Tag Archives: jeremy clarkson

Top Gear America: Episode 1: Made in America [Review]

Recently Top Gear has had a bit of a rough go. From the separation of its famed hosts, Clarkson, Hammond, and May, and their subsequent success on Amazon’s, The Grand Tour, to the utterly disappointing performance of replacement lead host Chris Evans, which saw the follow up season of Top Gear U.K.’s ratings take a nosedive to their lowest level ever, with only 1.9 million viewers turning in to the season finale.

After Evan’s departure, Top Gear has continued to have a tough time overall, with generally mixed reviews at best, so the question was, will the replacement for Top Gear U.S.A, aptly named Top Gear America, be any better?

It’s with a sigh of relief that I can confidently say, “yes”, it is in fact better. Not only is it better than Top Gear U.S.A, it’s quite easily better than the current iteration of Top Gear U.K.

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Featuring three new hosts, NHRA Top Fuel champ, Antron Brown, British motoring journalist, Tom “Wookie” Ford, and actor, William Fichtner. The hosts clearly fill archetypes any Top Gear fan will instantly recognize. One surprise is the chemistry the hosts seem to already have. While far away from the classic trio, they are themselves easily outpacing the current U.K. hosts. Maybe the BBC sent them all away on a team building expedition before filming.

The premier episode features the typical Top Gear segments we’ve come to know and love. There’s an adventure/challenge feature, a celebrity guest who drives a reasonably priced car, and a couple of reviews.

The adventure segment takes our new hosts south of the border to Mexico. Their challenge, to drive two Baja Beetles 212 miles from Mexico, back to the U.S.A, in the spirit of the famed Baja 1000 race.

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While the script seems a bit forced at times, the segment is actually really well done overall. There’s the great cinematics that we’ve all come to expect from Top Gear, fun action clips, and a some good humor, even if it is a bit forced, such as where one of the Beetles “runs out of gas” or really without giving too much away,  the entire premise of the segment.

The review of the new Acura NSX is a shining feature in the new Top Gear America’s roster. While recent reviews on both Top Gear U.K. and Top Gear U.S.A, before it ended, were pretty bad, if not outright unwatchable, Tom “Wookie” Ford does an excellent job giving the NSX a well deserved review. No condescension, no ridiculous out of left field opinions, and no unnecessary hype. While the back in the studio follow up has the scripted me vs you opinions built in, it does little to take away from the actual segment.

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Top Gear America’s celebrity segment is now far improved from even the classic Top Gear.  This episode features professional baseball player (now retired) C.J. Wilson. The segment was brief, to the point, and very well done. The chemistry between the guests and the host was there, and the questions related to the show. We didn’t see any of the over the top nonsense from recent episodes of  Top Gear U.K. and none of the crazy celebrity “appearances” that many hated in The Grand Tour’s Celebrity Brain Crash.  The actual lap on TGA’s new track, located in Las Vegas, Nevada, using a 2017 Honda Civic, was done right as well. Although it lacked any drama, and the track itself is a bit underwhelming overall, it set a good direction for the show and Top Gear as a whole.

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The other segment of the show, a review of the new Ford Raptor, was done by William Fichtner. I’ll go ahead and say it now, William is the absolute star of the show and does the segment, and the whole show, masterfully. Whoever managed to get him to do the show deserves a raise because he really does carry the show. Fichtner may be the first solid lead on any Top Gear since Clarkson.

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Fichtner manages to capture some of that original Top Gear essence that I think we’ve all been missing since the trio’s departure. The soulfulness, the genuineness, the style that Top Gear so desperately needed, and used to have in excess. If you watch the new episode for one reason, it should be his segment on the Raptor.

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So, Top Gear America is off to a great start. Where does that leave us now? The Grand Tour premiers with its second season on Amazon Prime soon and if there’s any indication based off last season, it’s going to be a hit. Top Gear U.K. is still struggling to regain ground, but may very well be recovering, and  as for Top Gear America, it just may be the BBC’s new shining star.

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Hopefully they can keep it up, all of us in the automotive community need a good show like this. Let us know what you thought of the episode in the comments, and be sure to like and share!

Stay tuned to Automoguls for reviews of every new episode all season long, as well as reviews of The Grand Tour, Top Gear U.K, and much more.

