'Top Gear 19'
(Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, The Stig, Lewis Hamilton, et al / 3-Disc DVD / NR / 2013 / BBC Home Video)
Overview: Top Gear the world's most popular car show returns to DVD with 5 new episodes plus the 2-part Africa special! There's more incredible cars, legendary journeys and a few gasket-blowing laughs thrown into the mix too!
DVD Verdict: In truth, having been spoiled by the hilarious past series, #19 was a bit of a diappointment. It had a few good moments on the trip in Africa, but mostly it was a rehash of previous pranks, races and interviews. I waited for months for this series to be released and was left hanging I'm afraid.
That said, in this particular series they stopped bleeping the profanity. Jeremy Clarkson drops the f-bomb 3 times in the Africa special! Wasn't expecting that. So parents beware.ALSO, they changed the studio videography. But wow, that Africa challenge was a trip, all pun intended!
In what turned out to be an EPIC adventure, the boys first go to Botswana and have to buy a car each for £1,500 in which to drive across the country. Jeremy buys a Lancia Beta, James a Mercedes 230E and Richard an Opel Kadett. The boys then set out across the vast expanse of Botswana’s wilderness in their £1,500 bangers, but the ground is soft - so they have to shed weight!! Off come, flying across the sand, bits and car pieces galore! Then the Stig’s African cousin emerges from his hut to put the three bangers the boys have bought to the test. Which of their old munters is the quickest – or least slow? What an incredible adventure to join them on - and so many one-liners its sick!
In closing, I've been a huge fan of Top Gear ever since I first discovered it while wandering around Youtube. Richard's youthful cheer, Jeremy's daft enthusiasm, and James' very Britishly cool demeanor add up to a combination that would be virtually impossible to replicate.
Thank God no one has tried. Top Gear America notwithstanding, Top Gear is perhaps the best unscripted comedy you can find. To tinker with this formula would be to ruin it in short order. The chemistry between the three presenters is really what makes this show good. It just needs to get a pep tak, that's all. These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.