Tag Archives: reality tv

An Idiot Abroad – Missing the Marco Polo

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.”

Karl at the Pyramids

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.

Karl on the Trans-Siberian Express with a man who is a human magnet.

Karl on the Trans-Siberian Express with a man who is a human magnet.

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.

At an Indian circus - Karl and Warwick

At an Indian circus – Karl and Warwick

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.

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Filed under Reviews, TV

My Real Secret of Energy Refills

I am a reality TV junkie.

There, I admit it.

When I feel like I’m fed up with life, I know I can always turn on Bravo and watch some form of (possibly scripted) drama going on in the lives of some over the top individual who can’t possibly live life like that every single day.  It just can’t possibly be their real life because it would take so much energy to live such a dramatic life.

I watch all the Housewives, except Orange County.  I know that they are the original ones but I really cannot handle them for some reason.  The rest play out like a badly acted telenovella and that says something.  They live in ridiculous homes.  They wear too much make up and put too much stock in designer things.  They schmooze and do the fake double cheek kiss.  Then they fight.  And when they fight, I feel relieved.  It’s like some kind of sick confirmation that even though they have all this material wealth, they still have issues.

Yes, I am fully aware that it  contributes to the downfall of our modern society.  But you know what, at least it’s not Honey Boo Boo!

These women are brave to put their lives “on display.”  They are all over tabloid magazines (which I do not read, in case you were wondering) and their lives play out real or fictitiously in front of those, like me, who watch.

I wish I could say I’m watching them as some part of elaborate sociological study of domesticated American women with too much wealth and free time on their hands, but I’m not.  I watch them to let my mind unwind.  I don’t have to think when I watch them.  I just sit back and pretend I’m in the room with some imaginary extended family that is exploding at a family gathering.  Sometimes, I wonder if that’s what happens in big families.  I had a big family when I was child but then things happened and well, thanks to Facebook, I’m slowly reconnecting at least on a virtual level.  I watch the housewives and wonder if I ever met them in person if it would end up like Tre and Melissa fighting or if it would be like Kyle and Kim full of resentment.  Or would it be more like Jacqueline and Caroline who have put the past behind them in the name of being family and enjoying what time they have with each other.  I will always wonder I suppose.  I wish I could go into more of it here, but I fear that again, dear reader, I would be turning you into my personal therapist and that you might just end up like the guy sitting next to Ted Striker.

One of the many unfortunate neighbors of Ted Striker on Airplane!

One of the many unfortunate neighbors of Ted Striker on Airplane!

The Housewives, as well as my newest obsession – the Shahs of Sunset, let me quiet my brain.  I can escape into their lavish lives and just recharge my batteries because it doesn’t really require any brain function to watch these shows.  I know some people turn to other means to get that sense of calm – yoga, wine, meditation, and other methods – but I’ll take my trashy TV. Every night, I send a Maazel to the Universe for Andy Cohen and his idea to showcase these amazingly excessive women.

I hope, dear readers, that you have not lost any respect for me.  When today’s NaBloPoMo prompt came up, I knew I had to spill my guilty pleasure because it’s how I restore my energy.  Please don’t judge me.  I promise I won’t judge you.

This post was written as part of the January 2013 NaBloPoMo.  The theme for this month is Energy.  Today’s prompt was “What is your favourite way to recharge when you feel drained of energy?”  Again, please don’t judge me – I really am a smart person who just happens to love trashy tv.  I promise.


Filed under Culture, NaBloPoMo, TV