[17x07] December 28th, 2011 [India Special]

[17x07] December 28th, 2011 [India Special]


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Ellie

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Because when there has been wholesale whinging here in the past he has done. Now the whinging had spread to Pistonheads and to the majority of the comments on their own website I reckon he kind of has to.

This, added to the fact that, for an exec producer, Wilman (though I think he's a genius overall, it must be said) sadly has monumentally thin skin, historically, when it comes to criticism. As someone who's educated/works in TV herself (often in close proximity to execs), I've only witnessed one other with AS thin skin; he was a co-exec on Frasier, and used to ARGUE with the fans constantly on forums (AND routinely e-mailed long, argumentative diatribes to a close TV friend of mine), trying to make them GET!!! their team's storytelling genius when it (and viewership) had clearly been on a steady decline come the end. :/

I'd sincerely be mighty impressed to see some sort of understanding acknowledgement of the fans' thoughts, both positive and negative, at the very least. No, you're never going to please everyone, TG team, so cowering behind that argument after THIS particular effort, IMHO, would be rather turdy. And, refrain from instantly being flippant or dismissive of the thoughts and opinions of others (and this goes for FG forum peeps, as well, really). While some may have enjoyed the India Special, others - a majority of which, rather agreed upon - are perfectly entitled to think the Special was downright silly, a waste of a beautiful shooting locale with amazing people, history, Epic Race potential, etc. And we can attempt to live happily-ish ever after, while hoping/aiming for higher quality in forthcoming eps. Dig?

*retires from this thread, hoping for better things to come from the TG team*
 
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The Spie

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Only an excess of 9s and 8s prevent the rating from being a perfect normal distribution curve (i. e. Bell Curve). On a forum geared toward fans who tend to overrate, that's the last thing those ratings should look like. There is no denying that this episode was not well-received. There might just end up being some blood in the office on Monday, especially given Andy's tendency to overreact. He's going to post a blog entry at the official site about this one. I'm wondering if it's going to be a mea culpa or if he's going to go into defensive mode like he did with Series 14.

By the way, how have the newspaper reviews of this been back in Blighty?
 

skylock

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So, I have watched it 3 times now and I likd it better each time.

James and that lawn mower are so funny. I have decided Jeremy has nice legs. Still would have liked to see more of the snake, cobras facinate me. More of the ball game too.

I don't understand where all the "outrage" is coming from over the "disrespecting" India. I don't think of it as any more of a hell hole than I did before watching it. Would still like to go see for myself now.

My initial reaction was 5/10 but have decided to give it 7/10 now. It is still bottom of all the shows, but I still laghed a lot. The looks on their faces when that banner is ripped out of the train are priceless.
 

MWF

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I just worked out how they should have done it. After one large vodka and tonic. In about 20 minutes.

Go to India with ?2000 to buy a car.

Richard is the first to arrive in a Mahindra Jeep which is as close to a Jeep Wrangler as he can get and fits with his metrosexual personality. Naturally James turns up in a Hindustani Ambassador because, like him, it's from the 1950s. Finally Jeremy turns up and he has been clever because unlike the other two his car is brand new and he spent the budget hiring a Tata Nano on the basis that Tata owns Jaguar and therefore what he has is a baby Jaaaaaag. All stereotype expectations duly satisfied.

Cue a really good road trip with much funny derived from the fact that unless he looks after it Jeremy will lose his deposit etc etc etc while the other two don't care because they have to nurse theirs all the way from the start point to the Himalayas where they leave the cars to show the burgeoning Chinese car industry how to make great, cheap cars that will take whatever India and its roads can chuck at them.

And replace the Allegro with the Austin Montego which was built under license in India and is the epitome of BL shite. Forget the trade mission entirely or at least make it so that they are showcasing Indian cars and encouraging then to import to the UK or something.

Hey, Wilman, I can haz TopGear job?

:p
 

LP

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I just worked out how they should have done it. After one large vodka and tonic. In about 20 minutes.

