So New Top Gear with irritating idiot Chris Evans was every bit as bad as I thought it would be. All of the studio segments were embarrassingly bad with Evans whooping and shouting like a juvenile making it a total crap fest. He gave us a few cringe worthy gems like “c’mon everybody” when doing the rally cross car piece and offered a lame joke about catering that couldn’t have been more well signposted if it’d been entered into a satnav. I feel sorry for the audience who were no doubt bullied into clapping and cheering at totally the wrong moments to satisfy Evans gigantic ego.
What’s strange is that the format has barely changed with Evans even trying to ape Clarkson at every turn which is just daft. Everyone knows Chris is no wit so even trying is pointless. There were a few redeeming moments, mainly whenever Chris wasn’t on screen but on the whole, this was a rubbish Top Gear salvaged only by Matt Le Blanc who is everything that Chris Evans isn’t; cool, calm, comfortable, collected, charming, likeable and funny with a dry wit.
Here’s a quick run down of the main segments.
Off to a bad start with Chris bouncing around and yelling at the camera trying to hype up the new show. A crap joke about catering falls flatter than a pancake on a plank and has obviously been shoehorned in for no other reason than to make a sly dig at Clarkson. The audience looks ashamed at having been forced to laugh at this drivel.
Dodge Viper vs. Corvette
Filmed in a Top Gun airbase, I actually liked this piece although it would have been a lot better without Evans. Sabine is funny and entertaining but her appearance is all too brief. Back in the studio, Evans desperately tries to copy Clarkson when introducing the Stig for the lap and the audience once more looks as though their laughing faces have been painted on.
Blackpool Road Trip (part 1)
Matt and Chris drive a couple of Reliant Rialto’s to Blackpool. This is the first time we get to see Matt in his new role as Top Gear presenter and it’s soon clear that he’s far more suited to be the main presenter. Unfortunately, Matt’s car breaks down so we don’t actually get to see him driving much and Evans is as irritating as ever.
Rally Cross Car
The guest slot has stars driving a new rally cross Mini car on a revised course which is dramatically revealed by Evans as some sort of genius plan. The two guests are introduced and smug Evans wastes no time in showing how crap he is as an interviewer. The chit chat is forced, contrived and whereas Clarkson gently teases out some interesting trivia from the guests, Evans goes down the route of interviewing as if he’s reading the dummy cards using a Ladybird Big Book Of Interviewing Tips. I’ve attended funerals that were more comfortable and interesting than this. Evans commentary on the actual laps is so bad that I actually turn the volume down. The audience are encouraged to clap during the lap when the Mini manages a pathetic little jump or barely slides around corner. This by far is the worst segment of the whole show.
Matt’s first solo piece and it’s good. His dry sense of humour and relaxed delivery is totally the opposite of Evans and suits Top Gear far more. More importantly, he connects with the audience on several occasions when looking at the car mounted camera and it all looks so much more professional. Matt with the right co-presenter would make a great Top Gear.
Blackpool Road Trip (part 2)
Matt and Chris do a series of challenges with their Rialto’s and once again, Matt comes across as the more comfortable presenter whilst Evans gives the audience another 10 reasons to switch off. Overall, a good piece which again would have been a lot better without Chris. Roll the credits and good riddance to Evan’s bluster.
Overall then, the answer to the question “How to make Top Gear great again?” is clear: ditch Chris Evans as soon as possible and make it Top Gear presented by Joey and Chandler.