[14x02] November 22nd, 2009

[14x02] November 22nd, 2009


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neworderrr

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As with many here, I liked it, but not as much as last week (14x01). Seemed to have highs and low-mediums. (I won't say lows)

Geoff pt.1 was ho-hum, and the track test seemed as if I saw it before. SIARPC was good. News was alright. Geoff/Thrust pt. 2 was mostly great.

Gave it a 7/10 for some average segments with numerous funny parts, and demerits for forced pieces. I did love it compared to most everything else I've seen lately.
 
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ALXBWSCREW

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watched it in a hurry so it wasn't that good for me - that's not the way to watch top gear.
 

flydiscovery

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It's slapstick. And in my book, slapstick never gets old, even if it can get a bit tired.

That's exactly the problem. Top Gear has never been entirely slapstick. There's always been a beautiful mix of intellectual, physical, and naughty humor. When it gets to be just one of those, especially when naughty humor becomes toilet humor, it only tickles one of my funny bones. I get a lot more out of the mix. Slapstick is fine, the 3 stooges are perfectly funny, but there's only so much of it I'm interested in.
 
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cheffi

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Hmmm, sorry to say this but i really couldn't enjoy this episode... sure some good parts, but over all... someone said "dull" before...

But most of all i can't really stand these driving into towns and create a traffic mess parts...
At some things like the cheap supercar challenge for example it was sort of ok for me, but building a car knowing (and they did know this) that it will cause such a mess... maybe it's taken a bit too far now..
 

Hiro11

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Re: the R8 vs. Corvette. 100 times out of 100, I'd pick the Audi. I love everything about the R8.

And yet, I have to say I'm annoyed by yet another example of the irritating English attitudes toward the Corvette. All English car reviewers seem to be ridiculously prejudiced in the most hypocritical, snobby and irritating way towards 'vettes. They just can't help themselves.

In the ZR1, you have a car with the same brakes (not similar, the same) as an Enzo and the same adaptive dampers as a 599 (and, surprisingly, the Audi).

The ZR1 has a relatively light and compact engine that (despite its pushrod technology) is incredibly flexible and offers ridiculous torque at low revs, is turbo lag free and gets better gas mileage than any other 600+ hp engine in the world (if efficiency is a proxy for a engineering success).

The car has much more carbon fiber than the Audi and weighs a couple of hundred pound less.

The ZR1 is even more practical than the Audi. It can be repaired by your local blacksmith, has a huge trunk and has an engine that will never, ever break. This is a car that you could thrash on a track for months on end with absolutely no damage.

And none, none of that is mentioned. Instead we get the same old story that this is essentially a 60's muscle car in drag, we get Clarkson pushing in on the bumper (for at least the fouth time on the show) and calling it "plastic" (the car is made out of fiberglass and carbon fiber, for God's sake). We get Clarkson calling the car unmanageable despite the fact that every other reviewer (including Clarkson himself) has categorically said that the ZR1 is an amazingly docile car for something that can outperform basically anything else on the road. If you want to talk raw performance, the ZR1 would eat the Audi easily. Also, it bears mentioning, the Corvette costs at least $40K less. What a bunch of bullshit.

Corvettes that are fairly similar to the Z06 and ZR1 have been destroying European competition in the Le Mans series for at least a decade. For crissake English reviewers, could it be, maybe, that these are at least not bad cars? Maybe they do indeed have some worth? Perhaps? I don't even like the Corvette and yet I think this is a bit absurd.
 
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JleeLink

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I'm giving it a 7 out of 10 here. It started off average (well average for top gear which is good) but then kinda tumbled when they got stuck and lost in the electric car. The news wasnt spectacular but I guess this is because I didnt really get the whole accent thing and sheffield thing. The excitement thing was pretty funny but once that guy got on stage it went down.

The R8 vs ZR1 was relatively good, really liked the camera angles on both cars.

