Saturday, December 10, 2016
A year ago or so, I wrote about my disappointment at Jeremy Clarkson's behavior, and the end of the BBC hit show Top Gear, at the least the end of it as we knew and loved it. It was a shame, and it had to happen. Clarkson had crossed the line and management had to take a stand. The end was likely coming, the freewheeling production style of the show kept bumping up against the staid BBC management - and the contracts of the three were all up at the end of last season. BBC tried recasting and rapidly discovered that the chemistry between Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May was an essential part of what made Top Gear work. The same show with different players fell flat, floundered, and is currently on hiatus.
The Grand Tour has recently launched on Amazon Prime Video starring Clarkson, Hammond and May, and in my opinion, the magic is back. As I write this I have seen the first three episodes. The season premiere has some amazing vidiography, the opening scene is Epic.
The Grand Tour is certainly a car show. It is masculine, occasionally politically incorrect, a little vulgar, a little immature. It is also pretty funny. They are also visiting some of the most amazing landscapes on the planet, the photography and editing are amazing. The core of it all is three blokes, enjoying the amazing adventure that is life. If you ever wonder what pure joy looks like, watch the opening sequence of the first show, when the three of them pull up next to one another on the freeway for the first time, look at the expressions on their faces, that is what joy looks like.
So have you seen the Grand Tour?