Go to India with ?2000 to buy a car.

Richard is the first to arrive in a Mahindra Jeep which is as close to a Jeep Wrangler as he can get and fits with his metrosexual personality. Naturally James turns up in a Hindustani Ambassador because, like him, it's from the 1950s. Finally Jeremy turns up and he has been clever because unlike the other two his car is brand new and he spent the budget hiring a Tata Nano on the basis that Tata owns Jaguar and therefore what he has is a baby Jaaaaaag. All stereotype expectations duly satisfied.

Cue a really good road trip with much funny derived from the fact that unless he looks after it Jeremy will lose his deposit etc etc etc while the other two don't care because they have to nurse theirs all the way from the start point to the Himalayas where they leave the cars to show the burgeoning Chinese car industry how to make great, cheap cars that will take whatever India and its roads can chuck at them.

And replace the Allegro with the Austin Montego which was built under license in India and is the epitome of BL shite. Forget the trade mission entirely or at least make it so that they are showcasing Indian cars and encouraging then to import to the UK or something.

Hey, Wilman, I can haz TopGear job?

:p

Now THAT I could watch.

The lack of a greater roadtrip (with the whole train travel), and the lack of showcasing the country were some of the major negative aspects of this episode.
 

Cancun

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@MWF Pure genius.

Add to that some local colour, attempting to nail some Indian bureaucracy jelly to the wall... They should be made to go back and do it all over again. Or do that in Pakistan. Or something.
 

SinSina

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This ranks somewhere along with season 14 and Ground Force in quality. Frankly at some points I was embarrassed both for them and by them. Such a disappointment on the back of season 17 which demonstrated a real return to form.

This was filmed in the most populous and vibrant country it is possible in which to film currently and instead of embracing that and perhaps doing a full road trip from the southerly most point of India to the Himalayas, celebrating the culture, work-ethic, warmth and hospitality of a country that has many reasons to despise the British they chose some trite and pointless statement by one of Jeremy's fuckbuddies as the premise for the most lame and ill-conceived piece they have ever contrived to produce.

While I dont feel that strongly against the special, I do agree that it was disappointing considering the quality of series 17. It was way too scripted, and the jokes were old and overdone.

That being said, despite knowing that all the jokes were scripted, I still laughed at many parts, and at the end I was entertained.

HOWEVER, what you say is right, rather than script old jokes into the special, they could've simply toured India and shown the country's unique characteristics as you mentioned above. This would've made for a MUCH more interesting special, kind of like what they did with Vietnam and Bolivia.

A bit disappointing, but still, I came away entertained because I wasnt expecting a documentary.
 

fisheye

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I think what it comes down to is: you can only create something brilliant if

a) you are brilliant and

b) you do what you like best yourself.

Additionally, it can only keep being brilliant for a long time if:

c) you are brilliant in a broad scope, so there is lots to explore

Now the TG team obviously has a lot of brilliance. And in a broad scope at that. But in the later seasons they started to cater for other people, like kids and uninterested partners. That means they can't use their brilliance at the fullest anymore, because you can only be brilliant in things you like yourself best.

I think that's what happened. TG will remain nice, but not brilliant as long as they don't get back to their own roots. That doesn't mean TG should be solely centered on cars though; the presenters have a lot more to say about the world than cars only.
 

Harpy

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I haven't read through all the previous pages, so sorry if I'm just repeating other people.

I must admit that I was really excited about this one. It looked like it had potential. I was really happy to see the TG band do more. The stuff on the train when they were practicing gave me high hopes (complete with their out of tune singing :)). But the performance at the 'garden party' was a let down. (And who was singing?)

I did laugh through some of it, and there were some genuine moments (the cricket game at the end for example), but over all it just left me feeling slightly disappointed. It wasn't inspiring, like Bolivia, or moving, like Vietnam. It was all too planned, nothing surprising happened, there were no twists, and everything was rubbish.
This time it didn't feel ambitious. Just rubbish.

