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It Won’t Be As Good As The Original, But We Should Give New Top Gear A Chance

We all know how old Top Gear ended and we all know the trials and tribulations of the new cast. The hatred of the new cast is palpable, if you own an internet it is not difficult to find. But is the new Top Gear going to be that bad? Do they already deserve the malice being hurled at them? Clarkson, Hammond and May took a little motoring show and turned it into the rampaging success behemoth it became. No new cast can live up to that standard, no matter how impressive their resumes may or may not be. Here’s the thing though, don’t they deserve a chance before we deem them the worst thing in the automotive multiverse? If you’ll bear with me, let me explain why we should give the new show a chance.

The new cast is filled with odd choices behind front man Chris Evans (The British version, not Captain America). But then again, nobody thought James May was a great choice when he joined the original cast in the second season. Richard Hammond wasn’t a household name prior to getting the gig on Top Gear. And Jeremy Clarkson was coming off a year where the Original Top Gear from way back had been canceled. Nobody was really sure how the new show would do. I realize it is unrealistic to expect the new cast to reach the level Clarkson, Hammond and May reached, but that doesn’t mean they won’t be good either.


When you really think about it the cast is pretty good. We all loved LeBlanc as Joey and he is a huge car nut. Sabine is famous for hurling almost anything around the Nordschleife, how is that not a positive? Chris Harris seriously knows his stuff and his YouTube videos are highly entertaining. Eddie Jordan owned a successful F1 team He may have had to sell it, but anyone who can be successful in the boiling cauldron that is F1 deserves a chance, doesn’t he? Rory Reid, the unkown, did manage to beat everyone else out in the open audition process.

Which brings me to Chris Evans. He obviously has a personality, hes highly successful in radio. He is the one I’m actually not sure of. I want to give him the benefit of the doubt but he has an air of the typical aristocratic Brit. Looking down his nose at the world as he prepares for afternoon tea. Clarkson is the same way, but he seemed accessible. He was a pompous ass but at least he did so with a whiff of blue collar about him. Evans on the other hand, I can’t shake the perception that he has never used a spoon that wasn’t made of silver.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I will watch the new series. Even if I have some reservations over the leading man, I will still watch. Here’s why. When Clarkson launched the Top Gear reboot back in 2002 there was nothing like it in the car world. If you wanted to watch a car show, it was either the exceedingly nerdy DIY shows on TNN (now Spike) or watch MotorWeek. MotorWeek wasn’t terrible, but it could be so dry, so boring, and so devoid of personality. Nothing against John Davis, I’m sure he is a great guy, but he is also as dynamic as a loafer. So when Top Gear rolled around we flocked to it. It featured the cars we loved and the presenters had personality. The latter was what made Top Gear such a run away success. It appealed to car and non car people alike. While we were all sad at how it ended and elated when Clarkson, Hammond and May got their new gig on Amazon. We were quick to throw shade on the new cast because how dare anyone have the gall to try and replace them. 

Thing is, for us the viewer, I believe the whole situation is a blessing in disguise. Before Top Gear there was basically nothing, now we get the old Top Gear hosts starting a new project at Amazon and a new cast for BBC’s Top Gear. Where once we had nothing we now have 2 shows. I don’t know about you guys but having another show featuring cars isn’t a bad thing, so give it a chance.


About Chad Kennedy

Chad burst from the womb wearing a racing suit and a helmet. Chad's passion for cars is in his very DNA. His father was a gear head and passed on the tradition through owning such classics as a '66 Mustang and a '59 Corvette all while taking him to various race tracks in the area. Chad likes to wrench on his rides whenever possible, forgoing the stealership. Chad is an avid motorsports fan with particular interest in endurance/sports car racing. When not online writing for Shifting Lanes, you can find him working at the local golf course teaching people how to swing or hooning a golf cart at impossible speeds.

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One comment

  1. It’s not so much the new cast that I won’t watch it’s the BBC, how stupid can a they be? You don’t fire the money maker no matter what, the producer should’ve been reassigned.

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