I’m a little stuck now…
BBC America air(ed) Top Gear on Monday nights. I don’t know what to do with Monday now…
It is out now that host Jeremy Clarkson has been “sacked” by the BBC. It is the result of a “fracas” which, apparently, involved some verbal and physical confrontations aimed at one of the “Top Gear” producers. There was a cancellation of the remaining episodes in the current season, an immediate suspension of Clarkson, an investigation and the the final report and result.
Clarkson himself did, from what accounts can be put together, the right things (mostly) in the aftermath of the “fracas”. He called and acknowledged the incident. He made apologies. He cooperated and kept his mouth off of commenting on the investigation, mostly. He did make some colorful comments at a fund raiser he was already booked into. People laughed. Money was raised.
Now that the BBC has taken the step of pulling Clarkson what happens? Co-hosts James May and Richard Hammond have not talked much, either. The common thread from the two is that the show is a package with all three and the question of making “Top Gear” with them and without Clarkson is a grey area neither has put a foot in. It is Clarkson that opens the show and welcomes the audience. He is the engine that has driven it with May and Hammond being the fuel and the spark.
As for the BBC… They have pulled the rug from their own gold mine. The show generates a bazillion dollars (pounds, if you like) and is aired with licensing all over the world. It is quite possibly the most watched TV show out there and certainly so for the BBC. Obviously they had to do some kind of thing but was that thing necessarily shooting themselves to make a point. Yes, Jeremy Clarkson certainly earned himself sanctions and or fines, community service and a giant helping of humble pie. He could have been forced to do the next season from the driver’s seat of a Morris Marina. There were, fans believe, other options available to address the seriousness of Clarkson’s actions.
Now the future of “Top Gear” hangs in the balance. The show could go on with May and Hammond and perhaps a new somebody. Fans, and Hammond and May, know it will not be close to what it was. The playful tension that makes the show work would be forever warped and likely broken.
Let’s also examine the money again. Not only is the cash flow to the BBC put down a hole but also the cash flow for the many people involved in making the show. Clarkson, May and Hammond have enough bank to be quite fine but what of the camera crews, logistics personnel, producers (including the one with the swollen lip), assistants, back stage crew, and all the others who made their living making sure those three idiots went to air?
What will become of the crew that maintain the Stig….? And what of him…? Will he put out in front of a Vauxhall dealership waving at passing potential customers…?
Jeremy Clarkson screwed up. It is possible, even with all the political correctness and fairness in the workplace considered, that the BBC has screwed up also.
Will there be a “Top Gear” going forward? Can there be any combination of personalities that will generate the devotion and following that has made the show what it is… or was…? Have you seen American “Top Gear”?
Uh…….. Yeah…. It is like “American Idol” doing a Beatles show… It isn’t necessarily bad it just suffers from the same thing that happens whenever American TV tries to do “British” TV… Americans.
Face it, “The Office” was unwatchable if you had ever seen the British original…
Can the BBC ride this out with millions of outraged fans instead of dealing with one “Jeremy C;arkson”?
How hard can it be…?