frivolity wine media

Live Blogging James May’s Road Trip Premiere (on BBC America)

One of the few shows my husband and I get equal enjoyment from on the television is the BBC’s Top Gear.  He likes cars, and I like intelligence and funny.  And British.  So when I came in from my evening bike ride (daylight savings time, I forgive you) and saw that Top Gear announcer James May’s new show with Oz Clarke, James May’s Road Trip, was premiering tonight on BBC-A, it was like the universe was helping me out with that whole “what do I blog about on a Monday when I have two old bottles of wine in the fridge to finish before I open any more and I have no good wine-related ideas” thing I was wrestling with.  Thanks, TV!

Taking a page out of one of my favorite blogs, Haiku of the Day, I’m going to live blog the premiere of the show.  (If you get bored of this process, you should go read this or this, by Kari.) Watch along!  Comment!  or read the whole thing tomorrow and go read Deb Harkness’ fabulous new novel A Discovery of Witches, which I finished last week and can’t stop thinking about.

So, some reservations I have about this show: James May?  Old white guy.  Oz Clarke? Old white guy.  Possibly some of the least interesting people to listen to/watch, talking about wine? Two old white guys. How will they make this show NOT make people think that Good Wine is for Old White Guys?

Granted, Oz Clarke is famous for being accessible in his wine reviews, and James May has that kind of Alan Alda/bumbling but well-meaning/non-threatening white guy thing happening… so it’s not like Bordeaux was in any danger of testosterone poisoning when the boyz drove in.  Still, I’d be a bit more pumped if this show were… I don’t know, Adele and Eddie Izzard?

What? you say May and Clarke have done multiple successful shows together since 2006? Everyone loves them, and I know nothing? Ah. Well, that’s what I know.

9:20 Who starts a show at 9:20?

9:21  What? there’s nudity?  And we’re talking about what mature Chardonnay does to women’s nipples?

9:23  I feel for May, looking for the best way to spend his ten pounds, and worried about hating his traveling companion.  Clarke’s talk about wine seems pretty annoying, so far.  Am I like this when I talk about wine to people?  Gah. Shut up already!

9:25  Ha, Clarke made May get down on his knees and smell manure.  Not sure I agree that a whiff of barnyard is a fault, though, to be fair.

9:33 OMG James May is touching a 1940 Bordeaux – Oz Clarke’s ass is so tight right now.  Don’tdropitdon’tdropitdon’tdropit…

9:36  Will my teeth be that scary if I drink as much wine as she does?  Wait, there’s no way that’ll ever happen.  Shew.  Wait.  Is it worth it?

9:38  Judging from the ads, the network totally sold this show as a car show. And possibly a show about hating the telephone company… and fruit cocktail. Psych!

9:41 Not sure how we’re all going to teach James May about wine if he has to be the designated driver all over Bordeaux.

9:43 They’re sleeping in a tent together and reminiscing about past romances? Wow, that’s not homoerotic at all.  And now everything’s all wet?  Gracious, how did that happen?

9:46 Grape facials – possibly not the most wine-educational thing in the world. “Feel all that gelatinous flesh rubbing over your face.” Cough.

9:47  Wait.  IS Oz Clarke gay?  Didn’t he see that Glee where the gay kid learns it’s impolite to make a pass at guys you know aren’t interested?

9:48 That’s a lot of older naked guy skin. I’m going to need more popcorn.

9:56  Do you have to be British or Robert Parker to love Bordeaux this much?  Maybe I just can’t drink pricey enough to love it this much?  Also, James May is totally not ready to taste this stuff.  Why doesn’t Clarke have ME drive him around in my 2005 Honda Civic?  He could leave a banana on my dashboard if he wanted.

9:58  OK, James May is cracking me up right now.

9:59 Pink sweater totally wants to do James right now.

10:00  Wait.  It’s over? That’s it?  I’m confused.  What did we learn?  Was the whole point of today’s show to get May to smell tobacco on a Bordeaux?  Because I think they could have done that a little bit earlier and then just spent the rest of the time on the budding courtship between May and Clarke.

And now it’s Top Gear again.  Wow, BBC-A has a lot of confidence in the appeal of Road Trip to a wine-loving audience.  I dunno – it was fun enough, with the whistle bit to keep the Wine Bore chatter to a minimum.  Maybe a little less “here, smell this” next time, guys?  or is that just a natural hazard of a TV show about wine?  Teaching us to smell stinging nettle seems a bit much.

Well, since no one’s going to drive up in a Jaguar to pack the kidlet’s lunch tonight, I must, alas, say adieu to both screens.  Thanks for coming along for the ride, gentle reader!  (Pun unintentional.)