I was really looking forward to watch An Idiot Abroad, mostly because Ricky Gervais is an executive producer (Stephen Merchant) and does sometimes show up, but also because the idea is challenging.
At first, I wasn’t certain that the “idiot” would be an a true “idiot.” It is a reality show, so I can’t really be certain that the star of this show, Karl Pilkington, is true or an actor. Even when Gervais interviewed him to tell him he has been chosen to be sent around the world, I still wasn’t convinced.
But then he started talking about China (his first destination) telling how he thinks that Chinese people take how usually things work and make it weird (he mentioned the writing that is like testing a biro and written in a different direction.) There I started feeling that maybe this guy is, well not an idiot, but genuine and fun.
In the first episode he is sent to China. I was disgusted (literally…I had to close my eyes) at the first part of his China experience. China is an amazing and exotic country, but if the show wanted to make people think about going there, they failed, at least for me.
I knew they had their own taste in food, but I didn’t expected them to literally eat EVERYTHING. From toads to basically all kind of insects you can imagine and not only that, I could feel the disgust Pilkington felt when he saw a man eating egg fetus.
I’m sure the show made sure that he went in certain places; I can’t seriously imagine China to have only those restaurants and cuisine. Some events might be forced, but they are still real and actually happening. They tried to test Pilkington in the worst situations; no full equipped hotels for example and the part of China he saw, was one that isn’t populated by tourists, which could be it’s the poorest and the real China.
The second part was much better (expect for a woman beside him on the bus that kept spitting in her plastic bag); from the weird fortune teller to The Great Wall. Pilkington even saw the unseen part of the wall, where its half broken and not looked after.
Soon after that Pilkington goes for his first Kung Fu lesson and all the ouch and ohh we tend to say and think when we see metal breaks on Kung Fu players head, leaving no scars, Pilkington said it, with his genuine and normal tone that most of us think and say.
An Idiot Abroad is fun and interesting; not only Pilkington will make you laugh, but will also tell you about countries and places, from his funny perspective.
Currently there are nine episodes for the first season, below is a trailer giving you a visual glimpse of what to expect.