Last night I watched the first episode in the new series of Top Gear.
Soooo formulaic. The same presenters. Jeremy Clarkson with his "I'm Jeremy Clarkson so you can fuck off" attitude, Richard Hammond with his cheeky grin and impish personality, his hair looking unkempt and messy after the many hours of styling. Then there was James May playing that quintessential nerdy Englishman, complete with dodgy fashion sense and his inability to go fast.
Alice Cooper was the Star in a reasonably priced car, with Clarkson fawning to him as he does to every star in the seat. Hammond took some Hummer, only bigger and better, thing on a tour of South Africa, batttling Lions, the threat of violence and of course the threat of dangerous looking black people.
There was an unusual race, this one being a Mini versus a bobsleigh, driven by a woman no less, naturally a pretty sexy one. Camera shots were as predictable as ever. Graduated filters, saturated colours and lots of slow motion were the order of the day, the same as all the previous series and probably the same as all to come. The Mini won, which was a surprise to me.
Then, towards the end, was the most sexy feature on the E Type Jaguar, the car every petrolhead will agree as being one of the most beautiful of all time. I kid you not but I felt butterflies in my stomach as I watched it. Clarkson driving the first convertible E Type ever, with its wire wheels and sublime British racing green and the backdrop of gorgeous British countryside was a sight to behold. These days an average family saloon would leave it standing at the lights. But we don't care.
Was it entirely predictable? Yes.
Was it wholly formulaic? Yes.
Were the presenters saying the same things that they've said on every programme before? Yes.
Was it totally rivetting and most brilliant?