Top Gear is, without question, the single greatest show about cars on TV. What sets Top Gear apart is the attitude the presenters have. Other shows tend focus on reviewing all of the various technical details and specifications of the particular car they review... They'll give you more information yes, but they do so in a cold and clinical manner. That comes off as being a bit, well, German doesn't it? Top Gear on the other hand, refuses to take itself seriously, which is what makes it so great. Sure, Top Gear will talk about how many newton meters of torque the Mercedes AMG CLS65 has and how that makes it the most powerful production car in the world, but how will they convey that? By showing you just how many men it requires to beat it in a tug of war contest. They'll try to explain why the Cadillac Escalade, arguably one of the worst cars you can buy, is one of the coolest. They'll see how many motorcycles you can jump with a bus. Yes, you read that the right way 'round: How many parked motorcycles you can jump over while driving a bus.
But Top Gear is more than just goofing around in cars. It's witty, it's funny, and it makes you feel like one of the guys. The three presenters all poke fun at one another, at cars, at themselves, and all the while you feel like you are right there in the studio hanging out with them. Oh yeah, and you don't even have to like cars to like the show. There's something in it for everyone. For sheer car freaks, the filmed review segments of the cars have seriously high production value- You'd think you were watching a $150 million dollar film directed by Michael Bay. The are just that slick. The music selection used in the filmed segments is also top notch, with some of the coolest cuts from both then and now. The news segment, where the presenters sit down to discuss what's new in the world of cars, traffic laws, or motoring in general is riotously funny. You may not know who the Chief Constable of Wales or the British Minister of Transporation are, but trust me- You don't need to in order to laugh at them. Then there's the "Star in a Reasonably Priced Car" segment, where each week a guest celebrity will come on to do an interview and then race around the Top Gear test track in a budget priced sedan to see how they compare to other famous celebrities who have done the same. And for the girls that tune in? Well, there's co-host Richard Hammond.
It is the presenters (hosts) that make the show though. You'll love to hate Jeremy Clarkson, possibly the worlds most opinionated and boastful man. James May, in sharp contrast, is almost a stereotype of an English gentleman. Reserved, witty, and refusing to run on television, May is cursed with quite possibly the best narrative style and voice I've ever heard. Bringing up the rear is Richard Hammond, the youngest, shortest, and most enthusiastic of the lot. Women will love him, because he's also the cutest.
I'm not even going to mention their tamed racing driver who tests all of the high powered cars on the same track to see how they compare to one another, a mysterious creature dressed in white that is only known as "The Stig". Well, apart from that mention of The Stig. I won't do it any more.
But please, please please, make sure you watch the full, unedited, hour-long version of Top Gear, which in some markets is known as "Top Gear Xtra". There is a trimmed down 30 minute version of the show which omits the news, the celebrities, and trims the filmed reviews for time. It's still good, but nowhere near as brilliant. And avoid the horribly edited and mangled US version of the show. Arguably the best Car show on in the states, it is an affront to the glory that is the raw, hour long series that is broadcast in the UK.