An Idiot Abroad

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An Idiot Abroad

Postby cmsellers » Tue Feb 10, 2015 3:25 am

Has anybody watched that show? I'm so sad that three seasons (one three episodes long), is all it will get.

Usually I hate travel shows. You have the presenter getting paid to go awesome places, telling me things that either I already know. Whenever I try to watch one I start thinking "I already knew that, and a lot more besides. Stop pretending you knew any of that before the producers gave you your flashcards a few hours ago. You're up there because you're photogenic and charming, but your charm doesn't work on me bub." Travel shows usually make me want to stab my TV screen.

I also hate everything Ricky Gervais has done, or at least everything that he's done that he's starred it. He's a really annoying person. So when I saw that there was a travel show created by Ricky Gervais, my immediate thought was: "I wonder if it's possible to hate something so much you end up liking it."

Well, as it turned out, I love it. Karl Pilkington not only makes no pretensions of knowing anything, he's usually going places I don't want to go (the slums of India) doing things I don't want to do (bungee jumping), and reminding me that not everybody likes to travel. I think it's not just my favorite travel show; it's one of the greatest shows ever. I'm sure this says something terrible about me, but I don't care; I love that show.

When I learned there would not be a fourth season, I tried watching some of the Michael Palin documentaries. Palin's charm actually does work on me, plus he doesn't act like he didn't just learn whatever he's telling you, and he does a lot of talking about the people he meets, rather than the places he goes. On account of all that, I don't feel like stabbing the TV when I watch Michael Palin travel shows. But he still gets to go places I do want to go, which means I'm still wicked jealous, which means I've been taking in his shows in small does.

I really wish there were another season of An Idiot Abroad, or even something vaguely like it. I need my fix of bald little British sad-sacks going to places I'd never want visit myself and telling me how awful it is over there.
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Last edited by cmsellers on Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: An Idiot Abroad

Postby Typical Michael » Tue Feb 10, 2015 8:05 am

I really like this show, because of how much Karl Pilkington doesn't really want to be there. I like travel shows with relatable hosts. One that was really good was Dhani Tackles the Globe. He goes and plays local sports around the world, and is a huge dork. I also like No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, because he is a sarcastic jerk, and so am I, so I can relate.
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Re: An Idiot Abroad

Postby Australia » Tue Feb 10, 2015 10:12 am

It's Karl Pilkington, you idiots. Unless he changed his name for the show, in which case, my bad. I haven't seen it, but Karl's idiocy was the highlight of the Gervais podcasts so it's on my 'to watch' list, though probably towards the back since I don't really have to worry about spoilers.

Also, do you hate literally everything Ricky's been in? Even the classic Liam Neeson sketch?

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Re: An Idiot Abroad

Postby Typical Michael » Tue Feb 10, 2015 11:42 am

It is Karl Pilkington, and Stephen Merchant.

Everybody knows that, Jimbo. You should be busier checking your boots for spiders and your shelves for drop-bears.
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Re: An Idiot Abroad

Postby Australia » Tue Feb 10, 2015 2:46 pm

Oh, sure, Mike, edit your post like a typical coward. You don't deserve the batsuit sketched on your avatar. And for your information, I'm far more concerned with the scarabs crawling under my skin.
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Re: An Idiot Abroad

Postby cmsellers » Tue Feb 10, 2015 4:48 pm

Australia wrote:It's Karl Pilkington, you idiots. Unless he changed his name for the show, in which case, my bad. I haven't seen it, but Karl's idiocy was the highlight of the Gervais podcasts so it's on my 'to watch' list, though probably towards the back since I don't really have to worry about spoilers.

Also, do you hate literally everything Ricky's been in? Even the classic Liam Neeson sketch?

You're right, and I fixed it. The problem is that he looks like such a Steve.

Hate was probably too strong I word, and I should clarify that everything I saw of Gervais's before An Idiot Abroad I found just painfully unfunny.

