This has been circulated a little bit this week, but I happen to agree with it and think it is an excellent and accurate bit of writing, so I am passing it on again.
Steve Coogan goes a long way toward explaining why Top Gear just isn't that good anymore.
And explaining why 'PC gone mad' is a cop-out argument to boot.
Top Gear used to be appointment viewing. We even built a weekly social occasion around it. Somewhere along the line though, the magic went. The great moments that the episodes used to be full of got fewer and far between, the 'spontaneous' banter and wind-ups more obviously scripted, and the famed challenges more obviously contrived (usually to ensure that Jeremy won), and everyone involved just looking like they were going through the motions. The episodes got less and less enjoyable, less memorable, and we eventually just lost interest, after years of loyal viewing. This whole mexican thing just illustrates how bad it has gotten (while nicely parallelling our own recent experiences with a certain breakfast TV presenter). There has always been a boorish element to it, to be fair, but seldom this daft. What happened? It used to be fun.