If you love the NEW new Top Gear, the one with Matt LeBlanc, Chris Harris, and Rory Reid, we’re not talking to you right now. You can hit the back button and resume your news feed consumption, but feel free to stick around and enjoy this tiny rant. I’m talking to those people who grew up watching Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May, otherwise known as the original “Top Gear Trio.” These are the guys that has captured the hearts of many and once produced the most successful automotive television program consumed throughout the entire world. To those that are in love with Jezza, Hamster, and Captain Slow, and absolutely DESPISE everything that is not them, let me talk to you for a hot second.
These Guys Are Irreplaceable
No one can ever replace these three buffoons. Just to prove that point, Amazon Prime has spent soooooo much money producing The Grand Tour because an automotive entertainment chasm was formed suddenly, upon the firing of Jeremy Clarkson. The fans were clearly not ready for these three to go off the air. We noticed this as most of our followers, you folks, the die hards, would respond in such delight and voracity at every single piece of news, any update, any picture, and video clip of these three messing around in the production of The Grand Tour.
Similarly, you would roast anything and everything about Top Gear’s new crew. The replacement group, led by Chris Evans, in series 23 was tough to watch. Cringeworthy at best. So it was appropriate that you responded in such a manner. Typical responses on any Top Gear news story we covered was the following:
“The new Top Gear is shit without Clarkson, Hammond, and May”
“This show is still on?! Until Jezza, Hamster, and Capt Slow are back, that show isn’t worth watching. Go Grand Tour!”
“Nope wont watch this crap They made the BIGGEST mistake getting rid of Clarkson and company. This show is going to fail without them”
“What’s Top Gear?”
“Fuck the BBC”
“No thanks, not till the legends are back.”
“Fuck this show now, grand tour baby!”
“Nope. Change the name, then I might consider watching as it’s not top gear.”
A Younger Energized Crew
Like most things in life, they change. For Top Gear, things have certainly changed for the better compared to Series 23. The new trio of LeBlanc, Harris, and Reid, feels refreshed. The younger crew breathes new life into the aging show. The skits and challenges may feel similar to what we’ve seen before in old Top Gear, but the interactions and banter have been rejuvenated with new energy.
While The Grand Tour suffers from broken arms, lingering hangovers, and lack of stamina, the new Top Gear attacks challenges with vigor and youthful competition. Watching LeBlanc, Harris, and Reid attack a dirt course in Kazakhstan, while beating up their high mileage rides reminds us of an older Top Gear episode when there was still a glimmer of excitement in the hosts eyes. The Grand Tour trio approached their high priced adventures like a battle hardened soldier with the 1000 yard stare. You get the sense that even though they’re visiting new places, they’ve seen it all before, one too many times. And the dull and tired excitement is captured on screen despite the highly stylized cinematography.
If you haven’t seen the Nurburgring segment with Rory Reid and Sabine Schmitz riding around in a Volkswagen GTI, do yourself a favor and give it a watch. Seeing Reid and Schmitz be excited about DESTROYING much faster and more expensive cars around the Green Hell, had me on the edge of my seat. It’s not the high end production that made it satisfying, it was the genuine delight and chemistry captured on screen.
So to those that have been protesting the new Top Gear show because it’s not Clarkson, Hammond, and May, you’re doing your automotive loving self a huge disservice. This new show might be even better than The Grand Tour in several aspects. But you don’t want to hear that, and watching the new Top Gear would feel like you’ve betrayed your automotive idols.
A Reasonable Compromise
I may have a solution that will allow you to enjoy the new Top Gear and that comes in the form of ignoring the Top Gear name. Anytime Jessica plays at the beginning of the program, just give it a mute. And every time the phrase Top Gear is uttered or seen, just blank it out of your senses. Disassociating the NEW new Top Gear with the Top Gear brand might just be what you need to allow yourself to enjoy the top notch program.
The new hosts have a potential to be even greater than the Clarkson, Hammond, and May. This is not because they’re better than the original three, but rather they’re standing upon the shoulders of the old trio. The Top Gear name will never go away because of its powerful brand recognition. The best thing you could do is ignore the name until you’re comfortable with it again.
Am I wrong about all of this? Let us know in the comments below!