Guest was quite meh to me, no idea really who he was.

Second electric car was quite good but I did cringe a bit on the crash test where they pretended to crash in slow mo. The other tests were pretty funny such as the reversal of the side hitting test. The Autocar review was pretty awesome also lol.
 

Mike Nassour

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Uneven....thy name is Top Gear.

The photography/editing and other production values completely blew away the content this time. Many, many thanks to the folks who did the work on the R8/Vette segment. It was truly a visual treat, a work of art.

Regarding Clarkson's opinions on the R8 and the Vette...yes, they've been published before. However, I think the point of this test was to compare the soul of these two vehicles. Clarkson proclaimed the R8, for all intents and purposed, soulless. Despite the Vette's attempt to kill him with a seat belt;), he seemed rather taken with its coarse quality.

Geoff...well, cute for a while, but frankly it ran too long. By the end of the first segment we all knew that an electric car made by the guys would be rubbish and the jokes were exhausted. Roll him down the cliff and bring back the cool wall for the time gained. If they were trying to poke fun at the state of the electric car today, they didn't quite make it. But big points for the Green Stig, though! Easily the funniest part of the segment, IMHO.

SIARPC: Where is it written that the star has to be a car person? I barely know what "Twilight" is, but found this person rather engaging. And contrasting Clarkson with someone who really doesn't care about cars is really kind of entertaining.

And Jeremy, Richard, James....we know you're on after 9:00 and can say "penis" on the air. It was cute the first couple of times, then meh, now it's lost all its value. Good writers know when to be crude for effect. Your writing should be better than that.

Just for grins, after this episode I revisited a couple of the old segments, the original 100 Pound car challenge and Darts with Cars. The first I still found fascinating, the second still funny for the very audacity of the concept. I'm afraid that...and I know it's difficult...fresh new material is becoming thinner and thinner at Top Gear. Perhaps it's to be expected. Perhaps there needs to be one or more new writers. I don't know.

I think Clarkson may have hit upon the very spirit of Top Gear in the R8/Vette comparo. In the end, he chose the Vette because he had fun in it. We choose Top Gear because we have fun watching it.

After the first few minutes, Geoff wasn't much fun. He was just incompetent and the guys were trying to make it look fun. Maybe the guys know each other too well now for there to be any real surprises and we're reduced to drawing pictures on the sides of each other's faces.

When you combine spontaneous humor with the soul of the automobile, you have a classic Top Gear episode. As you can tell, I didn't think 14X02 fell into that category. But I'm hopeful for a return.
 
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Trollbooth

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It's a lot like sweets.

You have this giant bucket of sweets.

You could eat them all in one go and get a horrible stomach ache and generally ruin your day, or you could have just a few, moderate your consumption of the sweets (while also eating what might be more boring, but healthy stuff) and you'll feel good and have a sweet taste in your mouth.

The childish humor and scripted jokes are a lot like sweets. In moderation they can take a steady diet of car reviews and make life a bit exciting. Make the entire program just humor and scripted jokes and it'll give you a stomach ache, which is what happened with this episode.

And I'm starting to get the sense that the boys (and Wilman) have become so engrossed in these silly caricature versions of themselves used to present Top Gear that they're starting to confuse the caricature with the real person.
 
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desertgeek

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Electic Car part 1- predictably rubbish. The Mood Room was funny, but everything else I saw coming and it was the same pattern as their other films of this type.

News- The least funny part of the show and that's usually not the case.

Audi R8- Corvette Review- I wasn't as interested in this as I thought I'd be. Corvette review was pretty much as expected: fast in a straight line, rubbish on the turns, cheap plastic, it's a product of incest. Jezza- it was made in Detroit, not Alabama. There is a difference...not much of a difference, but a difference nonetheless. But I give the review an extra point though for its use of "Stockholm Syndrome" by Muse in the film.

