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Top Gear is aimed at viewers with a "mental age of nine", its executive producer says


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#1 Magoo

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 14:09

Discuss. 

 

 

 

 

from The UK Telegraph:

 

Top Gear is aimed at viewers 'with a mental age of nine'

 

 

 

Top Gear is aimed at viewers with a mental age of nine, to provide escapism from the trials of modern life for middle-aged men, its executive producer has admitted.

Andy Wilman, who has worked on the show for all of its 21 series, said it provided "an hour a week where absolutely nothing is achieved, but the path to nine-year-old escapism is briefly lit up".

He added the next episodes will see the three presenters "maturing" physically, but vowed it would not be "grown up" in content.

He told Radio Times magazine he had pondered the issue after being asked whether the 21st season of the show would mark a point at which it finally came of age.

He disclosed he had examined the content of upcoming episodes, only to find "almost everything we’d filmed was, once again, aimed at people with a mental age of nine". 

 

continued...

 

 

http://www.telegraph...ge-of-nine.html



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#2 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 14:21

Seems about right. It's well-shot car themed entertainment. I tend to skip the car 'reviews' because they're just tracking shots and tire smoke.


Edited by Ross Stonefeld, 29 January 2014 - 14:21.


#3 Skinnyguy

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 14:23

It is true, but that wasn´t something bad. I liked the nonsense and the light hearted content.

 

Except for the jokes about road safety and the fake hate for some collectives of road users (messages that some morons might receive as a serious message). That should have been cutted, but I liked the rest.



#4 Prost1997T

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 14:26

Not even teens? Also, TG wasn't always low-brow entertainment (eg back when Quentin Wilson and Tiff Needell were on the show).



#5 Deluxx

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 15:59

Not even teens? Also, TG wasn't always low-brow entertainment (eg back when Quentin Wilson and Tiff Needell were on the show).

 

That didn't get the ratings, however.



#6 BRG

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 16:08

Nine year olds?  That makes it pretty highbrow compared to most TV output which seems to be aimed at toddlers.



#7 SenorSjon

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 16:31

Quality has gone down a lot imo. I watch it barely nowadays. Why must every sub 50k car be destroyed nowadays? It started with the supermini's in 'soccer' and 'ice hockey', but later on it happend to the Twingo RS and with the faux movie with a Jaguar and Ford(?). The India trip was hardly a challenge with those fairly new cars, that had to be destroyed as well.

 

I love the sub 1.500 sportscar challenge and that kinda thing, but you see those less and less.



#8 indigoid

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 18:31

I liked it a lot more when they had Tiff and much less Clarkson

 

I cringed all the way through their Indian Christmas special with the Rolls/Jag/Mini trio, that was truly terrible



#9 JHSingo

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 19:18

And this is news?

 

I've long since said that the current problem with Top Gear is that it is really too popular for its own good. Many a time I have discovered friends who are big fans of the show, but have next to no interest in cars, who just want to see them muck about and wreck stuff. So on the odd occasion it is actually about cars, they complain it is too serious and boring. But when they mess around and rely on too much scripted "humour", people who like cars question what the point of the show is.


Edited by JHSingo, 29 January 2014 - 19:18.


#10 Bloggsworth

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 19:34

I prefer Clarkson's view given to Germaine Greer - It is the one programme on television which truly demonstrates how a man's mind works.



#11 404KF2

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Posted 29 January 2014 - 20:33

This show has convinced me that I never want a RWD AMG car.  That's about it....



#12 mariner

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:39

I think the real issue with TG is that its been well reported that much of it is completely faked, such as hiring actors to pretend to be irate riverside diners etc.

 

If you are aming to appeal to nine year old's then some ethics should apply.

 

It is one of BBC TV's biggest money earners which, doesnt help the once high quality image of the BBC.



#13 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 09:53

Has anyone seen Cars 2 (the pixar children's movie)? It literally was aimed at 9yr olds but it's plot was much more complex than the average Top Gear episode.

#14 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 12:12

I think the real issue with TG is that its been well reported that much of it is completely faked, such as hiring actors to pretend to be irate riverside diners etc.

 

 

 

If you watch enough TV you understand almost none of it is 'real'. You can rarely even appear on screen without that person's permission, so everyone is in on it.



#15 ensign14

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 13:04

Of course, what is actually meant by what Wilman is saying is that people need a bit of child-like fun once in a while, and TG has that in spades.  But there's something about that in all cars, and perhaps all sport as well.  I remember a Vauxhall ad comparing a child's appreciation of a car with an adult's identical one; Jaguar's first-ever TV advert had a similar idea behind it.

 

TG is really Last Of The Summer Wine, Foggy era.  Tall one who thinks he knows it all, short one who gets the wrong end of everything, medium one who is at an angle to reality.  A tested dramaturgical triad.



#16 Magoo

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 15:07

TG is really Last Of The Summer Wine, Foggy era.  Tall one who thinks he knows it all, short one who gets the wrong end of everything, medium one who is at an angle to reality.  A tested dramaturgical triad.

 

Brilliant analysis. 



#17 Magoo

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 15:18

If you watch enough TV you understand almost none of it is 'real'. You can rarely even appear on screen without that person's permission, so everyone is in on it.

 

Are you telling me that Erica was faking her amnesia and Dirk is not the father of Tiffany's baby? 



