[12x08] December 28th, 2008 [Vietnam Special]

[12x08] December 28th, 2008 [Vietnam Special]


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OnlyABS

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it's really funny to watch Jezza riding a bike. only ppl who have been there know how he was struggling in the beginning and during the motorcycle test.

wonder when they're gonna go to China.
 

2Billion

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Want the soundtrack. Want one of those red shirts with a big yellow star. Want to go to Vietnam, though perhaps with a big bag of food since I'm on the Hammond side of picky eating.

Yeah, no cars, it was more a travel show. But honestly? It was a good travel show. I hope they keep doing these exotic specials once a year, just because it makes me want to go to the places they go, and they really capture the essence of the country.
 
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klankymen

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The episode was actually such that my mate and I are going to eat asian food for lunch tomorrow.

I gave it a 9/10 for lacking cars.

Would be nice to see it in HD though
 

Andy_f

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What was the name of the island area where they ended the show (couldn't hear the name well from the ep)? People are really born, live their entire lives and die there? Amazing; I simply can't imagine such an existence; I have the desire now to see what that kind of life is like :)

Yeah, theres quite a few of those type of water villages in that area. People there actually get 'land sickness' when they go on land, in the same way that we get sea sickness when we go on water!
 

idk

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sometimes, you have to look back into the history.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vietnam_War

I know... but since I'm German I'm sick of all that war-remembering-shit the Brits seem not able to just let go anytime ever :rolleyes:

They are so war obsessed.. i just can not believe it

And thats why it's not funny... it's just an unnecessary provocation and insult. Thats just a level they don't need to make a good show :rolleyes:
 

LoadStar

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I enjoyed myself watching it.

But... (yeah, you knew that was coming)

There were several parts where I actually became rather irritated at the show. The running gags about the gifts got old very quickly - yet they kept going on about it. I hate to think about the gag gifts that they referenced during Jezza's accident but never showed. Admittedly, it was probably the galleon that really went over the top - by the halfway point in the episode, I wanted to reach through the screen, grab that boat, and stomp it into a million tiny little bits. The bit with the boat and the ceiling fan was as scripted as something on America's Funniest Home Videos - and equally as funny.

The same holds true with the USA bike. Somewhat funny once or twice, the repeated references to it got quite old... plus I have to imagine it wasn't all that funny (ever) to any of the Vietnamese within eye or earshot, particularly those like the nice gentleman on the beach who lost his hearing in a bomb blast dropped from a B-52.

The scenery in this county was quite beautiful, and the Vietnamese people seemed to be gracious and kind. I know that Top Gear isn't a travelogue show, but still everything they showed along those lines made me want to see more. I know from reading other stories online, that Vietnam also has some incredible and amazing engineers and craftsmen... I'd have loved to see a challenge where they are to work with a team of Vietnamese engineers to overnight improve on the performance of their bikes (and a serious improvement, not a "stick twinkly things on it" type of joke bit that they sometimes do).

Which, of course, would naturally lead to the other thing the episode was missing: Communist Stig. They could've had a performance challenge, then they would "hand the bikes over to our tame racing driver's communist cousin." Had they taken out 90% of the practical jokes, the gag gifts, and the USA bike, they probably would've had plenty of time to fit this in.

So, with all those drawbacks... best I can muster is an 8. Still good TV, but just OK for Top Gear, and somewhat lacking for a Top Gear Special.

(The one question that I'm wondering - seeing Clarkson reading the menus and stuff, then having him answer the question in class, I'm wondering if he actually was able to learn some Vietnamese. That's pretty impressive if it was as it seemed.)
 
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chris1989

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I wish it was in HD it would been perfect on my new TV but over all it was great episode.
 

acabinian

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(The one question that I'm wondering - seeing Clarkson reading the menus and stuff, then having him answer the question in class, I'm wondering if he actually was able to learn some Vietnamese. That's pretty impressive if it was as it seemed.)

I would think he would have learned at least enough Vietnamese, while preparing for the trip, to be able to do basic things. It would be similar to someone like you or I learning a language before traveling to a foreign country for a holiday.

It helps you feel more comfortable in an unknown situation, and the locals (I think) appreciate and respect a foreigner trying to communicate in their language instead of using what they're comfortable with.
 

JosefCarlin

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Don't really know what to make of it. It was beautiful, funny, poignant, but it wasn't really Top Gear. I have noticed one can tell when the end of virtually every sitcom is near and all the writers and producers have run completely out of ideas. The <fill-in-the-blank-family> goes on a exotic vacation to <fill-in-the-name-of-exotic-country> and hilarity ensues as the stars run through their typical routines and nobody notices how tired the old formula has gotten because the scenery is just so damn beautiful. 12x8 felt a lot like that and it makes me quite sad.

