TV Show Review: The Grand Tour, Episode One

A while back, to big controversy, Top Gear was taken off the air. For those unfamiliar with the show, Top Gear was an extremely popular car show which featured the humor and personality of it’s three hosts: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. What had happened was that Jeremy Clarkson, feeling like the diva he is, decided to physically assault one of the producers. BBC, the station the show ran on, decided not to renew their contracts as a consequence. While I thought this was the right move ethically, reality is not quite so just. See, Jeremy Clarkson was the heart of that show and despite his misconduct, the audience of Top Gear generally did not care whether he misbehaved or not, they just wanted to see more of the man and his humor. Furthermore, James May and Richard Hammond declined to renew their contracts and jumped ship with Clarkson. BBC tried to keep the show going with different hosts, but without the three former hosts, there was really no show.

Fast forward to the present day and Clarkson, Hammond, and May have signed a deal with Amazon to create a show that airs only on Amazon’s streaming service through the internet. After watching the first episode, it is clear to me that a mountain of money was thrown at these three guys for this show.

There are number of things one can expect in this show. Firstly, you can expect wildly expensive super cars being driven around a track like bumper cars. That’s always fun. Sometimes they go on road trips driving through various exotic locales, which I’m sure they’ll do at some later episode. The car montages are also some of the best I’ve ever seen. There’s a lot for car lovers here.

I, however, am not a car guy. So what do I get out of the show? Well it’s an extremely hilarious show. For about an hour each episode, I get to watch three British guys insult each other, other countries, and other cars over and over again. For me, Top Gear wasn’t just a car show, it was a comedy. Celebrities came on to interview while Clarkson made fun of them. They would go on road trips while torturing each other and abandoning each other along the way. It was a fun show to watch and it’s clear to anyone that without these three, there is no show. Additionally, it is largely scripted, but it’s still fun.

So now the show is back with a different name and most importantly, the hosts are back. So how is the show? It is exactly like Top Gear, which is a good thing. If you were a fan of the show, welcome back. If you’re curious what all the hub bub is about, give it a watch and see how you like it.

The opening sequence of this first episode deserves a noteworthy mention. I cannot think of a better way to announce the return of these three, old British guys who love cars and love making fun of each other.

Score: 6.5/10

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