The Grand Tour

Today (technically yesterday here in the US), the last ever episode of the three-blokes-in-a-studio-falling-over is ending. This time, it is for good. Well, not really done for good, but the show as it was is ending. As Clarkson said, there is only so many times one can watch BMW goes around a track. However, I don’t think it’s about that – it’s about what the show meant for a big part of my generation. I could write long epitaphs of how I first watched the torrented show in 2006ish with my uncle during winter time at our beach-house on a 15′ (wow) LCD (double wow) screens, or how I’d spend entire nights in college binging my homework so that I’d have enough time to watch it in peace, but I’d leave it to some like-minded fellow from reddit who said it much better than I ever could:

 

For the longest time, I never understood the wistful look my grandpa would get in his eye whenever he talked about Johnny Carson and the Tonight Show on NBC. (A night talk show in America that ran for some 20 odd years.) He always gets emotional talking about the bits, tricks and jokes pulled on that show, even today. He still does say, “Johnny would tuck me and your grandma into bed every night, I still miss that.” My father was the same way when it came to David Letterman and the Late Show, (another night talk show in America than ran for another 20 some years.) Always a fond look when talking about it, and how much both he and my grandpa missed their respective shows.

I do get it now. It feels like a little bit of your childhood going away, the one day the toy you loved for years and kept in a drawer as a reminder just one day stops working. I came across Clarkson, Hammond and May by happenstance on a one series showing on a cable channel here in the States. These guys have been on TV together, in some form since I was 9. (Now, 25.) I took it for granted that on some weekly basis, during a season, I’d see these boys doing some sort of outlandish things, no matter what was going on with myself. I could always count on these guys to give me some sort of hour distraction.

While yes, specials will still be going on and they aren’t going away, it still hurts and hits hard. The little news segments I come across on YouTube, Netflix, and Amazon Prime still give me the same laughs, a great reminder of good times. Since I came across these guys, I’ve moved across America far away from family and friends, trying to chase what I want to be to fulfill myself. But, I always had these guys as a reminder of childhood.

My friends and I, had always said that one day we would embark on our version of a “TopGear/Grand Tour” special. Trying to recreate what they did so easily. The format and the show has meant so much to me, and to see it go….makes me completely understand the fondness my grandfather and my dad had for shows or programs like this.

I wish I hadn’t taken it for granted. It just sucks to see chunks of your childhood going away. They filled a void for me, that being completely on my own, helped fill, even if just a little. Seeing three familiar faces always gave me something to look forward too. I’m going to miss the format, the laughs it created, the memories it forever immortalized for me, and the wistful thoughts going back. These guys are fantastic, and it’s just a shame I’ll never be able to say “thanks” to them in person. It felt like they were “in person” to me.

Thanks, so very very much.