But is it as good Disney Pixar’s Cars?
by George Kite
Staff Car Enthusiast
Amazon Prime, Amazon’s own streaming service, released the third season of popular car show The Grand Tour back in January. For those unfamiliar with The Grand Tour, imagine a show about three middle-aged British men who drive cars, make crude low-brow jokes and offensive comments, make up stupid competitions, and just talk. This third season is just that.
And it’s absolutely beautiful.
Let me first state that even if you are unfamiliar with this show or Top Gear, you will love it; not because of the cars but because of the three hosts: Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May. They are a trifecta: best friends, each equally brilliant and stupid in their own respects, with differing tastes and quirks on everything from driving, food, fashion, and more Their dynamic is expressed through their love of cars, which dominates the whole show. However, as strange as it may sound, one can even hate cars and still love this show, despite the fact it’s about cars. Though it is in some sense a “car show”, the entertainment comes from the hosts – the cars just provide the material.
The first episode of the season starts out with the three hosts in Detroit, Michigan—a city that most people will associate with urban decay, crime, and the hollow shell of the American car industry. They manage to drive three prime, modern American cars – a Ford Mustang RTR Spec 3, a Dodge Challenger SRT Demon, and a Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Hennessey Exorcist Edition – and breathe life into the Motor City. They drive around, having drag races on the streets, making an abandoned factory into a racetrack, and simply showing that the spirit of Detroit lives on in both the city itself and the cars it puts out.
You can expect more like this in the thirteen, hour-long episodes of the third season. I don’t want to spoil the rest of the season, but The Grand Tour takes you to faraway places like the volcanoes of Colombia, grand superhighways in China, frozen lake racetracks in Sweden, beautiful highland vistas of Scotland, and many other places all over the globe. What else would you expect from a show called The Grand Tour?
What do you get out of all this travel? For one, amazing cinematography of natural and man-made wonders that the trio drives around. If you can, watch this show with a 4k HD monitor or television, because every pixel makes it that much more beautiful to watch. Even the cars themselves are filmed at amazing angles and edits that would make an Amish person want to put the pedal to the metal.
For a majority of episodes, the adventures are spaced out with other things in the middle. There is always “Conversation Street”, where the three hosts just, well, have a few conversations. Topics include cars, insulting each other’s fashion tastes, commenting on what’s going on in the episode, making stupid analogies, insulting each other’s driving habits, discussing developments in car companies, and insulting various political ideologies.
Then there are individual car reviews. A new car, typically a very fast one, is chosen, and a host gives it a drive around an unused airport, describing their likes, dislikes, statistics, comfort, practicality, and other quirks of the car. You’ll see hypercar behemoths like the McLaren Senna and the NIO EP9 along with tuned-up luxury cars like the Jaguar XE Project 8 and the BMW M5. Don’t worry if you’re not a millionaire, they occasionally review cars you can realistically expect to own in your lifetime. Not in this season, though.
But on top of all that, you should enjoy the humor of the show. I will say this: if you have a certain dislike of British humor, there’s a good chance you might not like this show. However, if you don’t, then this show will by far be one of the funniest you ever watch. Whether it’s the cheeky remarks, expertly done pranks and gags, or the simple ridiculousness that goes on in the show, you will find your time well spent watching The Grand Tour.
All in all, The Grand Tour is one of my favorite shows of all time, and by far my favorite show that is ongoing. It never gets old – there are always new cars to drive, new jokes to make, and new places to go for Jeremy, Richard, and James. There is just a certain magic to it that draws you in. It’s fun to watch alone or with friends, on a lazy Saturday or between studying, when you just wake up or right before you go to bed. It is, in every sense, absolutely wonderful.