to the advertisers.

I summed up my thoughts about what was wrong with TopGear Australia over two years ago and while I think it improved, I also knew all along that a lot of TopGear fans would never really accept it, no matter how well it progressed. Here was what I said in July 2009-

For quite some time now - since half way through series 1 in fact - I've been pretty sure that I have figured out what the makers of TopGear Australia are doing wrong. I haven't made a post about it because... well frankly, I'm lazy and I expect this to be a long, rambling post that will ultimately just make me look like a metaphor-happy idiot who has no idea what he is talking about. But here goes-

I think they are trying to capture the magic of TopGear as it looks on the surface, without truly understanding what needs to go on underneath. TopGear is a thin layer of cocking about covering a thick base of solid motoring journalism. Without the base,the cocking about seems meaningless and empty. Water cascading down a waterfall may look beautiful, but it wouldn't work without the rocks that the water is flowing over. It is the same with TopGear.

Jeremy, James and Richard all had a history of motoring journalism under their belts before joining TopGear, but it was Clarkson's many years spent on the old format of TopGear that really gave the new show a certain gravitas when it launched back in 2002. But even though their audiences already trusted that they knew what they were talking about, the boys still spent a few years building up their journalistic credentials by doing a lot of regular car reviews and keeping the silly stuff restricted to one or two small segments a week, such as jumping motorbikes in a bus, or teaching grannies to do hand-brake turns. Only after they completely built their solid base, did they start covering everything with the layer of cocking about. They started by making the reviews a little more abstract by putting the cars up against Apache helicopters, racing them against trains or using them to scale Scottish mountains. Eventually they started making their own amphibious cars and ended up trying to launch a car into space. But they could never have reached the point where people were willing to watch them try to turn a Reliant Robin into a shuttle if they hadn't first established themselves as the UK's most trusted authority on cars.

Yet even as the sillyness took hold and TopGear made the transition from an information programme to an entertainment show, they almost always held true to the mantra that TopGear guru Andy Wilman instilled from the beginning-

"The car is the star."

When they raced the DB9 against a train to Monte Carlo it was to see how well it performed as a GT car. When they put the Lotus up against the Apache it was to show off the car's agility. The car was always the star. Proving or investigating something about the car was always the reason they did things. Richard and James didn't just spend 24 hours living in a Smart car because it sounded like great television. they did it to test out the cars new "lounge concept" seating. Even in the cheap car challenges when they aren't actually reviewing a new car they still make cars the heroes of the story. Think of the heart-break of Oliver sinking in the river in Botswana. Think of the triumph when the Lancia Beta made it to the border.

The Aussie hosts doesn't have the journalistic credentials required to make the leap into fully-fledged cocking about. They need to build a sense of trust in ther audience by proving that they know what they are talking about with a series of good, usefull and very honest car reviews. They haven't done this. The UK boys cop a lot of flak for all the reviews they show of unattainable cars, but they test plenty of everyday cars aswell. The Aussie hosts needs to do a little more of this. They need to test some everyday cars (and not just Commodores and Falcons). There are plenty of Australians out there who would like to know how the Mazda3, Corolla, Swift and i30 compare to the Astra, Focus, C4 and Golf. They need to review more cars, build a base of credibility. Only then will their layer of cocking about seem like it has some substance.

As it is, they are trying to recreate the cocking about without a base and it isn't working. Because they have no credibility as hosts of a motoring programme. This isn't the boys' fault, they haven't been allowed to create any. The problem is, they aren't even getting the cocking about right. They are coming up with ideas for segments that sound like something TopGear woud do, without asking themselves why TopGear would do it. Why is this a problem? Because they aren't paying any attention to Wilman's mantra-

"The car is the star".

The Astra lawn bowling is the perfect example of this. On the surface it sounds like something the UK boys would do. It sounds like the Toyota Aygo football segment. But the car football was to test how nippy the new little car was, because that is important in a city car. It served a purpose. All the Astra lawn bowls taught us was that if you park one on a slope and take off the hand-brake, it'll roll. Most of us knew that already.

Please - if anybody from TopGear Australia is out there reading this - stop trying to come up with ideas that sound like something the UK show would do. Instead, take the car you want to review, decide what you want to find out about it, then think of an interesting challenge to test that quality in the car. I promise, the results will be better. And while your at it, cover the walls of your production office with posters bearing these five little words-

THE CAR IS THE STAR!!!
 

bryanbeachboy1970

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THE CAR IS THE STAR!!!
So what are you saying? :)

I think you're right to an extent; it was the same thing that got TGUS in trouble with the fans, the copycat attitude. I had high hopes for this latest series, because I really, really enjoyed last series' premiere (the drive across country to Lake Eyre (sp?)). But while there were moments this series, it was also even more of "we've seen that before."

Maybe (hopefully) the BBC can revive the show in a year or two and give it a remodel. I think they should definitely come up with some creative show ideas r/t copy what everyone will have seen on TGUK.
 
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