An Idiot Abroad is true to its name.
Karl Pilkington is a bald baboon-looking British man who has absolutely zero inkling for travel or cultural learning. Knowing that Karl hates new experiences and has never travelled outside of the U.K. before, his “friends” Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send him around the world to broaden his mind. That’s what friends are for, right?
Airing in 2010, the first of the three British travel documentaries feature Karl at every wonder of the world, from the “alright wall of China” and the unimpressive Christ the Redeemer statue, to the garbage-ridden Pyramid’s of Giza.
Karl never ceases to dampen the mood with his unfavourable comments, which actually makes the show quite hilarious. While on his travels, Karl is forced to partake in activities that push him far outside of his comfort zone. Like bungee jumping, for instance. Well, he only sort of does it. He agrees to jump on the condition that it’s from a height of four feet. He’s quite the daredevil.
Most of each episode centres around Karl’s hilarious reactions to cultural differences in the countries that he visits. Gervais and Merchant spice things up by phone calling him throughout his “vacations” and ordering him to perform tasks that are completely unrelated to the reason for his travels. Karl gets tricked into attending a snuggle party, singing in a Glee musical, eating bull genitals, and travelling hours across a desert on a camel. His scrawny little body even gets dragged into fighting a professional sumo wrestler.
Karl also shares his own twisted and gut splitting insights as he learns a thing or two about life and happiness.
The second series revolves around Karl picking items off of a general bucket list, and the third features Karl and Warwick Davis as they travel around Eastern Europe and India.
By the end of his travels, he loosens up just a bit.
8/10 – In short, An Idiot Abroad is a travel documentary involving a cranky, antisocial and slightly neophobic comedian, who is forced into experiencing new cultures, and humorously sharing with the viewers his disliking of it all.