#18 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 21:52

Brilliant analysis.


I was amazed dramaturgical is actually a word. Wonder if I'll be able to slip that into conversation at the coffee machine.

#19 gruntguru

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Posted 30 January 2014 - 23:16

Are you telling me that Erica was faking her amnesia and Dirk is not the father of Tiffany's baby? 

Who? What? Who? Who?



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#20 jcbc3

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 06:49

I was given a book by Jeremy Clarkson the other day. Having nothing better to do, I started reading it. It's a collection of his news paper columns and I was stricken by the similarity to any 'rant' I read on these boards about, e.g., Health and Safety, the school system, local councils etc. I draw my own conclusions from that.



#21 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 31 January 2014 - 09:56

Most so called professional 'motorsport' appeals to the same market. Tin tops especially where the rules seem to be you must crash once a lap. Or be dqed!
F1 with its mad boffins nightmares and silly rules aint much better

#22 Canuck

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Posted 01 February 2014 - 06:50

That makes it perfect to enjoy with my 9 year old son.  He loves it, I enjoy it and frankly I'd rather see those guys and the Stig hooning around than the rich kids of Instagram in their fleets of supercars.  Not often you get to watch someone throw about a bucks-up car most of us only dream about owning, in a fashion that would put us directly in jail.  It's good fun.

 

I drove a 550 Maranello in a dangerous and anti-social manner in Dubai years ago (before Dubai became a cliché) and one of the more prominent and striking memories I left with was "I couldn't imagine paying for this car and driving it at home".  If you're not going to abuse them like they do on Top Gear, they're just a socially accepted way of bragging about your bank account.  I like to think I'd like a Zonda but my bank is nothing to brag about.



#23 Bloggsworth

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 15:30

To all you miserablists out there, last night's edition was good fun.



#24 Ali_G

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 16:11

To all you miserablists out there, last night's edition was good fun.


The unscripted parts certainly were. The scripted chases at the end along with the Nova constantly ending up on its side were painful.

#25 Bloggsworth

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 16:25

There are more outright laughs in one edition of Top Gear than a whole series of most modern programmes introduced to us as "Comedy."



#26 F1Champion

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 21:57

The unscripted parts certainly were. The scripted chases at the end along with the Nova constantly ending up on its side were painful.

 

Sometimes I really do think that they take their audience for fools. The scripted parts are ridiculous. The series is way past its sell by date. Car reviews are few and far and its just a playground for old blokes to do what they want. Sometimes the stuff they get up to is just stupid and wasteful.



#27 Bloggsworth

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 22:59

Yes... That is what the programme is, so why complain? Why don't you go and watch Channel 5's 5th Gear and try to stay awake till the end. Complaining about what Top Gear is today and has been for years is about as sensible as saying that, looked at rationally, Monty Python was just very intelligent men being silly for pots of money...


Edited by Bloggsworth, 03 February 2014 - 23:00.


#28 Ross Stonefeld

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 23:14

It's a good format, but not every show is great and they struggle for material.

 

Last night was a good example. The joke wasn't good enough to stretch over an entire episode. There was no road car test/hooning to take up the first 10-15 minutes of the program before they go to the news section. They just crammed the Seat into the hillclimb bit. Edited down the 80s hot hatches would be fine.

 

You can really only do the Theme episodes when they go all out on the foreign specials. 



#29 Tenmantaylor

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Posted 03 February 2014 - 23:57

After Wilman's pre new series comments I was expecting more of the same from TG but the new episode of the first series was really quite terrible at times. I don't mind them mucking about in shit old cars (that amazingly a lot of us used to like!), I don't mind them crashing them, taking the piss out of each other while doing, racing them, flipping them, whatever, good laugh. Just don't insult my 9 year old intelligence and pretend Hammond flipped the car driving back down the hill climb without showing it when 2 seconds a go he had a fully active on board camera. Don't pretend to blow a car up with a tank then have James May sat in the scorched embers like Wile E Fecking Coyote. It's just not funny, it's lame! If they are going to do scripted stories at least make them half worthwhile otherwise just stick to thrashing the cars.



#30 Oho

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 11:45

After Wilman's pre new series comments I was expecting more of the same from TG but the new episode of the first series was really quite terrible at times.

 

Indeed the extended chases and their conclusions were just plain terrible. Earlier the scripted parts have at least seem mostly plausible even if clearly scripted, not so this time around. Perhaps the audience was spared from a third equally tedious chase by Hammond damaging the engine of his Vauxhall, or perhaps that too was scripted.



#31 BRG

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Posted 05 February 2014 - 12:59

interesting that they have discovered the old Caerwent camp though.  This was a bit of a secret known only to the rallying fraterntity.  I wonder if they will be using it again?



#32 Ali_G

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:50

You can really only do the Theme episodes when they go all out on the foreign specials.


Some of the themed episodes set in the UK were quite entertaining IMO though. The White Van special, the Motor Home Special and both episodes involving the amphibious cars weren't too bad.

#33 Tsarwash

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Posted 15 February 2014 - 17:49

There are more outright laughs in one edition of Top Gear than a whole series of most modern programmes introduced to us as "Comedy."

Most accomplished, best written and acted one episode comedy that I think I have ever seen. Released last week.

http://www.bbc.co.uk..._No_9_Sardines/

 

70's telly was full of this kind of dross;