Top(ish) Gear


So, I just finished watching the all-new Top Gear. It took three sittings to get through a one-hour episode. It was that tough. I thought I should at least watch the first episode and give it a chance. Which I did.

It wasn’t all as bad as I’d imagined (trying to be optimistic, here), but surprisingly, the things I’d feared about the new show were fine and the bits I thought they’d have covered were simply horrific. And this post goes beyond just a review of a BBC television show. This is a reflection on my personality. Let’s dive straight in…

It’s all about one factor – the presenters. Yup they have a whole team, but in reality there are only two main presenters. Chris Evans and Matt LaBlanc (or as everyone everywhere knows him, Joey-from-Friends). It was Matt LaBlanc that was a concern for me. His appointed wreaked of BBC desperation to fill Clarkson’s shoes. But I actually loved his presenting style. Dry, mildly negative and generally easy to listen to. Meanwhile, Chris Evans, a full-time TV presenter pranced around the live studio as he presented with so much positive energy I nearly threw up in my mouth. I get that he needed to go into this enthusiastically to ‘glaze over’ the fact that he was now presenting a TV Show that had essentially lost its guts, muscles and humour.

But within the first 5 minutes of watching Chris literally dance around the audience, my eyes rolled and I realised that there was one thing that Top Gear had now lost forever. It’s dry-but-aweomse comedy. Even LaBlanc’s dry whit just isn’t enough to disguise Evens’ over-the-top in-your-face performance from Riverdance.

Good on the BBC for giving it a go. I genially do feel sorry for Matt LaBlanc, who with a different co-host could have made it work. But now that the dry humour of the classic trio has left, so has everything that made the show great.

Now that the second episode aired, the ratings show that Evans’ Top Gear only had a returning audience of one-third. And that third of people who returned at the one-third of people who watched Top Gear for the cars. And sadly, I wasn’t one of those people. I don’t know the difference between a Skoda from a Ferrari. But I do know a decent presenter and Chris Evans. Sorry mate. Just calm down. Then I’ll give you another go.

And on that bombshell, we turn off the BBC iPlayer, re-subscribe to Amazon Prime I keenly await the three amigos.