I found both the British Office and Extras to be almost unwatchable. I forced my way through the entire run of the original Office hoping it would get funnier. I did not try the same thing with Extras. I saw Gervais himself being intentionally annoying Curb Your Enthusiasm and the American Office, didn't find either performance funny, and concluded that I don't like Gervais as an actor.

That sketch actually is pretty funny; I've never seen it before. It's worth noting that Gervais is the straight man there. There was a Ricky Gervais ESL sketch with Pilkington that also funny, though I discovered it after An Idiot Abroad, and it's funny because it's he's tormenting poor Karl. So I guess that I find Gervais as a straight man and Gervais as a sadist to be funny, while Gervais as merely clueless is decidedly less so.
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Re: An Idiot Abroad

Postby cmsellers » Tue Feb 10, 2015 5:00 pm

Typical Michael wrote:I really like this show, because of how much Karl Pilkington doesn't really want to be there. I like travel shows with relatable hosts. One that was really good was Dhani Tackles the Globe. He goes and plays local sports around the world, and is a huge dork. I also like No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain, because he is a sarcastic jerk, and so am I, so I can relate.

I'll check out Dhani Tackles the Globe.

I heard about the Anthony Bourdain show, and the first thing I did was check out if he'd done an episode on Korea. He did, and based on the description he didn't try hagfish, sea-squirts, or beondegi (silkworm pupae). That's just inexcusable on a show called "No Reservations." I mean, if I had to eat hagfish out out politeness while in Korea, the famous chef should too.
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Re: An Idiot Abroad

Postby Typical Michael » Wed Feb 11, 2015 8:03 am

I dont think I ever encountered the other two, but I did have beondegi a couple of times. Its basically a bar snack, kinda gritty but not bad, and when your Korean friends are telling you how good they are for your dick, what else are you supposed to do?
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Re: An Idiot Abroad

Postby cmsellers » Wed Feb 11, 2015 4:24 pm

Dude, everything in Korea is good for your dick.

I ended up eating hagfish because I went out to dinner with a Korean guy who wanted to practice his English, and told him I wanted eel. In Korean, eel is "bemjangeo" (snake eel) and hagfish is meokjangeo (slime eel). I was aware of this, and to make sure he understood the difference, I pointed to an eel in a tank. Well, that was a raw fish place, so the Korean guy takes me to a barbecue fish place and orders--in Korean of course, so I have no idea what he's saying.

As soon as our meal comes out, I see that there's something wrong, and ask him "is this bemjangeo?" I keep asking that same question, and he keeps telling me that yes it is. I'm convinced it's hagfish, but it could just be really badly-prepared eel or nicely-prepared car tire, so I keep forcing it down my gullet. Finally I find the head, and now know we've been eating hagfish.

I always carried a notepad and pencil in Korea to illustrate things I couldn't get across any other way, and this being such a time I take it out and draw an eel and a hagfish, write the English and Korean names below, underline the "bem" and "meok" parts of the Korean words and circle the fins on the eel drawing.

Finally, it dawns on the guy what I was getting at, and he asks the restaurant, who tell him that yes, that was slime-eel we were eating. Since neither of us like hagfish in the least, and we were both eating the damn thing out of politeness to the other, we immediately pay and leave.

Later, I ask my students about hagfish and eel, where I learn that both kinds of "jangeo" are primarily eaten because they're "good for men health," so of course it doesn't matter if you get the delicious or the disgusting kind of jangeo.

In hindsight, it seems really weird that Koreans (who at least in Korea itself tend to be very homophobic) don't see anything the least bit weird about two men going out for a penis-improving meal together.
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Re: An Idiot Abroad

Postby Tuli » Mon Jun 22, 2015 4:54 pm

Just dropping by to say I watched these a while ago and it was hilarious. The stuff that comes out of Pilkington's mouth is just out of this world sometimes.
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