I got to watch the first episode of The Grand Tour the other night over at J’s house. This is the spiritual successor to Top Gear that Clarkson, Hammond, and May are doing over on Amazon.
By the time the first episode ended, I was thinking, what, already? It’s over? And it’s not because the thing didn’t plod from time to time. It certainly did. Tighter editing would be great. But because I had some of the smile on my face from Top Gear, I expected to roll out into full laughter. And I never really got there.
Now, of course, news has broken today that Richard Hammond is a twat, and that he has apparently not grown out of homophobic taunting, uttering language I can’t imagine May doing and even would sound odd coming out of Clarkson these days.
It could just be that the magic is gone. That the reason Top Gear worked is the same reason that Star Trek: The Next Generation worked so well in its later seasons: there was a template established early on that wasn’t great to watch, but they learned how to stretch that template fully to make the most of it.
After one episode of The Grand Tour, I’m not feeling that. Maybe I’ll go have some ice cream instead.