Season 14 slid off track

ozgirl

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^^Well said Labcoatguy! :) As MWF said, we were (by and large) having a reasonably mature conversation about TG, we don't all agree but at least it didn't degenerate into flaming. Until now. cvector you are absolutely entitled to your opinions on TG, but you are not entitled to diss the whole thread and its posters. If you have nothing constructive to add, and the thread is annoying you then maybe you should absent yourself.
 

shellygrrl

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Shoot people who hate Top Gear!
Who in this thread has said they hate TG (as a whole)? No one. Saying TG has slid off course a bit is not equal to hating it. It just means that some don't like the direction it's going right now but are still going to stick with them in the hope they'll fix it, rather than abandon ship.

Bear with me for posting a political quote here, but I think it has some merit to this discussion.

"You [conservatives] love America like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Liberals love America like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world. That's why we liberals want America to do the right thing. We know America is the hope of the world, and we love it and want it to do well. We also want it to do good." ~ Al Franken

Now let me adapt it for fans of TG.

"Fanboys/fangirls love Top Gear like a 4-year-old loves his mommy. Devoted fans love Top Gear like grown-ups. To a 4-year-old, everything Mommy does is wonderful and anyone who criticizes Mommy is bad. Grown-up love means actually understanding what you love, taking the good with the bad and helping your loved one grow. Love takes attention and work and is the best thing in the world. That's why we devoted fans want the Top Gear gang to do the right thing. We know TG is the best motoring show (long pause) in the world, and we love it and want it to do well. But we also don't want it to become a shell of itself, or to become just another presenting job for the lads."

As for me, I'm still going to see how S14 pans out. The last two episodes, at least on paper/in writing, look like they're going to be quite good. Fingers crossed.
 
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Wyvern

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I am wondering if the internet and even sites like this is hurting peoples enjoyment of the show. Maybe they now "know" too much.
THIS.

I completely ruined the last two seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer for myself by spending too much time on fora, reading spoilers and deconstructing the episodes before they even aired.

After episode 2 of the current series of TG, I decided I was going to stop reading spoilers - and I'm enjoying it a lot more as a result.

And I strongly feel that if anything has dragged the show down this year, it's the relentless workload the guys have put themselves under since November last year. Doing the TG Live tour is brilliant in as much as it gives fans all over the place the opportunity to see the guys 'in the flesh', fronting a cracking arena show, but it must stretch everyone a bit thin trying to film a series while also travelling from venue to venue and doing up to four live shows a day (which is a lot). Compound that with a reduction in budget, and something's got to give somewhere. It did seem that the timings had gone a bit skewiff, shooting wise, this series. Perhaps the escalation in silliness and knob gags is an attempt to patch the cracks with humour, however unwise this policy may be. I don't think the situation's beyond repair, but I think perhaps giving themselves a bit more time and space, and not letting themselves get run over by the marketing juggernaut, would be a good thing. The arena tour was a lovely idea for the fans, but I don't think it is doing the show any favours.

I'm not saying they shouldn't do it at all, btw - they were doing it for years before it all got this huge. They just might want to consider scaling back a bit so the TV show, which should be at the heart of the Top Gear 'empire', becomes their main focus again.

Just my tuppence worth.
 

shellygrrl

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And I strongly feel that if anything has dragged the show down this year, it's the relentless workload the guys have put themselves under since November last year. Doing the TG Live tour is brilliant in as much as it gives fans all over the place the opportunity to see the guys 'in the flesh', fronting a cracking arena show, but it must stretch everyone a bit thin trying to film a series while also travelling from venue to venue and doing up to four live shows a day (which is a lot). Compound that with a reduction in budget, and something's got to give somewhere.
Compound that even more with the fact both James and Richard were filming other projects during the year (James his moon docs and Toy Stories; Richard the second series of Engineering Connections, the Top Gear Uncovered DVD, and, perhaps, the next two series of Blast Lab, not to mention writing his third book, among other things); and the fact they all have loved ones in need of their attention in the interim... oh, dear. I agree the excessive workload has a lot to do with it. I'm almost surprised the trio haven't run themselves into the ground.

Reason #4 Why the TG3 Should Take a Break: The workload.

It did seem that the timings had gone a bit skewiff, shooting wise, this series.
:nod: So much so, there wasn't a preview montage, because they'd not filmed enough stuff yet.

Perhaps the escalation in silliness and knob gags is an attempt to patch the cracks with humour, however unwise this policy may be. I don't think the situation's beyond repair, but I think perhaps giving themselves a bit more time and space, and not letting themselves get run over by the marketing juggernaut, would be a good thing. The arena tour was a lovely idea for the fans, but I don't think it is doing the show any favours.
Indeed.
 

namealreadyinuse

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I had the thought today that as boring as I found Guy Ritchie, it would be fun if the boys went winching. Imagine them getting some interesting 4x4s marvelously stuck, and then having to get them out again. Could be a laugh, or was I just bored today?

And then before I posted I did a quick google and found this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AQRff4-jJLQ

How hard could it be?
 