Image Source: BBC America 

The Grand Tour Season 2: Sneak Peak Trailer

Debuting on Amazon Prime Day, the sneak peak trailer for The Grand Tour: Season 2, is here! The trailer which describes the show as;

the world’s greatest show about three middle-aged men rampaging around the world having unusual adventures, driving amazing cars, and engaging in a constant argument about which of them is the biggest idiot.”

showcases some very exciting looking clips which leaves the automotive community around the world with a lot to look forward too.

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Examining the trailer we see a bit of something for everyone. From some sort of tank crashing through walls, to the already infamous Rimac that Richard Hammond had his recent crash in during a hill climb event, which ended in a fiery blaze, to a few other high level exotics such as the AMG GT, Mclaren 720S, and Bugatti Chiron.

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While the last season of Top Gear (U.K.) received abysmal ratings, per IMDB, with an average of just over 2 out of 10, the premier season of The Grand Tour soared to the number one spot for auto and comedy enthusiasts, with nearly a 9 out of 10 rating, on the same scale.*

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If the trailer is any indication, would seem that the Amazon and the trio is aiming to hold on to their top spot this season as well. There’s obviously going to be a wide variety of classic hi-jinks, wacky adventures, and awesome cars which, undoubtedly, will leave most people happy.

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If there’s anything we can hope to see a lack of this season, it’s “The American”, some of the over-scripted segments, and the love-it-or-hate-it, celebrity segments.

What do you think of the trailer? Check it out below, and let us know in the comments!

 

 

*As of the time of publishing

Photo/Video Credit: Amazon, The Grand Tour

The New Top Gear Trailer is Here & It Still Looks Pretty Bad

Top Gear has been in a rapid downward spiral ever since the fracas. With the three famed hosts who, like it or not, are completely responsible for the shows massive international success and cult-like following leaving the show and the awkward and widely despised replacements, specifically Chris Evans, doing nothing to help the show’s recovery, it hasn’t been a good year for the BBC.

To add insult to injury, The Grand Tour achieved massive success in its freshman season. While the show wasn’t without its hiccups and awkward moments, Jeremy Clarkson, James May, and Richard Hammond, along with long time friend and producer Andy Wilman (who also left Top Gear following the fracas) have done a bang-up job and achieved massive success both in terms of ratings as well as in terms of success for Amazon, who so cunningly snatched up the group when they were shopping around for a new place to call home.

The initial release of Top Gear’s teaser trailer for the new season set what can only be called a very low bar for the BBC’s latest attempt to salvage the Top Gear brand, sans Chris Evans. It seems fans of the show, if there are any left, felt similar as the trailer had over 7,000 thumbs down with under 3,000 thumbs up on Youtube as of the time of this writing. Going off the short amount of content in the trailer the show seemed just as awkward and forced as it had been for the entirety of its last season. Sadly the newest trailer doesn’t do much to help.

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Published on February 4th, the newest trailer has barely managed to achieve over 300k views. To put that in comparison with The Grand Tour, the trailer for that shows final episode, published 6 days ago, already has nearly a million views with overwhelmingly positive reactions.

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What about the actual trailer, you may be asking? Well, to be fair, it is much better than the teaser trailer. There are a few interesting segments showcased, the most intriguing of them featuring Chris Harris driving something exotic, which is something we never needed Top Gear to enjoy, but the trailer is, much like the last season, full of awkward humor, forced jokes, and a lot of content which will leave you asking; but why? To the BBC’s credit, they do seem to be trying to

To the BBC’s credit, they do seem to be trying to poke a bit of fun at themselves and their well-known image of being uptight and overly concerned about rules and regulations, something that caused Clarkson to constantly butt heads with the network for nearly his entire career.

What we don’t see in the trailer is whether or not there will continue to be forced jokes about how “American” Joey..er. Matt is, situations trying to make the trio look like they have the chemistry of the original group, which we all know they don’t, and whether they have decided to give the ax to the terrible celebrity segments yet.

As a true petrol head a lifelong Top Gear fan I would love to have two great automotive shows to watch and enjoy. Here’s hoping the BBC can pull it off and we can have that second one.

 

Source: Top Gear

Jeremy Clarkson’s Review of The Alfa Romeo Giulia Was Perfect

It’s no secret that The Grand Tour is far more than just a simple car show. There’s been pranks, scripted films, debates, scenery, in general, a lot of content that hasn’t been completely car related.

