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Has Top Gear restored my faith in it with the Burma Special?

You bloody well bet it has.

After a recent post of mine about Top Gear going wishy-washy, it was quite clear to see that I had lost much of my hope for Top Gear, if not quite my respect. The episodes have undeniably tried to aim for a much broader audience, and while this has worked in a way - the viewer ratings have gone through the roof - it has left the hardcore petrolheads a bit cold hearted. I would just like to warn now before you advance to the rest of this post that it does contain some meaty spoilers. If you haven't watched the special yet, I suggest you stop doing everything right now and click this conveniently orange text to watch it.

From what I can tell, it seems that Top Gear provided us with the usual Clarkson funnies and the general cocking about in the five studio episodes, and then they built up a humongous climax for us all to enjoy that is the Burma Special.

The initial idea had me in doubt. My main criticism (that is shared with much of the Top Gear fanbase) is that the show doesn't feature cars enough anymore. So you can imagine what I was like when I found out that they would have to buy old lorries instead of cars.
Using trucks was a different move that paid off.

The show started, the trio predictably turned up making fun of each others lorries they had just brought. And then the challenge arrived; make a bridge on a river. What? No racing, no motor-orientated challenges? This, I thought, was going to be a bummer.

And oh how wrong I was.

The whole two hours were filled with the most spectacular camerawork, capturing all the best sights and ranges of Burma and Thailand. There were genuine facts in there too; Top Gear had returned to being a factual entertainment show, and all the better for it.

The silly humour just... works
We cannot forget about just what chemistry the three boys have evolved to possess after twelve years of presenting the same show together. You can only get that kind of friendship after a 12-year workmanship. They are what give us the laughs at the plenty. James being lifted in his tent, the silly remarks, and prank after prank to the presenters sound stupid on text here, but in practise will literally have you crying with laughter.

What I like about the specials is how much it teaches you about the culture of the place you go to without the presenters scoffing the facts down your throat. You sit and watch them have a party, you see the families building the road. You get a really good sense of life over there, and that has remained true through pretty much every Top Gear special to date.

So, the episodes were forgettable, the special was totally mind-blowing. Good job guys, I really hope you don't die out. Or just die for that matter, through Jeremy hitting your head with a crane...
Has Top Gear restored my faith in it with the Burma Special? Has Top Gear restored my faith in it with the Burma Special? Reviewed by Jack Cooper on March 16, 2014 Rating: 5

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