The new BBC Top Gear has been branded ‘Flop Gear’ by critics who have heavily criticised the brand on social media.
Complaints included criticism of Chris Evans’ “shouty” style of presenting, Matt Le Blanc’s “awkward banter” with the show’s host and Evans’ attempts “to be Jeremy Clarkson”.
Like many, I was highly anticipating the new Top Gear, hoping that new presenters and a new producer would bring a new format. Sadly, what viewers received was a very poor copy of a once great show.
I wanted the new show to do well. I found the original line-up of Clarkson, May and Hammond funny, but I didn’t care that they had left. I was sure that the BBC would bring back the show bigger and better than before…they utterly failed.
Chris Evans was the wrong choice as main host
The problem with Chris Evans splits into three main area – he tried to copy Clarkson, he shouted too much and he isn’t a journalist. Whilst Evans has a fleet of expensive classic cars (including a $6million 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California Spyder), and whilst he had previously spoken of his passion for fast cars, it was clear from the program that he was struggling to be himself.
At times, he was clearly attempting to mimic Jeremy Clarkson style of presenting, and it felt cheesy. He felt like a poor quality photocopy to listen to, and he shouted far too often. Add this to the new set which two-tiered standing, and you’d be forgiven for thinking this new show was TFI Friday meets Top Gear; two programs that should never be mixed.
Matt Le Blanc was slightly better
Matt Le Blanc is a self-confessed car nut and was decent enough at presenting the VT’s, but his banter with Chris Evans was awkward to watch. The two men couldn’t be any further apart when it comes to presenting. Le Blanc was quieter and more self-controlled but at times it felt as if he was struggling to remember the script. Lots of dead air.
Where were the women?
Other than a quick VT featuring Top Gear regular Sabine Schmitz, the BBC clearly missed a great opportunity to get a woman into the show as a main producer. There were plenty of choices available to the BBC, including Former F1 driver Suzie Wolff, car nut and 5th Gear host Vicki Butler-Henderson, or even former BBC F1 host Suzi Perry.
There simply aren’t enough women presenting car-related programs on television and the BBC missed out on an opportunity to change that. If we’re going to get young women into engineering and motorracing then we need more women role models for them to look up to.
Why was Chris Harris relegated to the spin-off show ‘Extra Gear’?
Anyone who has watched Chris Harris on Youtube knows he’s an excellent presenter. He really understands cars. He’s a racing driver. His style of presenting is much better suited to the Top Gear format. He should have been a main host.
The BBC missed an opportunity to completely re-boot Top Gear
The BBC could have made the new Top Gear different, but instead have tried to hold on to the money-spinner which was Top Gear of old. They, like me, have to accept that it just isn’t the same without Clarkson, Hammond and May. I doubt the program will make another series.
Time to switch over to Amazon Prime and get ready for the new Clarkson show ‘The Grand Tour’, released Autumn 2016.