It’s a good job you guys seem to enjoy these reviews because boy, they are tough to do. The Grand Tour may have been pretty easy to write about to begin with as you could make the comparisons to Top Gear and what they were moving forward with and crucially, what was changing. But we’re getting to the tail end of the series now, and there isn’t much to talk about. The formula has been set, we know what we’re getting and the trio usually deliver.
And yes, that makes for some reliable entertainment, something I do appreciate. Many shows being broadcast now can deliver massive highs and hit 10/10s every other week, but they can have shockers too. Let’s face it, while Game of Thrones is brilliant, there are the fairly dull episodes which are needed so the big episodes can have their full impact. The Grand Tour may not have truly amazing episodes, but it does deliver on some laughs every Friday and that’s just as important.
So while this episode is definitely done to formula, it is still a fun watch and something that will keep you entertained for an hour. So yes, you begin with the Clarkson monologue which gets a few laughs out of you as he lavishes praise on whatever place they are in this week, this time sticking with Loch Ness. Then it’s the car test, then Conversation Street, then the first part of a road trip, then a celebrity gets killed, some silliness in the tent, then the second part of the road trip and that’s it.
And that formula makes it tough to write about, as all I can talk about is each segment as they go on. Is the road test of the Lexus a decent watch? Yeah sure. Clarkson’s script goes at a quick pace, there’s plenty of information, it isn’t boring. But then it’s let down by the car itself, because while I’m sure Lexuses are great to drive, they are boring to watch and boring to talk about because as pointed out on the show, they are golfists cars.
And then there’s the road trip, which sees the trio taking a bunch of SUVs around Germany to see which is the best. The whole thing is done around a joke of them going to places which have sexually inappropriate names, meaning I can’t mention theme here else I condemned ScreenCritics.net to the lowest position on Google rankings ever. And yeah, this is a fun segment. Clarkson’s ways of showing why the Range Rover is the best is amusing while Germany is a good enough setting without distracting from the cars.
Of course the main issue is the ending. Not that’s it bad. The film ends in a rally stage where they race the SUVS around what is actually a cool looking track, with Clarkson cheating to win. As per usual, but still funny. No, the annoyance is that we got that rather than something better. During the trip, it seems like we’re heading to the infamous Nurburgring. This is great because it provides a closure to a great running joke that James May hates the track and thinks cars being tested on it ruins the cars in question. Yet they ended up in Nuremberg by accident, and do the rally. Why? The Nurburgring would have been a great conclusion to a consistently funny joke, one that was brought up just the other week. Why not finish it off here with a bang before it gets too tired?
But The Grand Tour continues to be The Grand Tour. It has got very formulaic in the last few episodes so you can see what is coming a mile off, but this isn’t looking to be groundbreaking television. It wants to be escapism, something we can enjoy on a Friday night to kick off the weekend. And this episode, like so many of the episodes before it, does exactly that. Would I like a little bit more? yes, of course I would but I will also take what I can get.