On Facebook, a few people were surprised that I watched THE GRAND TOUR on Amazon, since I’m American and it’s basically a British car show.
I wound up watching it in a very roundabout way.
It’s always interesting to see how things that are popular in the UK sometimes get popular here in the US, often for no discernible reason. There are lots of people who are famous in the UK but are basically unknown in the US, but sometimes a show or a song catches on here. Downton Abbey is the most recent example, along with Sherlock and Doctor Who, and I’m sure you can think of other examples.
Anyway, I never used to pay any attention to British popular culture, but in fairness I don’t pay that much attention to American popular culture either. Then I started selling a lot of books on Amazon UK (which, incidentally, was how I realized there WAS an Amazon UK!). Like, in October 2016, 17% of my book sales were on Amazon UK. So a couple of years ago I started reading some UK papers online from time to time out of curiosity.
Because of that, I read an article about Jeremy Clarkson getting fired from the BBC for punching a producer in March of 2015. I didn’t really pay attention to it, but a few weeks later I happened to see that there were some episodes of Top Gear on Netflix, and out of sheer curiosity I decided to give a try.
At random, I picked the episode where Clarkson, Hammond, and May built a hovercraft and take it on the river and inadvertently wind up terrorizing the local boaters, and it was magnificently hilarious, especially the part when their hovercraft went over the weir. After that, I was hooked, and I watched all the available episodes on Netflix.
So when I heard about The Grand Tour, I decided I was definitely watching it.
And in some ways it’s been a horizon-broadening experience, because Clarkson, Hammond and May love cars, and some of that has rubbed off on me. I’ve always resented cars because of the expense, and how it’s basically impossible to function in the world without one, but Top Gear made me appreciate them as both engineering feats and works of art. Like, I have no desire to own or even to drive a $1 million car…but it sure is fun to watch someone else drive one!
It is amusing how none of this would have happened without the Internet.
And on that bombshell, it’s time to end! 🙂