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New Gear

Thoughts on the Top Gear "reboot."

Well, the new Top Gear premiered minus the old trio of hosts. It was, well, different while trying to be the same.

In short, not bad, but lots of room to improve.

Note: I wrote this between the first and second episodes, this having only seen the first.

Chris Evans is fine, if a bit shout-y. Mat LeBlanc is great at times and possibly asleep at others.

But then there’s the other hosts, or lack thereof. Sabine Schmitz is awesome, but only present supporting Chris Evans in a strange Top Gun segment. And Rory Reid and Chris Harris have been relegated to Extra Gear, an after-show mini-Top Gear.

Oddly, Extra Gear is just as entertaining, if not more, than the full show. Rory Reid is entertaining and engaging. Chris Harris is great (as he has been online for years). I’m not really sure why they are only in the side-show.

Really, Top Gear doesn’t seem to want to accept that the show has changed. The kind of change it has gone through is not bad at all, but it needs to be embraced in order to succeed. The show is trying to be the same as the old show but minus what made the old show great: the camaraderie of the hosts. The new hosts can make this work, but it will not be the same. Once that is accepted, I think the show can really shine and be its own thing.