Naturally, this has gotten more than a few hardcore petrolheads to speak up on social media. I’ve noticed a growing number of people remarking that The Grand Tour has yet to do an actual review of a car since the show started, or at least one that you could actually call a real review, not just a glossed over bit with the typical Top Gear-esque film style. Well, that’s all over now, because in this week’s episode, Jeremy did an actual review of the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio and it was brilliant.

In the film, Jeremy covers all the proper bits we’ve come to expect from a truly great Clarkson review. He covers the performance, the styling, the comfort, everything you expect. Jeremy even get’s a bit philosophical, stating at one point, “If you’re going to form a relationship with a car, if you’re going to develop a bond, it’s got to have human qualities, and if it’s gonna human qualities its got to have faults.” It’s statements like that which truly set Jeremy apart as one of the best when it comes to talking about cars.

Nearing the end of the film Jeremy sums it up perfectly, as he has a great talent for doing, by saying “you can’t be a true petrolhead until you’ve owned an Alfa Romeo, and the trouble is I’ve always known, there’s no Alfa Romeo a true petrol head would actually want to buy. There is now, though, there is now.”

If you’re one of those who has been waiting for a proper review, the wait is over. In the words of Jeremy Clarkson, “this is a fabulous car, an epic car…” and to borrow a few words from Jeremy, this is a masterpiece, an absolute gem.

The Grand Tour Namibia Special: Best Moments, Part 2

Continuing on with our collection of best moments, we pick back up with part 2 of the Namibia special. Let us know what your favorite moments or if we picked the best ones!

6- Para-failing

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In an attempt to spot poachers from the air, the trio decides to give parasailing a try. This almost immediately goes awry. Ironically, right after Clarkson remarks how there is no wind at all, his sail immediately fills with air taking his crew and himself for a tumble right into Hammond!

7- When Hamsters Fly

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After tranquilizing Hammond in a night hunt for poachers, Clarkson and Hammond graciously decide to give their co-host a first class flight in the morning rather than forcing him to catch-up by road. Hammond surprisingly is less than enthusiastic…

8- Knob Wars

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In retaliation, to get back at May for his idea to take a terrible off-path foray in order to avoid the relentlessly bumpy road, Clarkson and Hammond retrofit May’s buggy with a rather cheeky new gear shift knob. This of course, annoys May to no end and what ensues along the road afterward can only be described as a knob war.

9- Revenge is a Burning Buggy

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While working on his carefully crafted revenge on Clarkson for the gear knob joke, May carelessly makes the mistake of setting his own buggy aflame in hilarious fashion. It would seem revenge is not May’s strongpoint.

10- Highwire Hammond

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The end is near, the finish line is in sight, and Hammond is stuck only a few meters away on a highwire over crocodile infested waters. Perhaps his co-hosts are to blame but we will most likely never know, as that is where he was last seen at the end of the special. Does he survive? We can only hope.

There you have it! Our favorite moments from part 2 of the Namibia special. Do you agree? Let us know, and be sure to like and share the article and subscribe for more!

The Grand Tour Namibia Special: Best Moments, Part 1

Clarkson, Hammond, & May were back this week with another classic holiday special, this time in the beautiful country of Namibia, where they trek through the country in custom made beach buggies.  The first part of the epic journey featured hauntingly beautiful desert scenery, ghostly shipwrecks, and plenty of seals!

*Spoiler Alert* We’ve compiled some of the best moments from the episode here for your viewing pleasure. Let us know what your favorite moments were in the comments, and be sure to like and share!

1- No Beer For Old Men

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Hammond pulls a quick one on his thirsty cohorts this time. As the trio enjoys some freshly caught fish, Richard offers them all a beer and much to their dissatisfaction, there is none to be had. A joke which quickly turned Clarkson and May against the Hamster!

2- The Sea Approaches! 

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The boys cut it close as they double back on themselves in an attempt to find a path to their destination. Funny, exciting, and it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Another epic moment.

3- Hammond Dies, Well Almost

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While the trio often jokes about killing one another, in this moment Clarkson seems genuinely concerned that his tiny friend may have finally bit the dust as his buggy veers over a massive dune crest. Rest assured he managed to survive somehow, but a harry situation nonetheless.

4- Survival

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At last, after countless hours, massive dunes, almost getting caught up in the tide, and getting lost more than once, the boys actually succeed in crossing the desert and they find a road to civilization. James May literally dances from happiness. Enough said.