If you're reading this guys, please take note of what we are saying.
And use MWF's idea.
 

orangefizz

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Hmmm.....just DISAPPOINTED. What can I say.

it seems like they had all the ingredients for a rollicking time, but it wasn't terribly well executed. I don't question the level of work that went into making this special, but 20 minutes spent on some silly party was just...silly. A party? Really?

What about a rally race in those 3-wheel taxis? What about out-pulling an elephant or racing buses across some rice paddies?

India is a big place. I just didn't see a lot of imagination here. Sorry.
 

JBturbo

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I certainly wasn't impressed with this episode, which is a huge shame given the resources that must have been put into it.

One bit I (unexpectedly) disliked is the involvement of the production crew on screen. Whilst I appreciate their hard work very much as soon as they all got on camera it immediately disbands the '3 lads on a road trip' thing which makes these so successful. It was evident later as well, when they hooked up James's brakes to his horn. It's clear Hammond or Clarkson had nothing to do with that. They pull out air-con units with screwdrivers and chisels.

Ultimately it seems as though the hosts don't think they can be funny anymore, so they have to plan what they're going to do and say. If they'd have said 'Here's ?1000, you've got to get to here - go' then I have no doubt that those guys would come up with more than enough to fill an hour and a half.

I don't mean to compare myself to the lads but I went on a road trip with a mate this summer and I could probably fill an hour of better material than went on in this special!
 
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Icedvovo

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I just worked out how they should have done it. After one large vodka and tonic. In about 20 minutes.

Richard is the first to arrive in a Mahindra Jeep which is as close to a Jeep Wrangler as he can get and fits with his metrosexual personality. Naturally James turns up in a Hindustani Ambassador because, like him, it's from the 1950s.

:p

Great notion, but probably torpedoed by the fact that the BBC had already done exactly that in 2011 with India on Four Wheels.

And if they HAD done it we'd now all be whinging that they'd copied that show.
 
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RoamingGnome

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I gave it 5 out of respect for TG, but it was pretty dreadful. Parts of it were mildly interesting and maybe it could have also been quite funny had we not seen the scripted stupidity coming, and by the same token all of it before. Many times. Miles away. In much in the same vein as memes, funny at first, now I just cringe every time I come across one: just give it the fuck up. I'm just lost lost for words, really. The episode on a whole was just pretty much crap and not something I would willingly watch again.
 
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chan625

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That's where you're wrong. I like factual programmes, but I also like to be entertained. Probably just like most people on this site. This is the excuse that the people of TG have had when an episode gets bad reviews here. Oh the people on Final Gear won't like it cause it's not about cars. Bull***. We don't like it 'cause it's just not good. I don't need cars to be interested or to be entertained. It's just that Richard taking a corner too quickly and then (over)acting all surprised when everything on his roof falls off is NOT entertaining. It's not funny. It's crap.


I think what he means by that is we want more Interesting stuff! Something that maybe a bit scripted but looks so real & funny, like when the the banner roll flew outta train door or reinventing cricket but unlike Jezza's cracker workshop.
Cause these are the things that draw you into the experience and although its tough to satisfy everyone's taste; I must say they have managed it very well in the past...not just in christmas specials but TG in general.
 

homerbeer

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Pretty average episode so I gave it a 6/10.

The whole garden party was disgraceful! I couldn't stop cringing the whole time they completely and utterly made arses out of themselves and were utterly disrepectful to the guests that showed. That isn't funny, just rude.
 

r11co

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By the way, how have the newspaper reviews of this been back in Blighty?

Not good, although it is hard for Top Gear to be mentioned in the press now without being linked to some political or social faux-pas by the pariah that Jeremy is rapidly becoming.

This is typical of what is being said (I know the post is from a 'minority interest' forum, but the writer is Keith Adams who is a freelance jornalist who writes for many of the nation's newspapers and car magazines).

PS. MWF - absolutely brilliant. Shame we can't wind the clock back...
 
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