Kill, reformat or do nothing?

Kill, reformat or do nothing?

  • I would kill off the show after this season.

    Votes: 17 8.1%
  • I would reformat the show after this season.

    Votes: 55 26.2%
  • I would leave it as it is.

    Votes: 138 65.7%

  • Total voters
    210

The Spie

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Anybody think they're having trouble getting cars to review? The Germans are their usual accommodating selves (with the notable exception of the Bentley Mulsanne), Ferrari will bend over backwards for Jeremy, and Pagani might not be around today if TG didn't review every single Zonda that came off the line, so they'll always throw a bone TG's way. But the only things we've seen from GM lately have been one Camaro and the Holdens in the Ashes special. Nothing from France since the Twingo review. The remark about the Focus being "just a car" might be telling in this regard, since Ford's been absent lately. Could it be that the glut of supercars and unobtainables might be because they can't borrow a normal car?

Just a thought.
 

Ravenlord

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I don't understand why you're showing me Clarkson/Wilman quotes from 4 years ago when everything I've said relates to only to the last 5 episodes.

Because it explains the direction they've taken and the reasons why. You say the show is broken - the quotes indicate there was a explicit decision to appeal to a wider audience at the expense of 'petrolheads'.

Last season this thread would have been marked "troll" and locked. After the first 5 of 16, you have 3 pages of Forum regulars agreeing. Sounds like it's worth discussing then.

"3 pages of forum regulars agreeing" doesn't seem to reflect general consensus that Top Gear has turned to shit. The poll shows 70% would leave the show as is; the audience figures remain high.

And there's nothing wrong with discussing it - or does the discussion have to be one-sided and repeated in every post-episode discussion thread?

If the audience doesn't mind, why are you posting in a thread discussing what the show should do in the near future? From Season 9 (where your quotes were from) to 15 most didn't have an issue with the balance of entertainment and cars.

If you look back, the moans became prominent from Series 9. It's always the same refrain: this season is worse than last season; the scripting has become too obvious; Top Gear is broken and here's how it must be fixed; bring back the good old days when it was content for petrolheads.

So you don't like the current series - fine, we get that. You want to share your surefire ways to 'fix' Top Gear - fine, natter away (but please limit the spill in post-episode discussions).

The people who think it's broken at the moment most likely represent a tiny fraction of the audience.

It seems what is broken is your idea of what Top Gear should be and who the targeted audience should be.


I was just using these videos as an example of how even a totally unbroadcastable piece like this had me glued to the PC ... That piece was a lot more interesting to 911-lovers than the one they had billed as an "exploration of the 911" on the show (RH's silly Beetle-stunt).

Part of my Clarkson quote above explains their position on this: "I suspect the majority of the audience would rather we loaded both cars into a large plane, flew over the Arizona desert and then pushed them out to see which hit the ground first."

They're producing content to appeal to the masses - catching eyeballs slumped on the couch on a Sunday night. And they're catering to the enthusiasts - by putting more niche content on the web. Plus there's Fifth Gear for more predicatable car matters.
 

GerFix

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Plus there's Fifth Gear for more predicatable car matters.

I've seen that used as defense many times; "There is always Fifth Gear, if you want car reviews".
Maybe the solution is for the two shows to swap hosts? Get Clarkson etal to do Fifth Gear and Tiff, Plato and VBH can set fire to each other on Top Gear. :think:
 

Ravenlord

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Maybe the solution is for the two shows to swap hosts? Get Clarkson etal to do Fifth Gear and Tiff, Plato and VBH can set fire to each other on Top Gear. :think:

But then Fifth Gear would be in shambles. "Oh dear, that didn't go well at all."

As it is, Fifth Gear's format is essentially "golden years" Top Gear with current cars. Good visuals and synchonised music, good technical information, good mix of cars, and that all important automotive passion.



Isn't this what the Unhappy want in their motoring program?
 

