It might be weird that I love The Grand Tour and Top Gear since I am not a car person at all. However, I cannot resist watching these shows because of the excellent hosts. When Jeremy got kicked off of Top Gear, the guys came together to create their new Amazon original, The Grand Tour. Season one was solid but had its flaws. The guys needed to find something to make this show unique and to make everything work. Some significant changes have happened this season. I love it, but there are its flaws that remain.
The format is generally the same. The guys will have something they filmed whether it is a crazy idea or just a general car review. After any car review which may come at the beginning or somewhere in the middle, their professional driver will race around their track to see how good of a time that car can achieve. Conversation Street is the same with a wacky intro that leads into a discussion about the latest cars. These conversations are some of the most consistently interesting portions of the show. If you have seen the first season or have seen Top Gear, then you know what to expect from Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond. The show continues its spirit through them with hilarious moments and ridiculous moments that probably got them in trouble with other countries.
A lot of the show has changed. Their celebrity portion is entirely different. Instead of a spoof to make fun of the BBC not allowing their original idea for a celebrity portion of the show, they managed to make something work. Jeremy will interview two celebrities from different countries. Most of these people I did not personally know because they were mostly athletes. After the interview, a clip of both people will be played of them driving around the track. Similar to the celebrity segment from Top Gear except it is two celebrities racing against one another. I love this change. Everything feels more organic and interesting. The first season was hilarious to see how each famous figure would horrifically die, but there was not much substance to that.
The American driver from the first season was widely hated. Personally, I thought his stereotypical schtick that made fun of my country was hilarious. However, many people did not enjoy it. He is replaced by Abbie Eaton. If you are a gearhead, then you probably know her. She is an upcoming driver who has become quite popular. It is great to see a female in the show. Her driving is impressive, but there is not much commentary from her. This does not give much of a character to her. The Stig from Top Gear or The American had a schtick to distinguish themselves as a character in the show. Despite this issue, I do like her. I hope to see if there is an expansion to her in the next season or if the driver changes per season.
Crazy antics have always been an essential part of the new and previous shows that the trio of hosts worked on. Some of the events that happen this season range from crazy races, testing out SUVs in a hilarious way, making an aquatic car similar to the two episodes from Top Gear, and a lot more. Almost everything done is funny and interesting. Some of the most hilarious moments in the history of these three working together will happen this season.
Every show has drawbacks, especially one that is still figuring things out. Some of the celebrities did not make for compelling interviews. There were a few moments the guys would try to do something insane and entertaining that would fall flat. There was nothing too ghastly like some of the dull moments from the first season. Not everything this season is enjoyable. Each episode is packed with so much that some moments will fall flat and be downright dull. I do wish they gave Abbie some direction to give her more character on screen. Also, it is weird they never mention her by name. She is referred as “her” or “she.” That is not much of a problem, but just a weird part of the show to point out.
Overall, this is an excellent season. The first was good, and in some ways awesome. However, the first suffered from various issues to find its identity. The second season does show that Jeremy, James, and Richard have found this show’s identity to stand on its own away from their career at the BBC with Top Gear. When a third season is released, the show will only improve at this point.
To give a comparison to the first season, that score would have been a 7/10
Watch the latest season here: