An Idiot Abroad is a very unique take on sight seeing the wonders of the world and my recommendation for you weekendly queue. The story of this documentary series follows Karl Pilkington around the world. However, Pilkington is traveling around the world at the command of Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant. In the first season, Pilkington visits the 7 Wonders of the World and in the second he is visiting other famous locations that would be on anyone’s “bucket list.” Pilkington is instructed to explore the culture of those areas as well, despite the fact that he is extremely uncultured and frankly unqualified to report on those areas. That is the reason Gervais and Merchant sent him, to give Pilkington some culture and see how he reacts to it.
An Idiot Abroad is hilarious and oddly enough, very enlightening. The tasks that Pilkington is put up to are creative and thorough. Through the instruction of Gervais and Merchant, Pilkington goes through tasks that would be common for locals, and due to his mostly uncultured life, his response to these tasks can be full of confusion, apprehension, and usually thankfulness that his life is easier. Pilkington’s communication through out the series is very comical as well. His ignorance of the outside world and sometimes absenteeism is downright shocking and hilarious.
Though Pilkington’s experience is quite entertaining, you also get a sense of the culture and atmosphere of locations that are likely on your list of wonders to see. Despite the fact that the show follows a self-labeled “idiot” the show is full of smart moments. These moments come from viewing other cultures in a way few from the outside likely ever will.
An Idiot Abroad episode 1 trailer.