GerFix

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^ That isn't quite what I meant. I mean, Clarkson etal present Fifth Gear as Fifth Gear ...... and the current Fifth Gear hosts can be thrown to Wilman etal and made to do stupid shit to please the bored, the easily amused, and the ratings.
 
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TC

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Fifth Gear has never come close to TopGear in it's "golden years".

Personally, I never understood the excuse that TopGear needs to appeal to the larger masses. I mean, why the hell would you start a car show if you wanted to appeal to the largest possible audience? It's downright idiotic. But TopGear was such an awesome car show, that even people who have no real interest in cars liked it. TopGear is the ultimate car show. But they're turning away from that. They don't want to be a car show anymore, because there is more money in being an unintelligent entertainment sitcom. Personally I'd rather not see TopGear turn into The Three Stooges with a Lambo parked in the background.

But don't expect the ratings to go down any time soon. Even people like myself who often criticize TopGear never miss an episode. That does not mean the show doesn't have room to improve though. Besides which, the show is always changing. It's changed a lot over the years and will continue to do so no doubt. So they might as well change in the direction that directly lead to all their success, imo.
 
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MattD1zzl3

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I would love to see top gear continue without jeremy clarkson or andy wilmans involvement. Or with it, but i dont think the show needs either of them to survive. "Doctor who" made a fantastic transition to a new crew and producer, and it freshened up a show that was starting to look a little stale.

I say sack clarkson and hammond, keep may, find some random guy and a female host, and pretend like the other two didnt exist, the famous "Anyway, we've got two new hosts, here is the new ford fusion" they are always threatening to do if a host (god forbid) was killed.
 

That American Girl

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I'm not so sure.

For me, the thing that made me love Top Gear was the interaction between the three hosts. It's like watching my three younger brothers do silly stuff. I honestly think that that main appeal of the show IS those three hosts and how they interconnect.

Could Top Gear go on with different hosts?

Yes. Look at Top Gear USA, and Top Gear Australia. I've never seen the Aussie version, and I'm trying to like the US version, but it just lacks that...something.

I believe it's the fact that it's not Jeremy, Richard and James doing the presenting that has kept me from loving the US one instead of just liking it for now.

Would I like for them to go back to doing things that at least appear to be less scripted? Yes.

Stuff like the old "Cheap Car Challenges" and silly challenges like the Amphibious car/boat were great. A certain amount of that was set up, but then it was up to the guys to just go with it and have fun. They just don't look like they're having as much fun as they used to. And I miss that.

A lot of shows fall into the belief that each new episode needs to utterly top the last one. That might sound good, but it just sets them up to fail.

Top Gear has such a varied and widespread fan base that I think that they can forget about making trying to make headlines, or seeing how flashy they can do things and just get on with making the show and have fun doing it.

In my opinion, that's what some of the later seasons are missing. It's not about what car they have, or what country they're going to this week..

We want to see them doing these things and having a blast doing it.



Either way, I still love the show. :cool:
 

Ravenlord

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^ That isn't quite what I meant. I mean, Clarkson etal present Fifth Gear as Fifth Gear ...... and the current Fifth Gear hosts can be thrown to Wilman etal and made to do stupid shit to please the bored, the ill-educated, the easily amused, and the ratings.

You can't blame Wilman. When they say, "... but the producers told us we had to do this" - they themselves created that scenario. Clarkson is just as responsible for creating that "stupid shit to please the bored, the ill-educated, the easily amused, and the ratings." The thing is, it works for them.


I never understood the excuse that TopGear needs to appeal to the larger masses. I mean, why the hell would you start a car show if you wanted to appeal to the largest possible audience?

That's why we have threads like these, and the Unhappy. Top Gear isn't a niche motoring program, it's a business. It started out small, and grew large. Why didn't Google just stick to just providing a search engine, or Apple stick to personal computers? There's a bigger market out there.

Why would they 'dumb-down' the show to appeal to a larger audience? Because it makes money and provides opportunities for them.
Why would they do Live shows rather than spend the time working on the nest series? Because those Live shows make them money and give Jeremy his 'rockstar' tour experience.

