“Same old, same old” motoring show is good enough for us

Watching Top Gear on Sunday, most of my family were struck by the delightfully droll innovation behind the car-train. My eldest daughter, who, having just left sixth form, recently heard me utter the immortal words, “no, I won’t pay for your rail pass anymore” and has therefore discovered just how expensive it is to take the train into town to go shopping with her mates, thought the idea of train fares set at a thousandth of their current price was “coooool”.

Yet, like many critics stated in their reviews, I watched the programme with an air of slight boredom as, having watched the show’s presenters set caravans on fire in various other episodes, seeing another go up in flames failed to make me grab my sides in mirth.

Instead it was Rowan Atkinson’s slight shift of his eyebrows to give him the air of an imperious Range Rover owner which had me rolling off the sofa with tears falling down my face and left us all in complete awe of the man’s unique talent.

However, in response to The Telegraph’s scathing review of the so-called motoring show and its reliance on “poo jokes and un-PC banter” I will have to argue its corner and spring lithely to its defence because, after a late Sunday dinner, it is the one programme which can unite my family, with its spread of ages and genders from pre-teen-girl to mid-life-man, on our large leather sofas for an hour of united viewing with no-one, not even the 15-year-old, picking up a laptop for Facebook communications or answering a text.

Yes, it appears to strike a chord for all of us, and while the kids love the toilet humour and the ubiquitous destruction of something the presenters find distasteful, my partner loves to dream of owning the fast-cars and I imagine myself meeting Stig and learning to drive like a race-driver without someone screaming from the passenger seat, “slow, slow – traffic lights ahead”.

For all its faults, Top Gear gets a “thumbs up” from me and my family who, in most cases, have such a disparate idea of what is entertaining, and, despite my better judgement, this “same old, same old” programme is always a hit in our house.

Image © nahtanoj via Flickr, under Creative Commons Licence

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