HBO Max just released the trailer for actor and documentarian Ravi Patel upcoming docuseries Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness, and it looks like a charming and insightful exploration of the customs and traditions of different cultures and how they impact major aspects of everyday life.
The four-episode series has Patel visiting four different countries – Mexico, Japan, South Korea, and Denmark – and interacting with the local population in a sort of “man on the street” manner to speak with them about broad concepts such as family and retirement. Immigration is also a primary topic, with the trailer paying specific attention to how immigrants are constantly faced with ostracism and otherism and what it means to try and make a new home for yourself in spite of those obstacles.
The trailer is interspersed with direct-to-camera segments delivered by Patel and his wife speaking about how their own family approaches these concepts, during which she subjects him to some good-natured but genuinely funny ribbing. Patel’s parents also play a major role, offering their own insights into these universal experiences and the connections they form between both loved ones and total strangers half a world away. (In one of the trailer’s funnier moments, Patel’s mother explains that her definition of retirement is moving in and taking care of the grandkids until she dies.)
Patel received widespread acclaim for his 2014 comedy documentary Meet the Patels, which he co-directed with his sister Geeta V. Patel and which also featured his parents. Similarly, that film explored themes of culture and family in a thoughtful and comedic way. Patel continues to demonstrate his ability as a unique documentarian, and Pursuit of Happiness is a series I’m very much looking forward to watching.
Here’s the official synopsis:
Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness is a four-part buddy comedy docuseries that follows actor / documentarian / philanthropist Ravi Patel (Meet the Patels) as he travels the world seeking answers surrounding life’s universal questions. At each stop throughout this comedically heartfelt journey, Patel is joined by a friend or family member, with whom he shares a big conflict or question about life. His travels take him to Mexico, Japan, South Korea and Denmark to explore the traditional customs of the people they meet and experience their unique approaches to life’s most pressing matters.
You can check out the trailer below. Ravi Patel’s Pursuit of Happiness premieres on HBO Max August 27. For more on HBO Max, check out our recap of the first episode of Lovecraft Country.