After some consideration I give it a 5/10. One point each for the Apocalypse Now / Heart of Darkness (Oh the horror!) reference, Jeremy injuring his ribs, the embarrassment of wearing silly hats, the tolerance of the Vietnamese people, the beauty of Vietnam, and snake blood Vodka. I subtracted one point for the idiotic comment some moron left after modding my post down.
 
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idk

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What was the name of the island area where they ended the show (couldn't hear the name well from the ep)? People are really born, live their entire lives and die there? Amazing; I simply can't imagine such an existence; I have the desire now to see what that kind of life is like :)

Yeah, theres quite a few of those type of water villages in that area. People there actually get 'land sickness' when they go on land, in the same way that we get sea sickness when we go on water!

On German television there was a documentary about a ship cruise in this area.

http://www.zdf.de/ZDFmediathek/content/564596

The part of the Ha Long Bay starts at Minute 23. Also for those who don't speak German and are interested how people live on these floats it might be worth a watch.

I've also watched some documentaries in Spanish although i didn't understand a thing. But the pictures were worth it :)
 

edkwon

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I wonder if this poor guy knows he's been immortalized on the BBC

http://img523.imageshack.**/img523/1330/vlcsnap103548zt0.jpg
 

Censport

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My girlfriend, who is from Vietnam, loved it. I thought it was quite good too, but can't put a rating on it just yet. Need to soak it in.

The thing is, riding the Star Spangled Scooter wouldn't have been as bad as they think, as the Vietnamese generally don't harbor the ill will towards Americans as one might think. At least not as much as the typical UC-Berkeley student.
 
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Crls

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Enjoyable episode, not as good as some other TG specials, but the scenery and soundtrack were excellent. I think I missed cars, since thats whats they are best at, seeing them on some wacky motorcycles seems a bit weird to me. Also most of the funny stuff looked kinda forced, in other specials the humour came over more natural. 8/10
 
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Mark355

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Very well done. A lot went into this one. Favorite bit was Jeremy's initial horror to the prospect of biking across Vietnam.

9/10
 

idk

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Who was that? From the production team?

http://img114.imageshack.**/img114/976/vlcsnap00110cy6.jpg

I think she's really cute <3

And did anyone notice that brand new Mercedes Vietnam-Class?

http://img387.imageshack.**/img387/1112/vlcsnap00122rz7.jpg
 

Shawn

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I hope I don't offend anyone, but I thought this was a poor episode. I can only honestly give it a 5/10, and only because the music they used was simply superb. Pretty much every one song they used is in my top 50 favourites (minus the A-Team theme).

I dunno though, I think they are running out of ideas for trips. There will always be cars to do road tests on, but both this and the US muscle car trip were pretty mediocre by standards TG set themselves in earlier series.

I've come to terms with Top Gear being a scripted entertainment show now, but even with that I only laughed once this episode, at James' line about his soggy dong.
 
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Banii

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10/10 - nuff said.
 

edkwon

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I hope I don't offend anyone, but I thought this was a poor episode. I can only honestly give it a 5/10, and only because the music the used was simply superb. Pretty much everyone song they used is in my top 50 favourites (minus the A-Team theme).

I dunno though, I think they are running out of ideas for trips. There will always be cars to do road tests on, but both this and the US muscle car trip were pretty mediocre by standards TG set themselves in earlier series.

I've come to terms with Top Gear being a scripted entertainment show now, but even with that I only laughed once this episode, at James' line about his soggy dong.

admit it, seeing so many poor southeast asian ppl saturating the show made you uncomfortable and detracted from your enjoyment of the show, right?








i'm kidding. vietnam isnt everyone's cup of tea. One thing i give Clarkson (and may as well) respect for is they both have an appreciation of foreign delicacies...aka really gross foreign foods. Watch the ep of F Word where May eats bull's penis, snake whiskey and rotted shark without gagging.
 

idk

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When i was in England everything tasted like this stuff you just mentioned, no matter what it really was :p :p :p

(PS: I was 15 back then and when i was there i was at McDonalds for the first time in my life!)
 

Ilpav

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Richard got it wrong! That Minsk bike isn't Russian! It's from Belarus (Minsk is the capital city)! :p

Awesome episode, great scenery, bloody hilarious, and not as scripted as I dreaded (apart from Richard hitting the ceiling fan with the galleon).

Great end to a great series.

10/10.

Edit: Also about the USA bike, it would have been a lot worse if they done that in Cuba! :lol:
 
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