5- Left For Dead

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Nearing the end of part 1, the trio of motoring hosts has finally reached their road and is headed to their next destination when in classic fashion one of them breaks down. This time it’s Clarkson who suffers a coolant loss and suspension issue. Continuing their dependable hi-jinks, instead of helping Clarkson, Hammond and May decide to leave their co-host to depend on the help of some passing stranger as they head off for a much-deserved beer.

So what do you think? Are these the best moments from Part 1 of the Namibia Special? Let us know what you would add to the list or why you loved these moments too in the comments!

The Grand Tour Episode 3 Review: An Instant Classic

The naysayers and doubters who rose up following The Grand Tour’s somewhat shaky Episode 2 have now been silenced all at once by the majesty that was Episode 3. From start to finish this week’s episode of The Grand Tour was everything we love about Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond & James May. This one, folks, will go down as a classic.

Episode 3 of The Grand Tour features the boys on a title adventure, a grand tour, through the European countryside with a series of beautiful stops along the way. Cars featured in the episode included an Aston Martin DB11, a Rolls Royce Dawn, and a Dodge Hellcat. Be sure and check out our articles on each one in the coming days. The episode also featured classic Top Gear-esque pranks, speed boats, race tracks, and Jeremy’s house being blown to smithereens! I fail to see how they could have done much better.

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The show begins with the boys each selecting their aforementioned grand touring cars for the coming trip. James being the refined one of the group is, of course, driving the Rolls Royce. Jeremy chooses the Aston, an artful balance of power and style. Hammond being well, Hammond, chooses the delightfully tacky but oh so powerful American Dodge Challenger Hellcat. The three hosts exchange the classic jabs at one another we’ve come to know and love during their time on Top Gear hitting us right in the nostalgia. The trio sets off from the scenic city of Siena, Italy en route to another timeless location, Florence, Italy.

Along the way we get to see more of the trio doing what they love, and what we love watching. This, of course, includes May being annoyed, Jeremy being pompous, and Hammond acting like an idiot. The three tourers then head to the beautiful racetrack known as Mugello Circuit in Tuscany, Italy. While there the classy James May take an absence to practice his watercolors while Clarkson and Hammond duke it out on the circuit to see who’s car is the fastest ’round.

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At this point, we come to the midpoint of the show where we are treated once again to the running segment Conversation Street. The segment which obviously is a replacement for the news segment on Top Gear has received mixed reviews up to this point and I don’t expect that to change anytime this season.  The trio discusses driving trends in the U.K.,local politics, precious gems, and of course cars. Jeremy also shows up Google in a surprise unveiling of his newest invention, a self driving car, so be sure and keep and eye out for it, or is poke your eyes out when you see it? You can be the judge of that. All around it’s an enjoyable segment with some good laughs, especially for those who appreciate a bit of British Humour.

After wrapping up in the studio, we start back up on the grand tour focvllowing a narrow victory ( you’ll have to watch to see who’s). Clarkson, Hammond, and May leave the circuit along with several of Hammond’s tires and travel to the Vicenza main square where Clarkson & May attempt to ditch Hammond with a cleverly thought out social media post. Leaving their friend behind the hosts head to their final destination of Venice, Italy. Unfortunately for them, they aren’t the only motoring show hosts who make it to this point and they get a bit wet finding out the hard way.

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After finishing their grand tour the boys are back in the studio and we are once again graced with the Celebrity Brain Crash segment. I for one am a fan of this segment, but it seems audiences are split on it at the moment, and I don’t know if I can confidently say we will see it continue on into another season. This episode’s celebrity guest is Simon Pegg who meets with a bit of bad luck as is the usual for the show’s guests. Let’s just say his unfortunate end involves ice cream, seagulls, a bridge, and well, you’ll see soon enough if you haven’t already.

Episode 3 really ends with a bang. No seriously, a huge bang. There’s a massive explosion and it’s set off by none other than Mr. Boring, Captain Slow, James May! You may remember a certain bet from Episode 1 that an overconfident Jeremy Clarkson made with Richard Hammond and James May and in Episode 3 the terms of the bet come to fruition in this delightful show of fire. It’s the perfect way to end a perfect episode of The Grand Tour. I think it may have left the BBC shaking as they prepare the next season of Top Gear.

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And on that terrible disappointment…