I have a confession to make. Five minutes into the first episode of the new series, I found myself thinking "Hmm, perhaps Top Gear has hit its peak and begun to slide into self-parody and I am now bored with it?" Fortunately, the second that Jeremy's customized matt-black "stealth" truck hoved into view, I knew that my momentary crisis of faith was an embarrassing false alarm, and TG is still brilliant. So that's all right, then.
Oh yes, and despite their latest American roadtrip containing James making an unusual friend in a Reno casino, and the boys breaking their target speeds on the Bonneville Flats and being so ecstatic that James nearly hugged Jeremy but somehow managed to restrain himself at the last minute, who could have predicted that the funniest moment of episode two would actually be Jeremy and Will Young bonding over their shared interest in interior decor and water features? Would it be completely inappropriate to ship them??
(A thought: does one need to cut for spoilers for Top Gear? After all, it is a "factual" programme, hem hem.)
There's often a moment with BBC costume dramas where I wonder whether I'm ever going to get into it properly, or whether it will persist in feeling like a bit of a chore. However, I did a full-scale catch-up with Little Dorrit on Sunday night (the time all costume dramas should be shown, frankly) and now I've stopped feeling like I'm stumbling randomly through a bewigged crowd of venerable character actors and half the cast of Doctor Who, I'm actually getting into it. It helps that I have no idea of the plot of this one, so please, no 150-year-old spoilers.
Admittedly though, there is a teensy bit of my brain that's not paying attention because it's too busy dreaming up a Dickensian AU of Heroes in which the foundling child Clara Bennet discovers that she may be an illegimitate offspring of the wealthy but crumbling Petrilly clan, while society portrait painter Mr Mendes becomes an opium fiend, and evil watchmaker Mr Gray stalks the streets for another victim and the clue to his mysterious ancestry, and so on, and so forth, in 52 serialized chapters of cranium-slicing suspense. However, I must emphasize that although I would kill to read this tragically non-existent fanfic, it's something that I would never actually write in reality. But harmless daydreaming in class is allowed, isn't it?
Last Man Standing
I'm afraid I'm just going to keep plugging this programme until someone other than me starts watching it. We're now four episodes into series 2, and the new boys are beginning to endear themselves to me (at least, they are when they are not whining or claiming to give it 110% or any other Apprentice-type phraseology). The funniest moment so far was definitely the "scolding ritual" of the Wauja women of Brazil, which involved a crowd of mostly naked and quite formidable-looking ladies kicking the crap out of the six muscular contestants in a big field of mud. The hilarious shot of J.J. clinging to some lady's ample bosom in a hormonally-crazed daze was utterly priceless. I'm also very pleased that little Ed the modern pentathlete is doing so well, bless his floppy hair and eager puppy-face.
Anyway, if you have access to iPlayer, you really have no excuse for missing this quality show. Remember, those guys are out there, being hit by big sticks so you don't have to be...