Lochdown was a total deep fried failure.
The Guardian's single most poorly written review ever matched TGT's Lochdown in quality. As terrible as the piece was, at least its rating was apt.
For all the blabber about humiliation against the 'woke' era we live in today, the Guardian really took a shot of fermented hypocrisy before releasing their scathing, two star review of Clarkson, Hammond and May's new 'The Grand Tour' production. Stuart Jeffries, who wrote the article, somehow took away from 'Lochdown' a sense of Scottish nationalism, confirming his belief that the idea of three English men crashing a caravan or two and making fun of a nation credited (at least where I'm from) for its strong sense of humour was to be a call for support for independence.
Given my own affinity towards making everything very political, this shouldn't have bothered me as much as it did. Especially so given my own ratings of the episode matched Mr Jeffries in some ways. But the fact this is what was done in the perspective of reviewing a senseless and purely 'for fun' piece of crappy tv from our beloved trio, I think it's simply terrible. Jeffries decided that the entire show was instead just reflective of "how tourism narrows the english mind".
For context of my criticism, I shall cite a description of the sort of character this review would posess if personified. I believe it safe to suggest that we all know the sort of over offended person in our life, who takes any ideology, suggestion, thought or perspective and decides its an attack on the perfection of their glorious motherland. My good friend Stuart here deduced that building a pontoon on Scottish water was the equivalent in terms of atrocity as a Nuclear warhead taking out half of London. For the record I'm not saying I hate this review because I'm hurt for Jeremy, Richard and James. I completely agree that the show was a flop, and I'll get to that soon because I know a lot of you would now like to throw me into a lake in a black bag.
My not very well put point is that despite this show being open for any sort of interpretation, the Guardian's writer in their review of Lochdown simply completed misread the tone of the show, despite having (I would hope and expect) watched both Top Gear and The Grand Tour's previous productions before. For me a political watch was not what I sat down to yesterday evening, and I have no idea how it was viewed as such.
Nice one Stuart.
Now to my interpretations:
RIP Kyle Hughes.
Unfortunately, this isn't where things get much better. I did very much enjoy seeing these three automotive icons back together after some solo work, and the fact that this 'special' was less of a 'special' and more a 'series of challenges' episode was the absolute best idea the team behind the show could've had. Specials have been the only format in this new era of Jeremy, Richard and James and for me it's a case of a dying dog that the attached owner refuses to bring to the vet for a needle. Special after special of new vehicles, but same staged story, and much the same easily disappointed me.
Even so, my preferred challenges format didn't really work either. For me it was really painful to see the trio feel so forced and obliged to reference every running gag the show has ever had in an attempt to re-light the humourous spark that brought us all joy for 20 odd years. James coincidentally had to take a 40 minute toilet break. The gang acted confused as to why a pile of pontoon parts lay between them and their ultimate destination, when the obstacle was a body of water. Stuff like that was fine to watch but not very complete. I do now feel that because Amazon so desperately want to keep things working so well for this show, they are dragging out the same thing continuously. But is no one else feeling a bit like you know how the episode goes before you even watch it? I guess the whole point of them leaving everything unplanned is obviously because we could very be left with an hour and a half of literal nothingness. But we really need a rethink. Now benefit of the doubt has been considered for covid confinements, but I just don't really like the thought of seeing more of this stuff anymore. If in anyway Amazon can shake up the act a bit, and even try to leave the three stars if the screen a bit less aware, then we will be in for a viewing delight.
As our resident giant Ferds put it (sort of) in his own article, the adventure is gone or at least has been reduced. For me the repetitiveness is suicide for the series, and I also think that might be a factor in what brought Clarkson's Farm such fantastic success, which I will preach until the end of time was incredibly well deserved.
Maybe we should throw the two shows together and have 'The Grand Gerald'???
The Grand tour: Lochdown
At the end of the day, let me admit that of course I still had a laugh. Despite the slightly poor content in my view, anything.... and I mean anything, with Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond and James May in it will earn a smiley viewing from me. It's them who we all watch it for anyway let's be honest!
Now go off in the comments, have fun. Let's just not do it Purge style maybe.....