The second season of The Grand Tour debuted on Amazon Prime last December, and at the time of writing this article, five episodes of
the new season have been aired. It seemed from the debut trailer for the second
season alone, that things were going to be quite different from how the first
season of The Grand Tour was. Now, despite the first season of the show being a
global success, with The Grand Tours production company, W. Chump & Sons
profiting an estimated £4 million, and with the first episode of season one being
one of the most pirated shows of 2016, there were a few issues that the show
had. So, since we’re now nearly halfway through the second season, has the show
learnt from its errors, listened to feedback and improved from season one? The
answer? Yes. One hundred percent yes.
Immediately when watching the second seasons first episode, Past, Present and Future, it feels so
much more fine-tuned and trimmed. You can see this straight away with the shows
all new introduction sequence, accompanied by a slightly rearranged theme tune
with a more guitar heavy frontline. As well as this, the studio tent no longer
moves around the world, instead they are now based at the bottom of Jeremy Clarkson’s
garden. But just because the show’s tent no longer moves around the world, does
not mean that the show is no longer a Grand
Tour. This is hugely evident within the second seasons montage, featuring the
usual stunning cinematography, drop-dead gorgeous locations from all corners of
the globe, as well as some ridiculously expensive cars.
But by a country mile, my biggest compliment I can possibly give
this show is how much it’s listened to the fans feedback. The main two issues
people had with the show are now gone; those of course being the American test
driver, and the celebrity segment titled “Celebrity Brain Crash”. Thankfully, both
of these issues for the second season have now been fixed by A) having a new
female racing driver, who doesn’t cough up unfunny anecdotes about being American
or hating communism, and as well as that, she is bloody quick! And B) they’ve
completely revamped the whole celebrity segment, now titled “Celebrity Face Off”
which involves bringing in two celebrity guests each week to challenge each
other around a race track in a Jaguar F Type to see who can get the fastest
time. Sounds a bit familiar doesn’t it… Well either way, it seems that both of
these fixes have been much more accepted than what we were given in season one.
Furthermore, the second series seems to have brought back
some of the fan favourite tests and challenges that we were used to seeing trio
attempt back in the days when they worked for the BBC; such as car versus
public transport, or James May versus some youths on some skateboards, its all
of these little things that just feel so much more natural and fun! Plus thanks
to The Grand Tours stunning 4K cameras, these challenges now look so much more
sharp, crisp and prettier, which only adds to the pleasure of the viewing
experience of the show.
However, despite fixing a lot of the mistakes the first
season made, people still love to complain, because. let’s face it, it’s the internet.
And by far one of the biggest complaints that The Grand Tour gets is how it’s “way
too scripted”. Now, to me this is a complaint that makes absolutely no sense,
and I’m sure it’ll also make no sense to anyone who works in television
production, or has any basic understanding of how television actually works,
because everything ever made for a television series requires a script. This is
so that the camera operators, sound operators, Directors, and presenters all
know where they need to be and what to say. A lot of the time the way a show
can feel is due to how it’s paced in the editing of the episodes, or maybe it’s
how the dialogue is delivered, the list does go on. Anyway, despite this The
Grand Tours script writers recently decided they would have a bit of fun by
creating an entire film for an episode without a script. As you can imagine
chaos naturally ensues, and people are still complaining about it, but secretly
I think that’s what the writing team where hoping for.
Overall the second season has been an absolute blast to
watch so far, we’ve seen Hammond crash off a hill climb in Switzerland, we’ve
seen Clarkson challenge May and Hammond in a public transport race to Niagara
Falls, as well as a stunning homage to the short film Rendevous, with a Bugatti Chiron ploughing through the streets of
Italy. And with all that, plus a finale that see’s the trio attempt to end
world hunger in Africa, it seems that the second season has still got a lot to
offer over the remaining few episodes. It's safe to say that the team who produce this show really do listen to fan feedback because by god have they improved this show. Trust me if you didn’t like season one,
this season definitely gives what they used to do back at the BBC a good run
for its money, and I don’t think this show can get any higher praise than that.
Tom is the co-founder and co-owner of FullThrottle Media. He's the face behind the iconic Gear Knobs series, which is recorded and edited in Rockstar’s Grand Theft Auto V. When it comes to Tom Matthews, two things come to mind – cars and Jeremy Clarkson, and you can expect to hear a lot of that amongst his various ramblings and rants in his weekly Sunday column.