Which is not to say they are greedy capitalists trying to bleed it dry - they have shown they are smart businessmen in the 'entertainment' business. The bigger the national audience and the more international syndication deals, the more money and control they have to do things they want.

Isn't that what you want in your job? More control over what you do, and more money to do the things you want? Would you give it up and go back to an entry-level position, just because a couple of people prefered you to the person that is there now?

The 'extreme petrolhead' audience isn't only too small, but not critical to Top Gears ongoing success - at least until the bubble bursts. Then perhaps the TG team will stage a "back to our roots" comeback. Or maybe not.
 

Ravenlord

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I would love to see top gear continue without jeremy clarkson or andy wilmans involvement.

Get rid of the two founders and two critical people that make Top Gear work? That can only end well.

I say sack clarkson and hammond, keep may, find some random guy and a female host,

And how wouldn't this be Fifth Gear?
 

That American Girl

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You can't blame Wilman. When they say, "... but the producers told us we had to do this" - they themselves created that scenario. Clarkson is just as responsible for creating that "stupid shit to please the bored, the ill-educated, the easily amused, and the ratings." The thing is, it works for them.

Yes and no. Andy and Jeremy started the new Top Gear because they felt that the old version had become humdrum, boring and predictable. Unfortunately, the new Top Gear is starting to drift into those very waters. Simply to cater to "the ratings".

Ratings are important, but they didn't build that huge fan base by doing some of the admittedly um...crap from some of the last seasons. It happened because for so many other reasons. :)




That's why we have threads like these, and the Unhappy. Top Gear isn't a niche motoring program, it's a business. It started out small, and grew large. Why didn't Google just stick to just providing a search engine, or Apple stick to personal computers? There's a bigger market out there.

I understand what you mean, but I don't think you can compare the two. Of course the BBC intended (and still does) to make money off of Top Gear.

On the other hand, if I mention "Apple" in reference to computer type products, most people know exactly what I mean. They don't envision a pair of shoes, or a Dell PC...in general a certain image immediately springs to mind. Top gear is kinda the same.

If Steve J started branching out to making mufflers, hats, soup bowls, cat food and crap like that..."Apple" just wouldn't be "Apple" as we know it now anymore. It would eventually be just another company out there.

Why would they 'dumb-down' the show to appeal to a larger audience? Because it makes money and provides opportunities for them.

Honestly? I think that for some reason they felt or were 'pushed' in that direction because some schmuck in a suit in an office for the BBC somewhere thought it was a swell idea. So, they've tried it out, but really..."Thats not gone well.". :p


Why would they do Live shows rather than spend the time working on the nest series? Because those Live shows make them money and give Jeremy his 'rockstar' tour experience.

Although I'll probably never get to see one of those (damn you ocean!) I can see sorta what they were trying to do at first. It worked, but then just went off on it's own tangent. Or something. Maybe they should still do them, but less often. Maybe once every few years? I dunno.

<snip> ...

Isn't that what you want in your job? More control over what you do, and more money to do the things you want? Would you give it up and go back to an entry-level position, just because a couple of people prefered you to the person that is there now?

That's just it. The whole point of the new Top Gear was to do just that! And that's what made it work. It wasn't trying to appeal to the masses, or to follow in the same tracks (no pun intended) as other car shows. It was supposed to be a breath of fresh air.

Something different, built around Jeremy's love of cars, fun and entertaining, but not the same old same old, or done with what the manufacturers would think ruling your every word.

The 'extreme petrolhead' audience isn't only too small, but not critical to Top Gears ongoing success - at least until the bubble bursts. Then perhaps the TG team will stage a "back to our roots" comeback. Or maybe not.

Yes and no, again. The core audience is pretty much what allowed Top Gear to be what it is. We don't want just another car show. There are slews of those to choose from. Hundreds of magazines to choose from, and innumerable online forums to appeal to anyone out there.


But they're just not Top Gear. :)
 

rideclutch

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Ravenlord said:
3 pages of forum regulars agreeing" doesn't seem to reflect general consensus that Top Gear has turned to shit. The poll shows 70% would leave the show as is; the audience figures remain high.

