Tuesday, September 6, 2011
All I Need's A Fast Machine
Yeah, yeah. I know. I'm supposed to be working. In the next three days I have to outline an entire book, assign editorial to one of my magazines, and put another one to bed, including proofing blueline. Gah. But, before I start to bang my head against a wall and ruin my eyesight even further, I just need to quickly share my newest obsession with you. Because I can't get these guys out of my head.
This show is so much ding dang fun, I can't believe it's taken me all these years to discover it. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. If you haven't oh, man, you don't know what you're missing. Riddled with wry British humor and lightning fast quips like, "As we know, there is a financial crisis going on at the moment, but we’ve decided not to take part in it.” Because these guys have a love for the automobile so unabashed, it has eco-warriors across the globe flinging tofu at their screens on a weekly basis. My kind of show, exactly.
My favorite episode so far is pretty indicative of how things operate between Top Gear's three hosts: the producers tell each of them to choose their dream race car and let them out for a long, fast spin along one of the world's all-time great highways. They consider the Transfagarasan Highway in Romania, but eventually decided on America's Blue Ridge Parkway, because "The Americans always think they're right."
James selects a Ferrari 458 Italia; Jeremy, a Mercedes SLS (hubba); and Richard, bless him, chooses what has to be, hands down, my least favorite car on the planet, the so-butt-ass-ugly-not-even-its-momma-could-love-it, Porsche 911 GT3 RS.
Jeremy, a man after my own heart, ridicules his compatriots, pointing at the Ferrari and stating, "That is a car a five year old would love," then at the Porsche, "And that is car a 55 year old would love." And then he beams at the Mercedes: "But this, this is a car for grown ups with elegance and taste."
(Jeremy is also responsible for my latest auto obsession, the new BMW 1M—see below and tell me if you don't think that thing has major fizz—it's like a Staffie Bull with wheels.)
But when they finally get to the Parkway, shot in all its golden-lit summer afternoon splendor, they discover that . . . the speed limit never tops out beyond 45mph! The sight of these three gear heads crawling along in their raring-to-go sports cars, trying to figure out if they should just go for it and put the pedal to the metal, is one of television's all-time greatest moments.
Freakin' priceless, in fact.
So, yeah: Watch this show.