SIARPC- It's rare for me to like this segment 2 weeks in a row, but I did. Not the biggest car guy, but a truly interesting character. And he thinks hybrids are shit! Even better. And he did that lap jet lagged.

Electic Car part 2- The events were predictable, but the execution of them...was still fairly predictable. When they said they'd be in the car for the head on test, I knew they'd slow the car down and speed the film up. The side impact film I guessed from the intro to the show (showing Hamster saying "look out" backwards). The only parts I actually found funny were the messed up translations in the car and Jezza's OFCOM remark.

I guess what I'm saying overall is this: it's fine to be scripted, but don't be so predictable. Last week, there were a lot of parts that I didn't see coming or did expect, but not in the way it was done. This week, I guessed about 50% of the show before it even happened. Therefore, half the points gone. 5/10
 

ahpadt

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Why don't you take your red blobs and go find somewhere else to play?

You are not going to convince people you are right and they are stupid for enjoying the show presented to us.

In the 8 yr old world the TG 3 like to live in, drawing a penis on someone's face is pissing funny. And who is this "WE" that are expecting a different kind of humor? Is it the people that think like you and hang around on fan boards for a show they clearly are not enjoying.

It is what it is. The fact it is not going in the direction YOU want is unfortunate for you, but what are your options? Hang around here and keep collecting red blobs until you are banned, or move on and find a new show.

So because you have green blobs you are the superior forum user? Use 2 fucking cells in your brain and then you'll probably realise that he's a tiny bit sarcastic. Why do you even bother?
 

liquid_rockface

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Ok I gave this 5/10. In my opinion this was one of the worst TG episodes that I remember in ages. I actually started to feel embarrassed for them during the "car testing" segment. They have way more intelligent humour than to waste it on nonsense like this. For those wondering, I rated last episode 10/10 and I normally don't rate below 8 for Top Gear.

It annoyed me that 3/4 of the programme was taken up with this nonsense electric car which was useless and not terribly funny. A lot of the jokes are overused already and tired.

The guest was not very good either, I found him boring though his lap was good.

Only thing that saved this episode was the R8 vs ZR1 but I wish they'd show more of each car, give you more of a feeling of what it's like to drive in a supercar like that. It was pretty decent though.

I hope next episode will be better.
 

Dr_Grip

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I hated Geoff. Worst piece of Top Gear in years.
3/10

THIS.

I gave it four out of ten because i thought the R8 (should actually R10 with the new engine, shouldn't it?) vs. Corvette review was brilliant, a solid nine - but as two thirds of the episode was Geoff, which was the worst film in Top Gear's entire history, i can't hand out more than four in total. Geoff was boring, unfunny, had bad acting - i think it's the first time i watched a Top Gear segment without feeling any joy or fun. You like some things more, other things less, but that i hated.


It's slapstick. And in my book, slapstick never gets old, even if it can get a bit tired.
Yes, but -as has been said before- Top Gear never has been only about slapstick. And on top of that, slapstick needs top comedy actors with perfect timing to work. Watch the Marx Brother's "A Night At The Opera" or any W.C. Fields short to see brilliant timing. The Top Gear boys, on the other hand, aren't even actors and sadly don't get their timing right. They might be able to do a brilliant semi-improvised stand-up routine (which Top Gear's fun moments are at their best), but the physical timing and perfection needed for slapstick is something they lack.
It's not about scripting for me. It's about trying to do a kind of comedy they don't have talent for.

Drawing penis on Jeremy's face...:D:D:D:D:D:D:D:D

Drawing a penis on somebodies face is not funny. You gotta do better than that. We expect more from top gear. The humour was silly, laden with forced sexuality, and not very good.

I must confess i'm with Mr. Red Blob here (and not for the first time shocked how quick you, skylock, arrive at harsh judgements from a claimed higher morale ground).
I like dick jokes, i liked all the childish double-entendre giggling during the (much too short once again) news. But the painted penis on Jeremy's face was not even funny on a pimple-faced, sex-starved, backwards-cap-wearing sixteen-year old's humour scale. Instead, it was another nail in the coffin of the Geoff film.
 
