Top Gear and the Postmodern
Even from looking at the website we are hit with male vibes, from the steely gray background to the sturdy positioning of the characters heads with smirks on their faces and we faced with Jeremy Clarksons head smack bang in the centre, set slightly forward trying to force a smile thats not too happy becasue that may make him look slightly femanine.
Top Gear has, despite having 3 larger than life male presenters and being about such a sterotypical topic of cars, somehow managed to achieve an almost even audience demographic of 42% female and 58% male viewers. Top Gear has gained its popularity throught funny antics, fast cars and and the competition between presenters. Top Gear has many aspects that are typically masculine from the set being chunky and surrounded by steel framework.
TOP GEAR SET
LOOSE WOMEN SET
There is an escapist feel to the show where the presenters are given money to buy a car and don’t have to worry about insuring themselves on this car or the car getting damaged, they can blow up nearly anything they want and don’t themsleves have to worry about setting anything up or clearing everythinhg away. The three men have no worries about practicality, time or how rediculous they look. There is something quite engaging about middle aged men acting rather like children, looking like fools and sometimes giving us some knowledge about cars.
Clarkson ios often the alpha male of the show as being the first to speak every episode, the one who interviews the celebrities instantly shows him to be the ring leader, he can throw out the insults when ever he wants and is not afraid to carry on this persona outside the show, often being in the media due to feuds with others (Piers Morgan) and affairs with his women. He also participates in shows such as QI and Have I Got News For You where he does tone down him dominant persona and brings out more of a relatively intelligent man.
Despite being on the recieving end of numerous height jokes Richard Hammond then challenges alpha male Jeremy’s decisions on things such as choice of cars and the “Cool Wall”. He is also the presenter of childrens show Richard Hammonds Blast Lab, somthing that Jeremy Clarkson couldn’t possibly due and would most likely make some small children cry.
James May is the one that seems to be most in the show for the cras, i think he generally wants to just talk about the technicalities and history if the cars but has to engage in the crazy tasks set just to fit in, he is nicknamed “Captain Slow” and has a sensible label that is backed up by other shows he presents such as 20th Century and Big Ideas.