Friday, August 22, 2014

BBC's #TopGear represents mass entertainment that adds public value

One of my favorite shows is produced by BBC. It is actually a car show, Top Gear. Since it is a car show, its supposed to be just about cars right? No. They manage to make it entertaining–full of your usual English tongue in cheekness, satire and national stereotyping. More than once, that show got a lot of flak for mentioning a national characteristic that isn't flattering: They were stoned in USA by hicks for painting "NASCAR Sucks" on one of their cars. Lol.; and they are hated in Mexico for saying, "Cars reflect national characteristics … a Mexican car's just going to be a lazy, feckless, flatulent oaf with a moustache, leaning against a fence asleep, looking at a cactus with a blanket with a hole in the middle on as a coat."

In spite of this they often feature car related challenges in exotic locales, they make car-related inventions which are deliberately cr@p but nonetheless somewhat meritorious in their design. Through this, the show is actually quite educational.

Their lead presenter, Jeremy Clarkson is quite outspoken in his car criticism as well as political commentary. The presenters are also not ashamed of their "Britishness" and always go on with their "British Pride" or whatever every chance they get.

Best of all, because of the unique way the BBC is funded, they don't advertise.

The BBC's mass market oriented shows still reflect the "Promoting education and learning; Stimulating creativity and cultural excellence" criteria that you mention. Furthermore, BBC is also a good way of instilling "British Pride" (if there is ever such a thing), which is like "Pinoy Pride" with substance. Filipino TV should be like this, sadly, it isn't.

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