TGT is a fail and here's why

DanRoM

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I am not willing to judge the show as a failure just yet. It is only five episodes in.

But the point made in the opening posts are valid. Rant ahead.

a.) TGT doesn't have a proper "home", namely a real track for car reviews. The Eboladrome is rubbish: too narrow, not enough open space for right camera angles and lame corners.
The tent is for all intends and purposes the same kind of home the hangar was. But the track is indeed crap. Not because of the layout (let's face it: Dunsfold isn't that good a track neither), but because it is too narrow in terms of space next to the actual track. They can't do open, sweeping camera angles for one thing, and because of all the houses and trees standing right next to the track, plus the bad surface, the track is very unforgiving. On Dunsfold they could go all out and if things went wrong, they had hundreds of metres of grass. I don't think we'll ever see what a car can really do on the Eboladrome because in case of error, it would immediately end up in a tree or house.
England is full of racetracks. But they found a disused something that I can only assume was the cheapest solution.
b.) [...] They film in many countries, but where's the information we get? They could be anywhere in the world and it wouldn't make any difference at all.
Correct. So far we had
  • Burning Man festival: Okay, that was something. But apart from the opening scene, they didn't use it.
  • South Africa: They had a man who had build his own Group C racecar replica and didn't even ask him what engine etc. he used. And their display of local car-related youth culture was showing James May being annoyed while doing donuts as a passenger.
  • England x 2: Okay, they were home.
  • Netherlands: Jokes about speed cameras and sex toys. :rolleyes: Clearly they couldn't miss the opportunity to show how naughty they can be now that they don't have to adhere to BBC standards anymore. But as I am not 12 anymore, I only found the first three seconds of it funny.
In summary, the travelling around part does nothing for the viewers. It is a cool gesture to the maybe 100 or 200 locals attending the filming, but apart from that it's just a waste. They travel the world and make a point of it, but apart from some cheap jokes, they don't use the locality at all. The main feature of every ep so far was several countries away or even on another continent from where they hosted the episode. "Grand Tour" my ass.
c.) [...] It looks like the cars are not important anymore
The car reviews do lack depth, indeed.
d.) They just act through their script, seemingly uninterested in what they are doing.
That is my impression too. It looks lackluster. Especially James looks miserable all the time. Perhaps it's an act, but judging from the quality of their acting in general, it's too convincing for that...

Apart from that, what really annoys me is that with all the money and freedom and apparently many former Top Gear staff on payroll, the show is just poorly executed in general. I wrote it already in a review thread to one of the episodes: They are just going through the motions, but don't convey any emotion. It looks like they get their money for past merits and worse, it looks like they are content with that.
 

Duckman

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When i look at all the comments of the people who don't like (hate) TGT, i get the feeling, those people were expecting CHM doing "old Top Gear"(pre 2001)/Fifth Gear (season 1-5) on Amazon Prime.

All 3 guys never said, the show will be an "old school car review show".
We were told (in nearly all the interviews with CHM), that the show will be about Jezza, Hamster & Slow doing their wacky stuff with cars. The show is about those three blokes cocking about in cars.

If you want car reviews, read Autocar magazine or Top Gear magazine.
If you want some entertaining stuff with cars, watch The Grand Tour.

To say, the show is a fail after just 5 episodes is just overreacting.
Yes, i said after just 2 episodes of Evans Gear, that i am out, but i still watched every episode of it. And some of them were much better in hindsight.

No matter if Top Gear (UK 2002-2014), Top Gear Australia, Top Gear USA, Top Gear (UK 2016), The Grand Tour. I watch those shows with an open mind. all shows are different, but have the same origin.and i like them all. for different reasons.

Top Gear "CHM", because of the insanity of the hosts. you never knew, what there were up to next.
Top Gear Australia, because of the "Red vs. Blue" war between Holden & Ford.
Top Gear USA, because of the adventures Tanner, Ruthledge & Adam were looking for. like the rubicon trail.
Top Gear (Evans), because of the car reviews of Harris & Reed.
The Grand Tour, because of the insanity (and chemistry) of Jezza, Hamster & May.

And since Fifth Gear was canceled this year again, there is no "real" show for car reviews left on UK TV. But who knows, maybe they will come back some day.

And there are still alot of car review shows out on youtube or other online sources.


I think, we all should keep our mind open for different styles of car shows. (but not as open that your brain will fall out of your head. that will make you post weird comments on forums) :lol::p
 

Mr. Nice

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Whether The Grand Tour is a fail overall has yet to be seen, however, it is a fail with me. I won't be watching more episodes. I was watching Top Gear as an American back in October of 2005, which was way ahead of most of the people I knew. I'd like to elaborate further on this, but I am having what I can best describe as writer's block. I know that's pretty pitiful for a poster on a forum, but, oh well.
 
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mgriffeyPDX

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When i look at all the comments of the people who don't like (hate) TGT, i get the feeling, those people were expecting CHM doing "old Top Gear"(pre 2001)/Fifth Gear (season 1-5) on Amazon Prime.

