I’m sad to say, but Top Gear isn’t quite as good as it used to be. Infact, I must say that when I watched this weeks episode (Series 17, Episode 2), I actually got a bit bored. This was the one where they bought European hot hatches and did the traditional various challenges. The bottom line is that if I so wanted to load my car with a branch off a cider tree, ice cubes, a photo of as many people as I can getting in to my car, a cd from a service station, a bicycle, a vine and a dog, I could do that my self, in my own car, which is better than all of theirs anyway. These days, the humour feels repeated and unoriginal, as though they’ve got everything that’s worth having out of it, and they’re just trying to scoop out the last bits. For me now, in order to get this Clarksonesque humour, I’ve chosen to buy some of his books. While much of the content is hilariously funny, there’s also quite a lot that just isn’t.
And it’s a pattern I go through myself too, as a pretty new blog writer. Sometimes the creative juices just flow, the inspiration comes, and I write an article that I’m genuinely proud of. Other times, I sit, and it feels like nothing comes. I write something, and then look back at it and think ‘Ive just written a right load of rubbish’. I find that when I am writing because I have to, or, in other words, if I am attempting to industrialise the process, the creative juices just dry up. I firmly believe you cannot force humour and witt.
The best ideas that I have had haven’t come while I’ve been sat at a desk, thinking of what to write. They come when I’m out and about, at work, or sitting on the toilet. Such is the nature of these ideas, that you have to seize them while they’re there, scribble as much as possible down on a bit of paper, for compilation later. And I think this is what is happerning to Top Gear.
So what’s the solution? Why am I telling you this? Well it casts understanding on the life of a writer, somneone whos job and career is to use a pen and paper to create material to entertain. We see that those we follow are human too, they’ve not suddenly gone down the pan, but they’ve squeezed the creative orange there and got what it had to give. It also applies in a social context too, we all have ‘off days’, it doesn’t mean that those bubbly amusing personalities are gone for good.
We know that it’s a dog eat dog world out there, and if the quality goes, then so will the ratings, but those writers, those journalists, those authors, deserve their place in history as fine gentlemen who could grab our interest and make us laugh.
Top Gear has been a superb TV show for me, for the last 10 years. I still enjoy it, as do countless others. Right now I may well be speaking against the general audience of BBC 2, (at least at 8pm on a Sunday evening), but I do believe it is no longer on the same plane it once was. Is it because the producers and presenters have lost their touch? Not at all, it’s just that there’s only so many times Hammond can argue with Jeremy and it still be funny.
And you may be looking at me, thinking “that’s all rich coming from you, you with your little WordPress blog of 14 posts”, well, maybe so, but that’s for you to decide.