Top Gear Has Re-Established Itself To Be King Of The Car Shows
Since the "Jeremy Clarkson incident", I feel it's been hard for a programme like Top Gear to find it's feet again. The first season with Chris Evans just did not work and seemingly tried too hard to follow the original format the previous three presenters had already established. It was quite literally a car crash of a show.
Since the departure of Mr. Evans, the show has now grown on me, as I've stuck with it through the dirt as it's developed into the now, clean and shiny replacement that we can all accept. I should mention in fairness and on reflection, I can draw similarities of my feelings towards both BBC Top Gear as well as Amazon Prime's The Grand Tour, which also started off rough in it's first season. It too has also ironed itself out to be an equally brilliant car show, but here's why Top Gear for me, is on top.
Well first of all, it's those three presenters. Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid. A sort of young, fresh-faced trio who are packed full of personality, personality that in some cases is very relatable among my friendship group. I can't help but feel that there is an outdated feel about The Grand Tour. It feels almost like getting a new iPhone unnecessarily. The old phone works fine and the features were great but, the new one is younger, cleaner and more relatable. It's like watching your mates, rather than your dad.
LeBlanc has surprised me with his passion for motoring. His "too cool", calm but thrill-seeking demeanour is much to be admired. He really fits in well with the programme and I never thought I would be saying this as a Brit. Not that an American shouldn't be allowed to present one of Britains best loved TV shows but when it was announced, I was upset as it felt like the BBC were selling out to their American audience. In fact, I was wrong. He's been nothing but exciting to watch on screen, almost providing a child-like enthusiasm in the VTs.
Chris Harris was the outright best decision the producers could have made to add to the show. His geekiness is critical to the show's success. He is so unbelievably relatable to friends I have. He's that one annoying friend that either has to be better than everyone or, right about everything when it comes to details. The best part about him is his true experience when it comes to cars and racing. While he's also a great reviewer, you can tell he's a car enthusiast first and that really comes across on screen.
Rory, well he's the boy racer and all round likeable guy. There's nothing not to like about the man. His bad loser or winning attitude is hilarious. I can't help but remember one of his early episodes where he gets a taxi stuck on a hill formed of sand and his reaction to the race was hilariously funny! The one thing I do like about Rory are his individual car reviews. They're very informative but also he's not trying to copy the likes of Clarkson, Hammond or May. He's made them his own and it's so refreshing to see.
Without these three, the show wouldn't be what it is today. The one thing I wish Top Gear would do more of, are challenges spread across two parts with maybe a bit of studio time and a car review in the middle. The Grand Tour in Season 2 added celebrity interviews (instead of deaths) and I'll be honest, they bored me, as they always have done in Top Gear. 10-15 minutes of celebrities talking about themselves and their car experiences can be entertaining but for the most part, I find it boring, and I'm sure I'm not the only one.
The video tapes (VTs) have been some of the best in the latest seasons of both Top Gear and The Grand Tour. My particular favourites seemingly are the ones where they visit other countries, such as Canada or America. The challenges always seem better. I love the Canadian boat mission in The Grand Tour but I actually preferred the electric off-road bike race as well as Chris Harris being flown in the sky in an off-road buggy. It's great to see that there's no shortage on budget for either show and it's keeps them exciting, leaving you wanting more or, to be part of that experience.
The one thing Top Gear lacks compared to The Grand Tour is the camaraderie between the presenters. Clarkson, Hammond and May have spent many years on this one particular job and so it is expected. However, it is nice to see the friendship develop between the Top Gear boys, along with the infrequent appearances of Sabine Schmitz and Eddie Jordan.
I firmly believe Top Gear is a better show in its current form and after the incredible season that finished last Sunday, I can only look forward to what's in store in the future.
I highly recommend that you launch BBC iPlayer and watch it from the start if you missed it. The Grand Tour Season 2 is also now available for you to watch on Amazon Prime.
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