All 3 guys never said, the show will be an "old school car review show".
We were told (in nearly all the interviews with CHM), that the show will be about Jezza, Hamster & Slow doing their wacky stuff with cars. The show is about those three blokes cocking about in cars.

If you want car reviews, read Autocar magazine or Top Gear magazine.
If you want some entertaining stuff with cars, watch The Grand Tour.
I respectfully disagree. I have not gotten the impression that anyone wanted an actual car review show. I think people were just hoping for the glory days of Top Gear. And that, to me, is the main problem in my view and I am just as guilty at setting too lofty of expectations and hoping this would equal or better the golden era of Top Gear (which is some of my all time favorite TV).

The initial few episodes had less to do with cars than I think most of us were thinking and even the most cocking about episodes of CHM Top Gear still had to do with cars. With that being said, I think the last couple episodes are hitting closer to what I was hoping for. So I continue to be hopeful for episodes to come and will watch all 36 eps (and beyond if they keep going).
 
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TC

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I have to admit, I'm a bit disappointed as well. So far, anyway.

With the boys going with an online show, without sponsors or censors, and a massive budget, I couldn't help getting my hopes up. I don't know what I was expecting, but I was expecting something different from TopGear. Not much different, of course, but I was expecting to see the show they've always wanted to make, but were unable to, for whatever reason.

But so far it's the same old thing I've seen a hundred times already on TopGear. There is nothing new, exciting, interesting, or informative about The Grand Tour. It's The Three British Stooges with Supercars, just like before. I feel like I went to a 5 star restaurant only to be served pizza and beer. I like pizza and beer, but I couldn't help expecting something different. Something better. Something new.
 

stecube

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The Grand Tour, because of the insanity (and chemistry) of Jezza, Hamster & May.
That's exactly what I'm missing. They act like friends, but don't look like they are, anymore. They feel flat, uninspired, uninterested in what's going on.
 

MWF

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I think we all need to stop analysing it so much. Wilman went on record years ago saying that the show was already closer to the end than the beginning and even with a bigger budget and the luxury of some more time they were never going to reinvent themselves too dramatically.

TG had its failure points over time - the dog, the stuntman, things to do with V8 engines - but most of us carried on watching just as we did previously. No point in gazing at it now through rose-tinted specs and lamenting how it's become stale or isn't as good as you expected. It won't last beyond the middle of the next decade and more realistically beyond the end of this one. Just watch it, enjoy what you can or choose not to and move on.

I would like more car content and the end of the stupid dead celebrity thing but I will still watch it for what it is, even if that means doing so with the warm glow of nostalgia than any expectation of surprise and delight.

For those who attend regularly TGT is a bit like Ringmeet. You've done it before and you know it won't be vastly different next time but you do it anyway.
 

ahpadt

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I agree that the show has occasionally been a bit lukewarm so far, but an issue might be that since everything is pre-recorded way, way, way in advance there is no way for them to make changes (due to feedback) untill the following season. I'll keep my fingers crossed for them to make some adjustments for next seasons recordings. The celebrity thing is stupid. They can start by binning that.
 
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neutron

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TG had its failure points over time - the dog, the stuntman, things to do with V8 engines - but most of us carried on watching just as we did previously. No point in gazing at it now through rose-tinted specs and lamenting how it's become stale or isn't as good as you expected. It won't last beyond the middle of the next decade and more realistically beyond the end of this one. Just watch it, enjoy what you can or choose not to and move on.
I actually enjoyed the Top Gear dog and V8 blender bits, but that was because they were short and didn't drag on, unlike the ambulance, sweeney or eco-car segments.
 

hal9000

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While I do agree with some of the points (especially about the track), it's too early to write it off just yet.

One issue with the show is they cannot make any changes with any speed because all the filming for the series has been done and some of the tent stuff is several weeks in advance. Will they react to the brain crash and american criticism in this series which has been quite widespread? Maybe, maybe not.

For me, the biggest problem has been lack of variety so far. What made Top Gear so watchable was that if you wanted a serious review, an epic road trip, a good challenge or anything else they had in their repertoire, there was usually something on at some point in that series. So there was just about enough to keep everybody interested.

So far, TGT has been mostly cocking about, and while I don't mind a reasonable amount of it, having 12 episodes of almost nothing else could wear very thin for a lot of people.

While The Grand Tour is still better than anything else I currently watch and I still quite enjoy it, there may come a time when I've got bored of the whole thing if the series continues the same way as the first 5 episodes.
 
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bone

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While The Grand Tour is still better than anything else I currently watch
do you actively search for stuff that's worse?
or are your sources so bad, you only have junk to watch?

there is good tv out there, no need to watch bad stuff!
 
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johncartlidge

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I confess I am struggling to enjoy The Grand Tour, but quite why I'm not sure. Candidates include it is less family friendly (cock teaser etc.); those films recorded in advance deprive the topographical benefits of actually touring; it's almost like they have too much money to play with and think dolloping a bunch of dollars on the problem is the solution.