LP

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I should have mentioned this earlier but MWF wanted a SRSBIZNESS discussion so I didn't.

I noticed the title is "Season 14 slid off track"

So my question to everyone is, was it lift-off oversteer or hideously massive understeer?
 

Doat1

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There's a contradiction in this post, if you think it through.
You mean the Vietnam special all scripted? I am pretty sure it was and i see what you mean by that but there is a difference between subtle scripted shows and blatantly scripted shows. It was better when they tried to hide it but now it seems like they just gave up.
 

2Billion

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God, can we stop saying scripted already? It's got a script, there's no question that it has a script. You're not going to get production values like that without knowing where you want to go, knowing how you want to get there, and knowing what you want in the frame in any given moment. That's it. If it wasn't scripted, it wouldn't happen, it would be impossible. There are plenty of unscripted elements, but there's no way a show like TG could happen without being primarily scripted.

Say it's forced. Say it's poorly written. Say it's unnatural. But for the love of god quit saying scripted!
 

shellygrrl

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I noticed the title is "Season 14 slid off track"

So my question to everyone is, was it lift-off oversteer or hideously massive understeer?
Scandinavian flick gone horribly wrong. ;)

Say it's forced. Say it's poorly written. Say it's unnatural. But for the love of god quit saying scripted!
THIS times eleventy million! (Also: See the quote by ozgirl in my sig.)
 

ozgirl

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God, can we stop saying scripted already? It's got a script, there's no question that it has a script. You're not going to get production values like that without knowing where you want to go, knowing how you want to get there, and knowing what you want in the frame in any given moment. That's it. If it wasn't scripted, it wouldn't happen, it would be impossible. There are plenty of unscripted elements, but there's no way a show like TG could happen without being primarily scripted.

Say it's forced. Say it's poorly written. Say it's unnatural. But for the love of god quit saying scripted!
THIS!:nod:


Would it be inappropriate of me to say I love you, here? ;)

Last time I mentioned this I got an anonymous smartarse negrep (well it's not anon any more, that'll teach 'em eh? :wicked:)

Yet again Wyvern has said what I've been trying to say but more articulately and concisely :bow:
I love James for his endless patience with the public: he spent nearly 2 hours signing books at the toy fair and never seems to say no to anyone. Richard still crammed in a booksigning at Cheltenham Festival, despite needing to catch a plane for TG filming, he's doing multiple projects and we know he's not fully recovered yet. Jeremy paces the corridors of his hotel in the wee hours rewriting the TG live script, whilst still writing TG scripts.
They are spreading themselves too thinly, they need a rest.
 
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shesquint

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So my question to everyone is, was it lift-off oversteer or hideously massive understeer?
Well, Andy Wilman seems to have seen the tree a few series back, so I'm going to go with hideously massive understeer. ;)

No, I'm not implying that TG is dead or dying. Spread too thin and having an off season, is all.

Say it's forced. Say it's poorly written. Say it's unnatural. But for the love of god quit saying scripted!
THIS!

I think the issue is less that it's scripted at all and more that there seems to be little to no room left for improvisation and natural interaction among the TG3. Or, to put it another way, less "let's see what happens" and more "make it happen." Dunno about you guys, but part of the charm for me is that they remind me of my friends and the way we interact with one another. The best moments are the truly random, unexpected ones. Remember the British Leyland cheap car challenge, when the outside of Jeremy's door opened and the inside of it stayed closed? Like that. That might be one of my favorite moments from the entire show, in fact.

In short, 2Billion is right: can we start saying "forced" instead, please?

Also, can someone +1 2Billion for me? Apparently I gotta spread the love before giving him any more. Bah.
 
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Ironlord

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If I can milk the rock band analogy a little bit more then TG is like your favourite band of all time. You buy all their albums year after year and love them out of loyalty as much as anything else, and even if they turn out one album that is complete shit apart from one or two tracks you will still listen to those tracks and it won't stop you buying the next album when that comes out either.
I've had a sudden brainwave. Top Gear is actually Iron Maiden!

Iron Maiden's first seven albums were brilliant. The production on their first effort was thin and weedy, but it still had all-time classic tunes on it. (Top Gear's equivalent of the weedy production was Jason Dawe). In the timeframe of the seventh album came the headline slot at Donington, where Iron Maiden played to 108,000 people (TG's highlight: the Bugatti Veyron versus James' washing machine race, in series 7). 1990s Maiden was of variable quality, but still with massive highlights such as the title track of Fear Of The Dark (their ninth album; TG's American road trip was in series 9) Twelfth album Brave New World saw the much-anticipated return of Bruce Dickinson, and a brief burst of "bloody hell, they're brilliant again!" before we all realised that the new line-up was still as hit-and-miss as it had been in the nineties. And then Steve Harris was granted his wish to turn Iron Maiden into the seventies-style prog rock band he'd probably always wanted it to be (parallel the Clarksonisation[/i] of the most recent series, where there's been a bit too much cocking about and far too much of Jeremy being an exaggeration of what we know him for, possibly just to piss off the Daily Mail?)

