Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Are you watching An Idiot Abroad? You should be.

The second season of An Idiot Abroad is airing on Science Channel (not to be confused with Syfy) and you should be watching.  The background of the show is that Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, two of Britain's greatest comedy minds, have encouraged their friend/patsy, Karl, to leave England and experience all the world has to offer.  If Karl had his way he'd never leave England.  Ever.  Prior to the show, the furthest he had gone was on holiday to Wales and that was it. Karl saw no point in leaving his country so Ricky and Stephen got the bright idea to send him abroad to see the wonders of the world.  In the first season, Karl went to the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, Chichen Itza, Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, and more.  Along the way Ricky and Stephen forced Karl to culturally immerse himself in each country, bizarre customs and all.   The poor guy was kidnapped in Israel!  Sure, it was a training exercise but it was still scary.  Karl was miserable the entire time and Ricky and Stephen enjoyed every minute of it.  Their goal was to broaden Karl's horizons.  It didn't really work.  He just never got the concept of seeing things or having life experiences.

In the current season, Karl is picking items from other people's bucket list wishes.  Swimming with dolphins, spending time on a desert island, driving Route 66 are just a few of the things he's doing.  Since he's already experienced some travel, this season is less novel but no less uncomfortable for both Karl and the viewers.

The first season is available on DVD from Netflix or streaming on Amazon and I highly recommend it.  If you have onDemand with your cable/satellite provider you can catch up with the current season's shows.  And I highly recommend that too.

Wait, I need to sell this better.  Karl is a dear, sweet, slightly dumb but mostly naive man.  He puts up with Ricky's shenanigans, which border on cruel.  Have I mentioned how miserable he ALWAYS is? While you may feel badly for him, you're also glad it's him and not you. Karl loves to share what he's thinking and feeling, which is lucky for us because based on his facial expressions you'd never know if he's confused or upset or both:

Ricky's so mean and I'm so glad.  This show is pretty great.

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