I love Karl Pilkington.
I love watching him get tortured as he is sent on all-expense paid trips around the world, albeit in very sub-standard accommodations and modes of transportation. His insights and moments of clarity are truly amazing and I cannot count the number of times I have cried laughing at what he has to say. In short, Ricky Gervais is a genius for creating “An Idiot Abroad.”
Season one saw him visit some of the seven wonders of the world – the Great Wall of China (which he doesn’t believe is really that great), the Taj Mahal (which, according to our round-headed guide, was built out of guilt), and other wonderful and exotic locations. Almost everywhere he went, he was miserable. The normal person would enjoy the experience and relish the mere fact of being in the presence of these wonders. Not Karl.
The second season sent Karl on a Bucket List trip. The thing is, it’s not his bucket list. He chooses items off of a list that would be considered a normal person’s bucket list. Once again, Karl does not disappoint. The Trans-Siberian Express might be one of the best episodes of that season simply for the fact that he allows himself to get buried alive and said it was the best part of the trip so far. On Route 66, he takes part in a cuddle party – another priceless moment. Never in my life have I laughed so hard.
When the third season was announced, I had high hopes that Karl would find himself in more odd situations in gorgeous locations throughout the world. Though, after the first two episodes of this apparently shortened season, I am not feeling the same way about this season.
First, Karl is no longer alone. He is accompanied by Warwick Davis (aka Willow or Professor Flitwick). While I enjoy the fact that Karl now has someone else with him enjoying the world, I feel like some of the magic is taken away. When Karl was alone on the other seasons, he had no one else to commiserate with. Now, he spent a his time complaining more about his traveling companion. Also, it wasn’t fair that Warwick was treated like a star when it came to his accommodations. He should have had the same as Karl. That would have been more funny.
Second, the season was waaaaay too short. Seriously – only four episodes and then a commentary? They hardly went anywhere! Karl didn’t get nearly as ragged as he did on the previous two seasons which meant he did not get jaded and tired of traveling to have the hilarious insights on his voyage.
Third, they didn’t really do anything that exotic. I mean in China, eating the various testicles was nothing after watching a few episodes of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern. Ok, the spider twins – they were kind of odd, but this is coming from someone who has to look away when they show contortionists because I get a little queasy when I see that.
If you are curious, watch it but don’t expect it to be as good as the first two seasons. Sadly, Marco Polo probably had funnier observations on this trip route. If you really want to laugh, stick to the first two seasons (season two is my favorite)!
I still love Karl though.