Let’s get right to the point.
New Top Gear is rubbish because it’s too easy.
Old, old Top Gear – the one where people like your dad would look at engines and talk about turning circles – was rubbish because it was boring. When they, to borrow a phrase from youth, “re-booted” it in 2002 they had the brilliant idea of making each episode an extended game of “spot the difference”.
At first Old new Top Gear was easy as well; a new bloke (James something) would pop up and talk about how to save a couple of grand on a brand new VW Passat, or they’d do something that you and your mates have drunkenly discussed doing – like spending£1,500 on a Porsche and then trying to drive it.
But that was just to get you hooked.
Over the next 14 years the differences got harder to spot. Was that a new lens-flare? Surely last week’s super-car was “sunset yellow”, not “ripped-to-my-tits orange”. Does a Hitler joke count as being racist to the Germans, as usual, or to the Austrians?
By the time old new Top Gear punched-out the differences were minute…”Got it! Last week the attractive blonde in the audience was to Clarkson’s left!”
But new new Top Gear has ruined all of that. The main presenter was wearing different clothes, bits of their track involved mud, the little one with the man-made teeth had misplaced his regional accent, old jokes – the pitiful, broken-down, alcoholics at the bar of wit – had gone. By half-way through the programme my spotter’s guide (which, normally at this point would read only “Old one didn’t take the piss out of the new Porsche’s that nearly no-one watching can afford” was instead half-full of scrawled notes. The stars – yes, stars…2 of them, unrelated to each other! – weren’t been given the usual generous air-time to bleat on about their latest projects and were, instead, being forced to talk about cars! Somebody made an entirely new joke! “Clarkson” was suddenly a person who is mad about cars, yet hasn’t been getting paid to drive them since 1979!
So, all-in-all, a dismal failure. The differences were far too easy to spot all over the place. The whole experience was like walking into ones’ favourite pub only to find that they’ve widen the range of menu, put on some guest ales and made the pool table free.
Apparently some people watch it just for the car content. To them this new new Top Gear must seem fantastic; all of the cars, but with a new breath of life and without the same, tedious old jokes being shoe-horned in just because the audience have neither the wit nor the inclination to stomach anything that is even the slightest bit new.
Yes, you’d imagine that they’d be very please…although they do seem surprisingly hard to spot.