By NATALIA FALLAS
Everyone has that dumb yet loveable friend. The one who is always a laugh to be around thanks to their commentary or blatant naivety about everything. Now, what if you had the chance and the funds to put these people in random scenarios around the world on behalf of a documentary while actually delivering the most elaborate prank? Well, the geniuses Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have done just that with their friend Karl Pilkington on An Idiot Abroad.
Those familiar with Gervais’s other works such as Derek and The Ricky Gervais Show have already been exposed to the loveably daft Karl Pilkington, but never in this manner. A man very set in his ways, a man who perfectly encapsulates the “Little Britain Man,” a man who has no intention of being worldly. Too bad, Ricky and Stephen don’t care. In the first series (or season to us American folk), the duo have Karl visit the new seven wonders of the world from the Great Wall of China to Petra to that Jesus monument in Brazil. While on these excursions, they have Karl complete other quintessential experiences of the region whether through cuisine, festivals or what have you. And every time, Karl is sure to give his objection through sound reason. The best one was his logic behind not wanting to go to China for fear of developing a taste for toad. He didn’t.
In the second season, Ricky and Stephen compile a bucket list of sorts and have Karl pick the items on the list that he would like to complete. Even this sort of compassion for the bumbling Brit is quickly forgotten as the two concoct new ways to push Karl out of his comfort level at full force; the poor man will never catch a break. But hey, it makes great television or Netflix-ing.
As a child, my parents constantly tried to get me to watch The Discovery Channel, Animal Planet, The History Channel, etc. in order to get me to learn about the world around me. All that it actually taught me was how to fall asleep without getting into too much trouble. Now, if they had shown me a program like this one where I am totally learning while also being about a second from peeing at any moment from the laughter, we would have had a deal. Unfortunately, this gem of a documentary did not come along until now, but I guess it’s better late than never. And if you’re feeling a great sense of wanderlust as your friends abroad plaster your newsfeed with all of their great adventures without you, go along for a guaranteed laugh of an excursion with your new best friend, Karl. Or Kaaaahhhhllll (you’ll get it after the first episode).