This is my first entry into the Lets BlogOff challenge:
I have never been a big fan of TV. I have an ever changing schedule, and I am never around when my favorite shows are on. About four years ago, I got rid of TV altogether. Instead, I watch shows online. I am going to be outing myself as such a “guy” here, but my list of shows is rather short. Family Guy, The Daily Show, and The Colbert Report. Once or twice a week I will catch these shows, but sometimes weeks go by and I don’t even watch them.
I am a huge fan of cars, I always have been. In my opinion, there isn’t one good car show on American TV. Why? Advertising. When you have a car show and your biggest sponsor makes the car that you are testing, how can you say bad things about it?
Well, a few years ago, I was playing around on YouTube and I came across this video
After watching this clip about five times in a row, I realized something, I was laughing hysterically, yelling at the computer, and I was a bit informed. But most of all, I walked away from that video with an emotional response towards that car. Rather then some dry host regurgitating a fact sheet about this car, Jeremy Clarkson was able to make me emotionally attached to this incredible hunk of metal.
I needed more, like a junkie I opened every browser window on every computer I have (and if you read this blog, you’d know that’s a lot) and downloaded every Top Gear episode that I could find. For hours and hours I watched old episodes of Top Gear. I have never seen super cars driven this way before, tire smoke, sliding sideways, and hosted by three guys who are just “cocking about”. The chemistry between these guys is amazing. Jeremy Clarkson's loud and boisterous personality, James "Captain Slow" May, and Richard Hammond who whitens his teeth. The challenges are hysterical too: Stuff like “Can a Lotus outrun a helicopter gunship?” “Can this Audi race up a mountain faster then a man?” Or one of my favorites: The Peel P50.
The show is biased, and completely unscientific. They think that anything British is a “scaled down version of God” and that anyone who drives an American Pickup wants to marry their sister. I love it though, and here’s why:
Any car guy, no matter what they say its all about the facts. Any argument between two car guys, before it deteriorates into comments about the other one's parents involves angrily spewing out horsepower facts.
I don’t own any “super cars” so when I look at them, I used to think “This one’s got 40 more horsepower then that one, it must be better” and so on... Until one day I got to ride in two supercars in one day. One was a Ferrari F430. This is an AMAZING car. As precise is a dentist drill, fast as anything, refined down to the smallest screw. The engine sounds like a perfectly tuned symphony. As a technical achievement, it’s a masterpiece. The next car I rode in was a Lamborghini Gallardo. In every measurable sense, this car is worse then the Ferrari. It’s loud, it shakes, it’s hot, small, hard to see out of, and the ride was brutal. But I loved it. Why? From the moment it started up, I was laughing like a little kid. The engine, once it starts just howls and shakes. It’s excessively loud. When you finally thread yourself in the interior, you can turn your head and right over your shoulder you can look at the engine behind a glass panel, shaking around as you drive. The noise this thing made was incredible. Despite the fact that it was shattering my spine as we drove, I was laughing so hard. There are even scoops on the engine cover that pop up like guns from a tank to cool the engine off, AND you can pop these up at the push of a button just to show them off. It’s kind of like flexing the muscles of your car!
Despite the Lambo being “worse” I walked away from that ride with a huge emotional attachment to that car. This was years ago I rode in it, and even now as I write this, I am grinning.
So why do I love Top Gear so much? Because they can convey really well this emotional attachment they have to cars. Every time I watch that show, I grin. Do I learn many facts? Probably not, but that’s not the point of super cars, and Top Gear seems to be the only show in the world that gets this. I love Top Gear, and it’s certainly one of my guilty pleasures.