I’ve never been in this particular situation myself, but I imagine being the “new guy” taking over a previously beloved position from someone else has to be one of the hardest things to do ever. I still remember when Jim Kelly finally retired as the quarterback for my beloved Buffalo Bills and Todd Collins took over the next season. I found it hard to cheer as hard as I used to, and something just felt “wrong.” I imagine this is how many Top Gear faithful felt when they turned on their TV to watch Series 23 start and greeted with a bevy of unfamiliar faces.
GQ recently posted an article about their thoughts on the revamped Top Gear, which includes Series 23’s clusterpoop of 29374928374982374 hosts, and this current’s season’s return to a three host format. As with many viewers, GQ didn’t like what they saw and has called for Top Gear to hang up the driving shoes, so to speak.
Some highlights from GQ’s article:
“The last series of Top Gear was so dreadful that I’d almost forgotten there was going to be another one.
…as I started watching I realised that what we were effectively watching was LeBlanc and a comedy double act with two straight men, Chris Harris and Rory Reid.
… it should have been parked when the BBC made the unnecessary, politically motivated and financially ruinous decision to fire Jeremy Clarkson.
…drafted in a generic celebrity and two Muggles who both look as though they have spent formative parts of their career working in local radio or children’s TV.”
That last bit is a little harsh. Dylan Jones, who wrote the article, may not know who Chris Harris and Rory Reid are, but anyone who is a fan of cars definitely does. It seems a little bit distasteful for him to badmouth two people he doesn’t know anything about; that’s judging a book by its cover down to the tee. It’s clear that Mr. Jones was so put off by last season that he hasn’t even bothered to watch Series 24 at all, and honestly who can blame him? Series 23, to put it bluntly, sucked.
Should Top Gear have been canned after Jeremy and Co. left? Probably, but there’s a lot of pull in the Top Gear name, and of course the BBC was going to try to milk that cow as long as possible. I’m not in the least bit surprised that it was relaunched, and neither should anyone else. But the fact of the matter is we still have Top Gear on our screens. The fact that TG “should” have been cancelled doesn’t matter; it wasn’t and it’s still here.
Here’s the thing; while Series 23 left a bad taste in my mouth, this current series is one that I am enjoying. I am not comparing it to Jeremy, James, and Richard; I’m trying my damnedest to give it a chance on its own merits, and I’m glad I did. Matt LeBlanc definitely does not have the presence to take over Jeremy’s former position, but as I have mentioned before, Chris Harris and Rory Reid are about as good a two replacements as I could have hoped for, and they know their stuff.
And there’s also the fact that I actually know who Chris Harris and Rory Reid are, while Mr. Jones clearly does not. He even admitted as much in this piece. So why does he have such a strong opinion on something he knows nothing about? Who knows.
You’re allowed to not like the current Top Gear, and I’m sure many of you feel that way. Hell, it’s not my favorite thing on right now, but it’s a heck of a lot better than Series 23. It will NEVER be Jeremy, James, and Richard again, so Mr. Jones, with all due respect, why not give it a chance on its own merits instead of holding it up to the Jeremy, James, Richard measuring stick?