an idiot abroad

Karl-PilkingtonKarl Pilkington is at it again.

Britain’s favourite “idiot” is heading out on his own in a new travel series called The Moaning of Life.

Pilkington, who has featured in the Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant series An Idiot Abroad, will explore how other cultures “face up to some of life’s biggest issues, while at the same time planning for his own future.”

“I’ve been on the planet for 40 years now, and I’m still none the wiser as to what it’s all about really,” Karl said. “I’ve never worried about life’s big questions. People at my age sit about pondering about ‘why are we here?’ The only time I ever asked meself that is when Suzanne booked us a surprise holiday to Lanzarote.” Continue reading »

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Pilkington returning for spinoff series

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An Idiot Abroad returning in September

An Idiot Abroad has been confirmed to return in September this year in the UK for its second season. Karl Pilkington will again be sent by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant on a world tour to complete a “bucket list” of activities in various locations.

I watched An Idiot Abroad last night and thoroughly enjoyed it, although I do not believe that Karl Pilkington is what Gervais and Merchant say he is all cracked up to be. They tell the audience at the start of the show that Karl is like all ignorant British tourists and will be so out of place in these far flung locales he will be a riot to watch.

 

Karl is more interesting and a breath of fresh air than an ignorant frustration. While Karl does seem a little out of place – this is no more than any other tourist in a non-western nation.

 

While I have seen Karl in other Gervais produced material he only seems to push the envelope in front of Gervais. Karl is alone in this show and is clearly just himself, questioning actions of foreigners but not in a vicious way. He says things that all westerners probably think.

 

This thinking aloud is a nice change to usual travel programs, and I say travel programs because this is basically what this show is. I did not find the show hilariously funny, it was more like Intrepid Journeys with a comedian who makes wry observations. Also, in terms of being a travel program it was good because there was honesty. He commented on how the Great Wall of China was rebuilt in 1950 and 1980 and questioned its legitimacy – which is nice in comparison with travel shows which just preach how beautiful and incredible places are.

 

So why am I writing this then? Because it seems that the show title and what Gervais and Merchant expect (and expect the audience to see) is an Onslow (from Keeping Up Appearances) being a bigot in foreign lands commenting on things in a hilariously wrong sort-of-comparative way. But the show so far does not live up to this. Karl does not seem the type.

 

Karl says what he is thinking but he doesn’t think in a vicious way, he thinks in an interesting way and sometimes just as we do. This is sometimes funny and sometimes not much of a surprise. Hence why the show is not really a comedy but basically a travel walkabout with an interesting man.

 

Also, Karl is not an idiot. Most of the observations he noted were not silly or dumb, his observations in some respects were intelligent or at least relevant. Karl may not be educated in the scholarly sense but he in no way seems like he hasn’t been around the block – like many of us.

 

I will certainly be watching next week but not because I want to cry with laughter or wince with frustration – but because it was somewhat enlightening.

 

What did you think?

9:30pm – Thursday, February 10 on TV 3

From the creators of the worldwide hits The Office and Extras, co-stars and executive producers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant present this ambitious epic travelogue series starring Karl Pilkington. An Idiot Abroad premieres on Thursday, February 10th at 9:30pm on 3.

Ricky and Stephen are outraged that Karl has written off the Seven Wonders claiming they’re all “a bit s**t” having never seen any of them with his own eyes.

They’ve thrown down the gauntlet to send him around the globe to force him out of his comfort zone. Stephen wants the experience to broaden Karl’s mind and change his outlook on the world, while Ricky simply wants Karl to hate every minute of it for his own amusement.

Leading up to his departure in this week’s season opener, Karl’s said: “I can’t wait to get started. Not ‘cos I’m excited but ‘cos the sooner we start the sooner it will be over.”

“The fact the nurse gave me an injection that protects me from dirty chimps put a dampener on the whole thing. I don’t think Ross Kemp has to have that injection.”

That’s probably because of Ricky and Stephen’s plan that, Karl will see more action in one week of his travels than Ross Kemp did over his whole season!

Find out just what Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant have in store for Karl Pilkington when An Idiot Abroad premieres on Thursday, February 10th at 9:30pm on 3.

Whatever your plans are tonight, make sure you check out An Idiot Abroad on TV3 at 9:30pm. Ricky Gervais, Stephen Merchant and Karl Pilkington in some of the most hilarious TV you will ever see.

Check out this free episode that TV3 have put up on on demand and you’ll see why.

We’re passed half way on the new season premieres that are happening this week.  There are a few more on the horizon though, like Masterchef New Zealand which returns on Sunday the 20th of February on TV One. I suspect Marcus Lush’s North will also appear there as well.  However, to whet your appetite for Masterchef, Simon Gault has his Intrepid Journey at 8:30pm on One. That, of course, if you’re not watching TV 2’s new super-powered show in No Ordinary Family. Bones returns to TV3 at 8:30 as well.

 

Before those, Police 10-7 is back on 2, Nestle New Zealand’s Hottest Home Baker is back on 3 and American Dad is back, albeit on Four. Futureama, The Cleveland Show and South Park also all return to the new channel tonight.

The show of the night though is An Idiot Abroad at 9:30pm on TV3. I cannot emphasize this enough. If you love Ricky Gervais, it’s a must watch.

On Four, new comedy The Good Guys debuts at 9:30pm as well.

And if you don’t have Sky and you’ve managed not to listen to the radio, read an online news site, Facebook or Twitter, then Prime has highlights from the Halberg Awards from 11:30pm.

What are you watching tonight?