I really loved Top Gear. It was one of my favorite shows for a very long time. It was about the unashamed celebration of cars, and had three great hosts who interacted in a genuine and fun way. Unfortunately, the last few seasons before it ended stretched the formula and it started to feel quite fake. They also somewhat forgot the cars and got caught up with other shit.
I had high hopes for a rebirth with The Grand Tour, but it was just fine. There was too much variety show silliness and not enough of the mates doing silly things with amazing cars that was the heart of the original series. It has some high points, but they were scattered amongst a lot of mediocrity and distraction.
The BBC’s reboot of Top Gear was even worse, featuring a terrible host and a cast that had too many people who didn’t gel well. It also slavishly stuck to the old formula, which didn’t work with a new team.
Thankfully, the BBC threw out the formula and started again this year, and it’s awesome. Yes, it’s still finding its legs, but it already vastly better than last season, and even better than The Grand Tour.
The new hosts are great. Rory Read and Chris Harris were highlights of last season, and Matt LeBlanc is vastly better now he has two funny enthusiastic you guys to bounce off.
More importantly, this is a show all about cars. There are a few small diversions each episode, but the cars are at the centre and make takenup most of the time. They’ve even managed to make the previously painful ‘star’ sections somewhat watchable.
I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season.