Why is everyone so excited for Top Gear? Isn't it just a show about cars?
Yes. And no. Yes is is a show about cars, but they completely re-invented the car show genre. So much so that quite a few different countries (including the United States on History Channel) adopted the formula.
Top Gear as a program started somewhere way back in the 80ies as a consumer advisory type program. They took 3 sedans, and explained what was different about them, that kind of stuff. The original show was cancelled in 2000 or so.... and then re-launched with 3 new presenters in 2002, with a completely new concept: humor. They kind of figured that since everyone had access to the internet, they could pretty much find out all they wanted about new cars and didn't need a show to tell them, so they completely changed the format to a car-centered entertainment shows. They introduced the Stig, celebrities that would race a rather normal looking car for a best times list, and they come up with a lot of different challenges, where each presenter needs to buy a car for a certain budget, and subsequently they are presented with a route and tests. Often, they try to sabotage each other, especially if one is winning more challenges than the others. They have been on all continents except Antarctica, however, they did once drive a CAR to the North Pole.
One of the presenters (Jeremy) thinks Americans cannot built decent cars, where Richard Hammond thinks they are the best thing since sliced bread. If you are really sensitive about someone from outside the U.S. saying something bad about the U.S. every once in a while, don't watch. That said, they have been to the U.S. at least twice if I remembered correctly, and both times I was very much amused.
The episode where they drive through the American south was hilarious.
If you love international cars, British humor, and the general concept of this show.... you will love it. http://en.wikipedia....2002_TV_series)