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Jupix

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Let me just echo the voice of those who feel this episode failed to deliver both fun and fascination. Especially liquid_rockface - I, too, think this was one of the worst eps in recent memory. Building the Caterham stands out as worse than this, but not many others. Also the poster who said the blokes have substituted their real identities and behavior with this Top Gear role, which drives them all into mindless monkeys. They're painful to watch in that state, which is why I so loathe these "how hard can it be" challenges. Thankfully May is usually affected quite mildly by this role revolution thing.

To put it simply, I got 2 smirks out of this ep. Neither of them was induced by the dudes falling over and telling cock jokes. Nor was I entertained with any new cars, because as I said in the pre-ep thread, we've seen both of them before. And the guest wasn't a petrolhead.

In a nutshell: 4/10
 
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Caracciola

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There are ups and downs in TG like in every show. I found this 'slapstick' elctric car part really cool...yes, it was predictable - and still funny for me.

Or...I just found it a lot of fun 'cause you probarly havn't a lot of fun outside in the dark and rainy autumn times.

Anyway...I'm looking forward for next weeks episode and how 'slapstick' it will be.
 
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toni_argentino

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getting really tired of seeing them beeing rubbish at things on purpose. Weakest episode in a long time, IMO. While i did chuckle at the reverse filming bit, the whole electric car segment was boring, predictable and a complete waste of time.

Couldn't agree more.
They should get rid of the script for once. They insist on making a funny script, but they aren't comedians. The laughs in Top Gear used to come from their spontaneous interaction.
 

Aoshi_88

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Bit through the episode now... and I live in Sheffield. Uh-oh! :D:D

Oh God... The Chipmunk Hamster!
 
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Kiskaloo

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That's exactly the problem. Top Gear has never been entirely slapstick. There's always been a beautiful mix of intellectual, physical, and naughty humor.
Yes, but -as has been said before- Top Gear never has been only about slapstick. And on top of that, slapstick needs top comedy actors with perfect timing to work...(The Top Gear boys) might be able to do a brilliant semi-improvised stand-up routine (which Top Gear's fun moments are at their best), but the physical timing and perfection needed for slapstick is something they lack.

Both valid points, which is why I added the "can get tired" part.

I too saw a number of these "gags" coming well before they were delivered because they are predictable: the car falling on the chassis, the clogging up traffic, the forgetting to set the parking brake. It's almost like they are required pieces to any Top Gear challenge. The surprise would be them not being present.

Maybe they have just hoed the same row too many times and the ground is out of nutrients. It's Top Gear so it still makes me laugh which is always a good thing in my book, but I do personally feel it might be starting to go "over the hump" and starting the long, gradual slide into, not mediocrity, but "blandness".

It's not a case of "jumping the shark" or "running out of ideas", but more the natural progression of a show that has lasted so long - especially with the same core group of presenters, producers and writers. Again solely in my opinion, it started off on wobbly legs (Series 1 and 2), found it's footing (Series 3 and 4), ran long and hard (Series 5 through 12) and than started to get tired and slowed down a bit (Series 13).

Perhaps some new writing blood is needed to bring back some of the "cleverness" and "zaniness" I personally loved in Series 4-12.
 
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JoeBlo1

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The trio really need to stop the penis jokes. Isn't Top Gear meant to be a family show? This excessive focus on toilet humor and sexuality is getting quite old.

The crash has really affected Hammond's personality (and fashion sense). At one point I regarded Hammond as the best car reviewer of the three but the massive concussion he suffered has robbed him of his wit and humor. Maybe you guys have noticed this stark contrast when comparing old footage of Richard with the recent episodes. His demeanor seems quite awkward most times and he usually tries to force jokes. Such a shame.
 
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