The Grand Tour Review: Top Gear 2.0?

By: Ethan MacLaren

“Top Gear” was one of the biggest shows of the 2000’s. Now, Amazon and the stars of  “Top Gear” are trying to recreate the same magic on a different platform.

In 13 years and 22 seasons Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May hosted the show which regularly had over 3million views per episode in the U.K. alone.The new reboot, “The Grand Tour,” has now been out for 3 weeks with the first two episodes being slight let downs.

The first episode, filmed outside of LA, was amusing but not particularly astounding. It begins with Clarkson flying from London to LA, where he meets up with Richard and James. There the trio drive to the car tent.

In this episode, the production quality and filming were top notch which is as expected from the crew. . The opening scene is one of, if not the most expensive openings  in tv history,reported to be $3.2 million.

The main segment is the three testing the “Holy Trinity” of hybrid hypercars. The Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1 and the Porsche 918 (Three vehicles  they were never able to test on “Top Gear”).

 

The episode is by no means bad, it just was a slight let down given the massive budget and freedom that Amazon gave the crew.Viewers were expecting a bit more “no-holds-barred” humor but what they got felt scripted and like one of the more forgettable episodes of Top Gear.

The second episode contained  many of the same jokes and gimmicky segments but with almost none of the redeeming factors of the first episode.

The main segment consisted of the trio attempting to complete a Jordanian special forces training exercise. The catch was that every time they died they had to start again, which quickly became unentertaining . This was easily the worst episode of the season. There were  few funny jokes and those that were  only warranted a mild chuckle. The episode also included a segment of “Celebrity Brain Crash” which is consistently unamusing.

Episode 3 was my personal favorite. The trio travel to Italy in which Jeremy is in an Aston Martin DB11, James in a Rolls Royce Dawn and Richard is in a Dodge Challenger Hellcat, the outlier. hey drive to numerous  famous destinations,  as Jeremy and James try to lose Richard because he is ruining their trip.

The funniest part of the episode is when Richard and James take up their end of a bet made in episode one and blow up Jeremy’s house.

All in all it has been a very good show. The trio of Jeremy, Richard and James have great chemistry partly due to their working together for so long.


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