Well, for two segments that is.
The vast majority of "Top Gear" fans have been less than pleased with the new show's host, Chris Evans. The Internet has been flooded with negative comments about Evans' screaming during his reviews. This week "Top Gear" aired its third episode of season 23, and we can honestly say that it is the first time that the show looked like "Top Gear." The second episode was a massive improvement over the premier, but it still wasn't what we were all expecting. So why was this third episode so much better? Chris Harris and Rory Reid saved the day.
For some reason, Harris and Reid have been relegated to the behind the scenes show "Extra Gear" up until this point. "Extra Gear" has been pleasing fans more than the main show thanks to the genuine on-screen chemistry between Reid and Harris. On this week's episode, we get to see Chris Harris review the Ferrari F12tdf. Unlike any Chris Evans review, we actually got the impression that the presenter knew everything about the car he was driving. Unlike Harris, Reid was given a couple of cheaper hatchbacks to review. Reid's review featured the Focus RS pitted against the Honda Civic Type R and the Mercedes CLA 45 AMG. While it wasn't as expensive a review as the Ferrari bit it was very detailed. It reminded us of a Richard Hammond review.
The Focus RS was pitted against the Type R and the CLA in a drag race, in which the Mercedes dominated. However, Reid came to the conclusion that the Ford was far cheaper and therefore the best of the three. This review had something that Harris and LeBlanc reviews haven't had, actual criticism. Reid is an actual car reviewer, therefor he was able to find faults with the cars he was driving. With Harris and LeBlanc, if you toss them the keys to an expensive supercar, you are probably going to get 10 minutes of praise that sounds scripted. Even the studio transitions seemed extremely scripted. For example, after the F12 segment, LeBlanc asks Chris Harris if he would marry the F12tdf because it was so good.
Honestly, these transitions put a terrible taste in our mouth after watching a few excellent reviews from Harris and Reid. It was like watching some old guy ask his grandson about his love of cars, and the grandchild humoring him just to get his birthday check in the mail. Evans and LeBlanc may like cars, but in the way that rich athletes like cars. They buy nice ones, but they just don't know enough to talk about them intelligently. In this third episode, we got to see much more of Reid and Harris and Sabine Schmitz made her second appearance, making Evans throw up in the process. Hopefully the next few episodes will let the "junior" presenters shine and get rid of the old farts that are currently in charge.
Honestly, we didn't appreciate the jokes about how Rorry Reid wasn't given the keys to anything expensive. If anything, he is far more qualified than anyone (expect perhaps Harris and Schmitz), to drive expensive cars. Can the BBC really not afford to insure him driving a supercar just because he is young? We will continue to watch "Top Gear," even if most of you vow not to, so that we can continue to keep you up to date with the show's improvement. Even if you have given up entirely, we want to let you know that Harris and Reid have the potential to save it.