Last Sunday marked the beginning of the brand new series of BBC’s hit motoring show ‘Top Gear’. Armed with a brand new cast, new studio and even an improved test track, it was bound to be a success right from Gambon Corner, right? Wrong.
From the get go, ‘TFI Friday’ presenter Chris Evans appeared to be trying way too hard to act like Jeremy Clarkson. The introduction analysing the content of the show was in Jezza’s typical ‘Blasé’ fashion, attempting (and failing) to give a comedic style opening to the show. With virtually everything else rebranded – why did they decide to keep the theme tune and the logo? The audience was the smallest that it has ever been, considering that the BBC had made improvements to the audience structure, allowing audience members to be standing above the gone-hangar-now-studio, looking down at Joey from Friends and that bloke that replaced Wogan.
Packed full of little digs at Clarkson and terrible jokes, the show drew in a measly peak viewership of 4.7 million viewers whilst the last series drew in 5.8 million. Evans even made a comment last week saying that he would be ‘disappointed’ if the show received under 5 million viewers. Ouch. This would be easy to forget if the Radio 2 star hadn’t been posting mad rant-esque tweets after the show stating the ‘FACTS’.
The “Star in a Reasonably-Priced Car” “Star in an Overpriced Rally-Modified Mini Cooper” segment seemed extremely scripted, and very little room for movement. Both Ramsay and Eisenberg seemed very uncomfortable and inadvertently awkward during the entirety of the interview, which made this segment in particular one of the hardest bits to watch. Cringe.
Trying to focus on the positives, Matt LeBlanc did a pretty good job. Considering that LeBlanc is American and the show is focused on mainly British banter, he seemed to ‘get’ the show’s format and humour more than Evans.
All of this taken into consideration, it seems that the show will not last very much longer. It feels like the Top Gear bandwagon is on a sure path to demolition, and from here on out, the show will be travelling on a long road, quickly running out of petrol. It goes without saying that the magic of the show has been lost, at least for the moment. We’re holding out for ‘The Grand Tour’.
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