I’m not sure which makes me happier: Top Gear’s new season (which starts this weekend!), or the Grauniad‘s gigantic existential crisis over whether it’s okay for its tree-hugging dope-smoking car-hating commie pinko readers to actually enjoy watching it.
Even environmentally conscious viewers get guilty pleasure from its ludicrous stunts filmed with enormous budgets. And it’s political: it kicks against what it sees as New Labour’s nanny state (a Downing Street website poll demanding Clarkson become prime minister attracted nearly 50,000 signatures) and does everything in its power to provoke the politically correct sensibilities of the BBC.
Barely a month passes without the show crashing into controversy, with Ofcom rulings on its jokes about prostitutes and suicide, and accusations that it is sexist, environmentally reckless and glamorises speeding.
Why on earth would people want to watch a show with fast cars, “ludicrous stunts”, and a little bit of libertarian government-bashing for good measure? Why?, wails the Guardian.
And here’s a taste of the new season:
For the new series, they have romped around South America in 4x4s, crashed a caravan-airship and are hoping to create a smash-hit art exhibition out of cars.
It’ll be available in the usual place from Sunday night.
Update: Aussie readers will be pleased to hear that Eric Bana is Sunday night’s Star in a Reasonably Priced Car. AUSTRALIANS ALL LET US REJOICE, FOR WE ARE YOUNG AND FREEEEEEEE….