So, there's my thoughts for the day. Anyone who's been listening to Iron Maiden for years will know exactly what I'm talking about.

God, can we stop saying scripted already? It's got a script, there's no question that it has a script. ...(etc etc)... for the love of god quit saying scripted!
This is exactly what's stopped me asking a question I've been meaning to post for years - which is about a very specific point about the scripting. Unfortunately the mere mention of the "S" word sends the vast majority of the forum into a froth and a massive flame war and a troll-filled neg-rep fest (partially ? Mineworksfine, the royalty cheque's in the post), so the chances are I will continue not to post it and I'll only ever find the answer if I should ever meet Andy Wilman in person and he's not too bored of everyone else in the world asking the same thing. That is, unless there's somewhere I can post my question and the discussion stays civil. Is it on this thread? Is it somewhere else in the TG section? Let me know.
 

Cucciolotto

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God, can we stop saying scripted already? It's got a script, there's no question that it has a script. You're not going to get production values like that without knowing where you want to go, knowing how you want to get there, and knowing what you want in the frame in any given moment. That's it. If it wasn't scripted, it wouldn't happen, it would be impossible. There are plenty of unscripted elements, but there's no way a show like TG could happen without being primarily scripted.

Say it's forced. Say it's poorly written. Say it's unnatural. But for the love of god quit saying scripted!
I think, and I mean I think that people are actually talking about the scripts of the breakdowns, mishaps and comic situations. They are more and more forced and no spontaneous or they have always been like this (well oiled and prepared) but we spectators never paid attention to this.
The time in Romania where they spent the night in their respective cars and woke up to that massively gigantic beast of a dam, how cringing was it to watch them pulling fake faces and saying out loud "OMG, can't believe it". Yeah there was no road sign anywhere mentioning that massive structure, and none of the researchers ever found out about it..... next time, the TG team sleeps under the Eiffel Tower without any idea they were there. ;)
You might argue they're no actors but if they use scripts then there no escaping the acting bit, which they do sometimes very badly (Hammond in particular)

I was writing the other day about the airport race on how everything I pre guessed at the start of the race materialized (all trucks emptying themselves at some point, not all trucks passing the finish line and those who did did it on 2 wheels and a steering wheel). We saw the exact same race with London buses and caravans, they say that the best jokes are the shortest. A fourth race of that sort wouldn't impress me one bit.

I have no problem with scripts, but we need new ones please. :)
 

Kiskaloo

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I wonder if they should move to performing a long shoot of all the off-track / out-of-studio action for all 14 episodes well before the actual broadcast of the series? That way, they have all the footage in the can and plenty of time to edit it, which would also allow them to structure the two series broadcasts to best effect by seeing what challenges, races, Power Laps, road tests and what-not work best together. At that point, the remaining load on the TG3 as it relates to Top Gear will just be the studio shoot every Wednesday twice a year, perhaps with a UK run of TGL mixed in.
 

2Billion

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I think, and I mean I think that people are actually talking about the scripts of the breakdowns, mishaps and comic situations. They are more and more forced and no spontaneous or they have always been like this (well oiled and prepared) but we spectators never paid attention to this.
The time in Romania where they spent the night in their respective cars and woke up to that massively gigantic beast of a dam, how cringing was it to watch them pulling fake faces and saying out loud "OMG, can't believe it". Yeah there was no road sign anywhere mentioning that massive structure, and none of the researchers ever found out about it..... next time, the TG team sleeps under the Eiffel Tower without any idea they were there. ;)
You might argue they're no actors but if they use scripts then there no escaping the acting bit, which they do sometimes very badly (Hammond in particular)

I was writing the other day about the airport race on how everything I pre guessed at the start of the race materialized (all trucks emptying themselves at some point, not all trucks passing the finish line and those who did did it on 2 wheels and a steering wheel). We saw the exact same race with London buses and caravans, they say that the best jokes are the shortest. A fourth race of that sort wouldn't impress me one bit.

I have no problem with scripts, but we need new ones please. :)
I know they're actually saying it's forced, unnatural, or predictable. That's fine, I just want people to actually say what they mean. By saying "it's scripted" you're showing an ignorance of the realities of television production.

There's nothing wrong with saying the script is bad, predictable or old. Those can be legitimate complaints. It's complaining that it exists at all that gets my goat.
 

Jakain

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Imo the best of Top Gear in recent seasons have been their epic road trips outside of the UK and Europe. By being surrounded in a new and exotic environment it offers a whole host of new topics, jokes, challenges, etc. and is overall more exciting. Polar Challenge, Vietnam, Africa, USA road trip, etc. are all much better than any episode this season even though its HD nowadays. Remember the glory days when TG would fly down to exotic locations just to review a car for a SINGLE segment? :(

If they're not in a new and exotic location it can seem somewhat boring since we've seen 14 seasons of not only TG but Clarkson's DVDs and other car related stuff; as fans we're way too accustomed to 'em and to be frank Clarkson's humor is fairly predictable and limited.

However TG's shtick doesn't get old for me but I will have to agree that S14 seems disappointing compared to the highs TG reached in the past.
 
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