So far, I have enjoyed the opening sequence of episode 1, and the star killing; beyond that I'm 'whatevs'
 

hal9000

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do you actively search for stuff that's worse?
or are your sources so bad, you only have junk to watch?

there is good tv out there, no need to watch bad stuff!
There may be good TV out there, but I still prefer watching The Grand Tour (for all its current faults) or even reruns of Top Gear. Don't watch soaps, don't watch reality TV, only other thing I've sat down and watched recently was Westworld, it was nothing more than reasonable.
 

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cut the celebrity brain crash, the American, and do 1 episode per series that isn't scripted.
Just 1. It might be hilarious
 

Tzarrim

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Have to agree with the OP and several other posters, it's not going in a direction I'm liking very much.

Now we just have to wait for our local troll to tell us how wrong we are for having an opinion different than his and how we should just stop watching it.
 

Mr. Nice

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Have to agree with the OP and several other posters, it's not going in a direction I'm liking very much.

Now we just have to wait for our local troll to tell us how wrong we are for having an opinion different than his and how we should just stop watching it.
The thing of it is, I doubt that they care very much.

And with DriveTribe, they probably aren't spending much time, if any, looking at this forum. I'm afraid that we have become the past, and that the way that the show is now, along with the audience it caters to, are the future. It's also my guess that they are attracting decent audience numbers, which will give them little reason to change what they are doing.

I'll probably hang around this part of the forums for awhile, in hope that my suppositions are wrong. If I am wrong, I might be apt to give it another go. However, I am not going to waste more of my time watching a show that, to me, has had all the appeal of a high school drivers-ed video.
 
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cfalk

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The travelling tent idea is good, but they aren't capitalizing on it. I recommend that they do so by making each location the central theme of the show. If they are doing the show from, say, Greece, any car tests should center on cars indigenous to (or at least highly favored) in Greece, and special challenges would be set in Greece, the studio segments would center around the car culture in Greece (and taking the mickey on them of course).

I would guess that CHM have thought of this idea but it came a bit too late to incorporate into this first series. A lot of the films had already been shot and they just had to slot them in. But I hope they do it for the next series.

And they really need to avoid the temptation of over-scripting. CHM are a trio of smart and witty guys - anytime you plonk the tree of them around the table they are just naturally funny bouncing stuff off each other - it's a wonder they ever get any work done really.

But so far I like the show. Sure it's not perfect, but what is. The old TG format was definitely getting tired and needed a refresh.
 

Cowboy

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I'm just gonna quote myself from the episode 4 thread here:

I Like TGT so far, it's not perfect, this episode was the weakest of the 4 IMHO, still better than 90% of the crap on TV, wich come to think of it is exactly what we used to say about the lesser TG episodes.

The only thing I really do miss though, and I'm not sure how to express this , is the basic 'Britishness' of the show.
They achieved this with simple things, testing a car in the Cotswolds, or on the Yorkshire Dales, the simply driving around in Britain, the small interactions with people, the jabs at certain places and people, the 'always a little bit shit' undertones of British self-depriciating humor, I love that....

Before TopGear, GB was that wet Island on the other side of the Northsea, gray cities and bad food, Topgear made me fall in love with it, made me want to know more about it, nowadays I consider myself a proper Anglophile and I Holiday in Britain almost every year.

TGT seems to be almost all exotic locations and 'internationalness'. That makes sense obviously, as it now an international show made for an American company, but it feels like it's missing a little, there I say it? Soul?
I feel Fixing this will fix most of TGT.

Give one of them something pseudo interesting to drive, and spend a day in the English countryside roadtesting it 'with a twist' for a simple 10 minute film.....it would change the whole tone of an episode and they can still drive 3 hypercars on the moon while delivering badly acted comedy for the rest of the hour.
 
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TopGearNorthAmerica

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The travelling tent idea is good, but they aren't capitalizing on it. I recommend that they do so by making each location the central theme of the show. If they are doing the show from, say, Greece, any car tests should center on cars indigenous to (or at least highly favored) in Greece, and special challenges would be set in Greece, the studio segments would center around the car culture in Greece (and taking the mickey on them of course).
The problem with this approach is that TGT does its production in two stages: the filmed elements are done and edited first, and then the audience segments are taped as a schedule block and edited in.

Doing "filmed segment" and "audience portion" in the same country would complicate the logistics of the latter, as you would need to find a site willing to accommodate the TGT tent in a place where a receptive audience can be found and recruited, within the same relative jurisdiction, often months after initial principal photography when potential negative publicity could have an effect. I think the producers want more flexibility in finding their audience, who are usually sophisticated enough to appreciate TGT filming in climes other than their own.

What I would like to see is more "audience participation" -- i.e. the Trio interacting with their studio audience. We saw it with The Cool Wall, we're seeing a bit of it with "Find Hammond in the bumper" and "brown Aston heckling". Yes, it drives Richard Porter to chew his own liver in frustration because he can't control the flow of dialogue, but that's actually a good thing.
 

mpicco

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'new' Top Gear's first season was pretty pretty rubbish too, they even had a presenter they replaced eventually, I mean, give time to time, let them adapt, correct what doesn't quite work, work out something else, etc. I enjoyed the show so far, and have faith itll get even better
 
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