It seems what is broken is your idea of what Top Gear should be and who the targeted audience should be.
You keep talking about the audience numbers as if that's some measure of a shows absolute quality, rather than hype and popularity. I suppose you think X Factor and American Idol are brilliant shows as well. And why do you determine what my idea of the show should be? :?

Ravenlord said:
And they're catering to the enthusiasts - by putting more niche content on the web. Plus there's Fifth Gear for more predicatable car matters.

Isn't this what the Unhappy want in their motoring program?
No. This is where you are getting it wrong. You seem to think that everyone who is moaning also likes to drink petrol and supercharge their computer chairs. I'd be lucky if I knew how to do a jump-start. I said that the lack of cars irks me, but there is more than that too. The show used to be clever and witty as well, now it's just full of knob gags. Regardless of how much of a petrolhead you are, all of the fans appreciate clever humour. Unless you think we're all idiots as well as car nutters.

Ravenlord said:
They're producing content to appeal to the masses - catching eyeballs slumped on the couch on a Sunday night.

Why would they 'dumb-down' the show to appeal to a larger audience? Because it makes money and provides opportunities for them.
So what you're saying is everyones favourite local rock band has ditched it's roots, signed on a Major Record label and converted to Pop, because that's what sells. And you can't understand why people are moaning about this? :rolleyes:. I'm not saying it's right or wrong, it's just what's made everyone cranky.
 

NoNeedForAChestWig

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I've seen that used as defense many times; "There is always Fifth Gear, if you want car reviews".

It's just a fact, IMO (which means it's opinion and not fact, I guess, but...). Watching TG for car reviews about the kind of cars that most people can afford is like watching The Magic Roundabout for the boobies.
 

Austere

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It can be a challenge to make interesting a review that's for an ordinary, seemingly unremarkable car but it used to be a challenge they were able to meet.

I would rate this as my favourite review from any episode of Top Gear.

[video=youtube;0-nAtUw4gTo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-nAtUw4gTo[/video]

Note that it's not a supercar, it's not on a race track and no differentials were harmed in the making of this review. It's also not stupid, nonsensical rubbish or an elaborate stunt sequence that ends in an explosion. In fact, there are no expolsions at all.
 
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maxtortheone

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Also, it's a review done by James, of which we've had like three in the last two years.
 

FruityLexia

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It can be a challenge to make interesting a review that's for an ordinary, seemingly unremarkable car but it used to be a challenge they were able to meet.

I would rate this as my favourite review from any episode of Top Gear.

[video=youtube;0-nAtUw4gTo]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-nAtUw4gTo[/video]

Note that it's not a supercar, it's not on a race track and no differentials were harmed in the making of this review. It's also not stupid, nonsensical rubbish or an elaborate stunt sequence that ends in an explosion. In fact, there are no expolsions at all.

Internal Combustion Engine :p
 

pepitko

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I would vote for a 4th option "let them have a one-year break, and then let them do 2-3 specials a year."

They are obviously running out of ideas for the general format of the show, and on top of that they are doing 6 months of Top Gear Live around the world, forcing them to play their characters over and over again, which I imagine must be annoying as time goes on. So one-year break would let them recharge their batteries and give them time to think up new ideas. And by doing a couple of specials a year, they would be more focused on quality and also it would reformat the show, i.e. ditching the news and SIARPC segments.
 

MWF

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It can be a challenge to make interesting a review that's for an ordinary, seemingly unremarkable car but it used to be a challenge they were able to meet.

I would rate this as my favourite review from any episode of Top Gear.

Note that it's not a supercar, it's not on a race track and no differentials were harmed in the making of this review. It's also not stupid, nonsensical rubbish or an elaborate stunt sequence that ends in an explosion. In fact, there are no expolsions at all.

:clap: I'd add the RR Phantom Drophead review to that list. James again. Anyone seeing a pattern beginning to emerge?
 
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