First Impressions: Season Two of The Grand Tour returns to its irreverent high octane roots

So in Season One of The Grand Tour, Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May traversed around the world to various locations, hosting a show about cars, talking about cars, bickering about cars, getting into car-related shenanigans, and basically attempting to be serious car journalists when we all know that’s a bit of a lie. It seems utterly wholly unfair that they get paid to do what they do.

In Season Two of The Grand Tour, you can expect more shenanigans, more bickering about cars and more attempts at serious journalism whilst us mere plebeians watch on longingly wishing we could get our mitts on those supercars. In Episode One we’re taken to Switzerland where our hosts decide to pit three different cars representing the past (Lamborghini Aventador S), present (Honda NSX) and future (Rimac Concept One) to a variety of “challenges” such as manouverability, straightline speed (aka drag racing) and a hillclimb race with a dramatic ending that you may have read about in the news a few months back.

What’s most surprising though is that from the first episode it’s obvious that the producers of the show have learnt from their mistakes in season one and are not afraid to openly admit it. The utterly stupid “Celebrity Brain Crash” segment where they would inexplicably “fake accidentally kill” a celebrity is now gone. Thankfully replaced with a new segment titled “Celebrity Face Off” where they pit two celebs from the same field against each other in a race around the new test track in a Jaguar F type.

With this episode being a race for the ‘World’s Fastest Ex Talent Show Judges’ title featuring Ricky Wilson (The Voice UK) and David Hasselhoff (America’s Got Talent). One of the charms of this segment is that Clarkson gets to sit down and have a chat with the guests about their work and their driving history, something that they used to do on their former show (that we shan’t name).

And if you’re a savvy follower of The Grand Tour Youtube channel, you might have also noticed that they’re recruiting for a new driver since the American was ‘retired’. And one of the contenders just so happens to be a well known Aussie face. It will be interesting to see who they end up settling on but in the interim getting to see the audition tapes has been a fun ride.

It’s reassuring to see that they’ve taken on board some of the criticisms of the first season and are attempting to at least change things around. Though it’s unsurprising that their methods seem to be to try to revert to using similar tactics and segments that used to work on that ‘Not To Be Named Other Show’. One of the joys of this show and most likely the reason for its continued success is that there’s enough car geekery specification talk to keep true junkies tuned in. But enough straight up fun antics and pretty visuals for the less rev-heads amongst us to want to watch too. It probably helps that the hosts have hilarious chemistry though on the odd occasion we’re reminded that Clarkson can still be an offensive twat. It would be nice to see them taking a few more risks in regards to segments and sketches on the show, though I do wish those risks were less involving the hosts crashing their expensive prototype supercars.

The Grand Tour is available on Amazon Prime Video from 11am on 8 December 2017.
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