I can talk about the old Top Gear all day (the one with Hammond, May and Jeremy, not the new one). It is not only a car guy’s favorite show, it is also the most watched show in the world, and that’s no exaggeration.
So okay, I’m not really sure what brought about its demise. Clarkson did something assholic apparently, prompting the BBC to kick him out, with the other two following suit because they didn’t want to break up the team. It’s within Clarkson’s character to do such a thing, and he’s apologized and all is well now, but that’s not why I’m writing this.
I’m writing this because their new show ‘The Grand Tour‘ is almost out, and in anticipation of this they are doing promotional stuff here and there, one of which is on another Brit’s show which has also become a success as of late, The Late Late Show With James Corden.
Here they have a race with the three while Corden asks questions that if they get wrong will decrease their time.
A lot of people wonder why the old Top Gear is so successful, and the reason to me is simple. It’s the fact that Hammond, Clarkson and May are really truly good friends, and are not afraid to act that way in front of the cameras. This means that they can be testing the latest $3 million dollar hypercar or pounding a nail against the wall, and it will always be equally funny.
Do you remember the fun you had with your old friends when you were trying to do something really simple, like bike around the neighborhood or shoot a ball into a basket? Do you remember how hopeless it was to try to do something serious together, like make a report or finish your group homework? One would slack off, the other will write useless crap, while the other ends up doing the whole thing, right? Remember how fun it was and how much you all laughed? That’s what these three guys captured on camera.
In fact, when I watch the old Top Gear shows on Netflix, I skip the parts where they test the cars and just watch their ‘challenges’ or whenever there are two or three of them all trying to do something, like race across the ocean or assemble a special car, and it’s nearly always fun.
After watching years of the old Top Gear, I know that Clarkson is only pretending to be an ass and that he’s actually extremely intelligent and a very good writer. I also know that May is also just pretending to be the pedantic Brit, to counter the testosterone from the other two. And finally I know that Hammond is actually the smartest and funniest of the three, as he’s always the one who comes up with the best jokes and is the most articulate and eloquent of them all.
But even though I can ‘see’ beyond their exaggeration they are still vastly more entertaining than any other show, and so anyone trying to do the same looks pathetic, simply because they do not bring the authenticity and sincerity that three real friends bring.
So anyway, here’s another of their promotional videos on Youtube, where they bring back Ben Collins, the original Stig, which is a big surprise for me considering there was a big issue about this when he tried to publish an autobiography, but apparently all is well because he’s back.
Jalopnik has more information about this one.