I hate it when they do that. If he was just ranting it would be ok as a gag, but he usually has genuine things to say about whatever he's talking about, so cutting him off just pretty much dumbs the show down.at the point when May is on about the steering wheel and woudl have liked him to elaborate.
A bit dangerous for my rep to barge in critiquing an episode after a solid 7 pages of people raving about how perfect it was, but anyway...
Either I was sleeping at the start or I totally missed where they started the road trip. I mean the road had a name and they were clear about what it was but for most of the ep I was pretty much in the dark about where it was. Was there a traditional map overview at the beginning?
The drag race in the wet was cringeworthy. How hard can it be to just accept after the first try that the electronics alone won't stop the wheels spinning if you just floor the throttle? Though I guess it's obvious the Merc would've lost anyway, so without the spinning wheels gag there'd be no point to the whole scene.
The mayor was really sympathetic, I liked how he pulled the strings to try and get Jeremy his tyre but too bad none were available. Not too surprising obviously. Actually I found it a bit odd he was still tagging along after the opening scene at the oval track. Really enjoyed the atmosphere in the NASCAR sequence though. Husky Rescue is great as always, TG has used their music numerous times, most notably in the Millau roadtrip film.
I did consider this the 16x01 episode since it featured the traditional season opening teaser. Don't really give much weight to the iPlayer numbering or whatever is considered "official" so far ITT since that number was in all likelihood slapped on by someone who doesn't pay much attention to the show. Also don't really consider it a special since most the traditional components of TG (news segment, SIARPC) were there. For a traditional episode I'm again disappointed at the fact I learnt absolutely nothing during the episode, as far as cars. After all, all the cars had already been featured. (Italia and 911 on TG, Mercedes on CTIJ.)
Come to mention the 911, my sarcastic reaction to Hammond's choice of vehicle: "and Hammond chooses a.... *drumroll* Porsche! surprise!"
I'm absolutely sick of 911s on Top Gear, at least when Jeremy raves on about Ferraris and Mercedes it's mostly about different models and there's something new to say about them. Unlike the Porsche 911 after Porsche 911 after Porsche 911 that is exactly the same every time. "It's so light, it's so nimble, so crisp, so much easier to drive than the 60s and 70s and 80s ones, and you lose all your friends when you buy one, and the expensive ones have less parts!"
I still dislike the SLS's sound, it's the worst AMG V8 soundtrack to date IMO. Maybe it's just how it sounds on video and it would be awesome live, but the way it currently sounds is that it loses all its balls at more than, say, 3k rpm. The sound is hollow and sharp and edgy, so basically everything I disapprove of in an exhaust note.
The Fezza sounds ok though and it's still very pretty. Was surprised the boys didn't take the mickey out of May when he chose it, owning the F430 himself. (Remember, Jeremy said in the Italia review that May can't possibly live with his F430 now that the Italia is so superior in every way, or something to that effect.)
I don't really get the TGUS hate. Frankly the 5 eps so far have been better than the last 5 seasons of TGUK. It's got its annoyances but there's more substance to it, and when the kid stuff starts, it doesn't feel like watching your dad drunk. That is because the presenters aren't near-as-makes-no-difference in their 50s. Also, the substance is presented with an actual on-screen display of interest, not the Clarksonesque yelling and giggling act which he's emplyed for longer than I can remember now.
Actually, speaking of Clarkson, I hate the way he articulates his narration these days. I can't really find the words to describe the change for someone who hasn't noticed it. I don't actually think it's even a matter of articulation, he's crystal clear in what he's saying, but the sound of his voice is like he's "sarcastically acknowledging grandeur" in whatever he's introducing to the audience, a car, a place, a person or whatever. And he does it all the time. It's like the further down the TGUK seasons we've come the less and less there's any sincerity to his voice and to me it sounds like all of TG is a joke to him these days. It's like a mannerism, but it wasn't there in the early seasons and what's interesting is that I don't really remember witnessing it in CTIJ either.
Anyway, fortunately during this road trip there was none of the usual kid stuff, mostly just cracking jokes.
I enjoyed the "would you like some pussy" joke in the news since it was so outrageous for an uncensored national broadcast, but after the initial joke, at the "pour pussy on it" stage, it was just an old joke and not funny.
Man that cheapo camera drone is cool though. It's obviously pointless but it's basically an iPhone controlled miniature helicopter with a live feeding video camera on it! How awesome is that?!
All in all a pretty good hour of tv. At least it inspired some thought and I've certainly forgotten to write about a lot of it at this point. I'd say 7/10 on a TG scale...
Edit: corrected errors and do want to say that the scenery and how they shot it, and then made it look in post was absolutely jaw-dropping. The countryside, the small town scenery, the huge bridges and then NYC. All of it was mindblowingly beautiful. One more thing about post is that I think they edited this film with a noticeably slow pace for TG of late. This is one thing that I really like about TGUS, the pace is a lot slower so you can digest what you see and actually the extremely fast pace of recent TG car "reviews" has almost made me ill at times. Also, color offsets and such were very tame and good-looking. Goes to show a picture need not be striking to be beautiful.