New Top Gear Show. Should I Watch It?

Ariel Nomad on Top Gear 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Let's just get this out of the way from the beginning: yes, you should definitely watch it, and by "it," we mean this first episode. After that, it's entirely up to you whether you tune in for the second, third, and so on, or you just wait for the Grand Tour to start on Amazon Prime.
But I believe that the only way is up for the new Top Gear, and that's not because it's at rock bottom at the moment, but because it packs plenty of potential. With just the single episode at hand, it's hard to draw any real conclusions, but some things did become apparent. For instance, the fact that Chirs Evans is trying too hard to sound excited and inciting.

Chris, stop trying to be Jeremy Clarkson. Even if you do manage to copy Jezza in the end, you'll never be a better Clarkson, but you can potentially become a better TV presenter. Don't pick up your torches and your pitchforks, I'm not saying it will happen, I'm just saying it's a possibility, however unlikely it may sound now. But it will never be the case as long as he doesn't play himself on the screen. Just look at the guest part where he entertains Gordon Ramsay and Jesse Eisenberg: that's the Chris Evans the rest of the show deserves as well.

But Evans' hesitations aren't the only thing dragging the show below its potential: it's also the producer's reluctance to change the formula more drastically. The best to prevent comparisons with the old crew would have been to change the recipe almost completely. As things are right now, you can't help but feel it's the old Top Gear, presented by different people, and why Matt LeBlanc does resemble Richard Hammond somewhat, it's not enough to fool anybody.

Commercially speaking, the opening episode fell a little short of what was expected of it. It didn't do bad, but the audience was lower than the last episode of the old show broadcast almost one year ago. Chris Evans and Company managed an average of 4.4 million viewers during the 60-something minutes of the program, peaking at 4.7 million. Without the hype surrounding the relaunch, Clarkson and his team gathered 5.3 million people in front of their television sets last June when their last appearance on the show took place.

So, what's next for the new Top Gear? First of all, a whole new episode next week, one that will make it a lot clearer in which direction this thing is headed. Whatever it is, they won't be able to change anything now as the episodes have already been filmed, but we should just keep offering feedback so that the next season will be better. And by "feedback" I mean positive, constructive comments that contain no curse words.

The second episode's audiences will be a more relevant indication of the show's chances of success in the short term. A lot of people were curious to see how the product of the new team, but now that they have, are they coming back for more? The episode next Sunday will show us how many of those 4.4 million British viewers were convinced to tune in the second time. Personally, I feel that there are plenty of positives to take from this first episode, and if only Evans were to tone it down a little and just risk being himself, he'd be a lot more credible. He would make this Top Gear his own, and, for better or worse, that's what needs to happen.
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About the author: Vlad Mitrache
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"Boy meets car, boy loves car, boy gets journalism degree and starts job writing and editing at a car magazine" - 5/5. (Vlad Mitrache if he was a movie)
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