TV & Movies
Top Gear 4.0 (and The Grand Tour)

Tuesday March 7, 2017

Last sunday the first episode of the new season of Top Gear aired on BBC Two. Like the previous season they thought up a change in format and a change in hosts. The difference? This time it was for the better.

Last year I wrote a post about the previous season of Top Gear.

First I would like to write something about The Grand Tour, the new show by Clarkson, Hammond and May. While writing this I realize I forgot to say something about that. Maybe because it wasn’t that interesting, but nevertheless. In comparison with Top Gear 3.0, The Grand Tour is more of the old Top Gear that we know and love (knew and loved?). It has more and better humor. It is more a car show. However, it is not the revolution people hoped for. Granted, “the trio” never fails to entertain, making it good to watch. But I never had the enthousiasm I had with some of the older Top Gear episodes when they were new. The format might just be getting old.

Top Gear has made a transformation. With this season (24) they got rid of the old studio. Well, the new one is still in the same spot, however, the decor is completly new. While this overhaul doesn’t contribute anything to the content of the show it does signify the other changes.

The best change? They got rid of Chris Evans. They are sticking with just three presenters, Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris and Rory Reid, which are the three I liked most last season. Just like in the ‘olden days’, three guys present the studio elements and the prerecorded stories together, which works much better than the multi-presenter-thing from last season.

Additionaly they made it a bit more a car show than a comedy show, although people should not expect thourough consumer advice. It is clever positioning against The Grand Tour (which seems to be more targeted at the comedy market) and moving back a bit in the direction the show came from. Given the new presenters it seems logical since any try at comedy last year looked forced, making it not so funny.

Oh, and they also let the guest sit on the couch for almost the whole show, not only for a single interview, which is nice.

Overall it just feels better and it is much more fun to watch. Hats of to the Top Gear team for improving the show from the shit it was last season to something up to the standards of the Top Gear name.

Now the question arises: which is better, Top Gear or The Grand Tour? For now I might have to say Top Gear, but this may be unfair since they got to try out a new format and revise on that, The Grand Tour hasn’t. Then only one thing rests to say.

To be continued.


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