So the BBC are finally airing the US edition(s) of Top Gear, and watching it is quite instructive about the perceived difference between our two nations.
On the plus side, it’s definitely got higher production values, and the image looks better – and it’s not as if the UK version was done on a shoestring. This could be down to better camerawork and a higher budget – or simply because the sun shines for longer in the US.
On the minus side, Major Exposition is at home here. The presenters seem to have an incessant need to explain EVERYTHING. Right down to The Stig – when the whole point of The Stig is that he isn’t explained, he’s just there. A mystery wrapped in a drivers’ uniform. Explaining that he’s an enigma somewhat undermines the whole point of him being an enigma. They have to explain what the Big Star, Small Car segment is all about. And when the big stars are racing around the track, they include a helpful diagram of where the star is on the track for … what good reason?
To be fair, I’m comparing a mature TV show against another show on its debut episode. And on the plus side, there seem to be far more Chinese/Asian people in the audience in the US version than the UK one… Oh, and the Stig is animated in the US version. Which is kinda cool.