Of all the things Ricky Gervais enjoys doing — acting, directing, writing, taking pictures of himself in the bathtub – annoying his friend Karl Pilkington has got to take top billing. The first two seasons of An Idiot Abroad were based solely on this idea: sending Karl out into a world that he wants nothing to do with (left to his own desires, he would never have even left Manchester for London).
While most people would salivate at the opportunity to go to the places Ricky sent Karl (though maybe not in the style he went in), Karl has never had any interest in the Seven Wonders or traveling “anywhere you have to get a vaccination to visit.” His unique perspective though, and very real displeasure at some of the things he was asked to do, resonated both emotionally and with humor for viewers. It’s what Ricky discovered over ten years ago on their London radio show when Karl was just an unknown producer, and has continued to successfully bring to audiences in different mediums (books, podcasts, TV shows). But has the joke run its course? Hit the jump for my take on how this third season of the travel series panned out, with its new addition of Warwick Davis.
An Idiot Abroad is a BBC travel series dedicated to the seven wonders of the world and the culture that surrounds them. It isn’t a new idea. Dozens of shows have tackled the exact same subject using a combination of stunning photography and a charismatic, informative host which can create a rich, in-depth look at some truly remarkable feats of architecture and ingenuity. But Idiot Abroad offers something that none of those other documentary series has: a host who has no curiosity or interest in the subjects he is sent to cover. Karl Pilkington is the host (or presenter) of Idiot Abroad and is either an Andy Kaufman-esque performance artist or, more likely, a man with unbelievably simple tastes. Either way, his interactions and observations make this travel series extremely entertaining. Hit the jump for our review of An Idiot Abroad on DVD.
The trailer for Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s newest television show is now online. An Idiot Abroad sends “Global Idiot” Karl Pilkington on a quest to visit the Seven Wonders of the World. It looks to be quite amusing and should appeal to fans of The Ricky Gervais Show and of Gervais’ podcasts, both of which feature Pilkington’s odd musings about the world. An Idiot Abroad is scheduled to premiere this month on Sky1.
The trailer and an official description of the series can be found after the jump.