Idiot Abroad, An: Season 2
In the second season of this hilarious series Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, co-creators of The Office and Extras help their friend Karl Pilkington (The Ricky Gervais Show) complete tasks from his bucket list...except the experience is never as easy or as fun as it seems. Gervais and Merchant find ways to arrange a few surprises along the way to keep things interesting. In the end, Pilkington ends up visiting more places and suffering more detours than he did in the first season! Find out what happens when an idiot goes abroad…again!
The misery of Karl Pilkington, unique thinker and favorite whipping boy of Ricky Gervais, is once again offered up for laughs in the second season of the BBC reality/comedy series An Idiot Abroad
. After dispatching Pilkington to the Seven Wonders of the World in the first season, Gervais and Stephen Merchant once again convince their erstwhile radio producer to fulfill a "bucket list" of experiences that most people hope to achieve before their death. Pilkington, however, is not most people--he is perhaps most politely described as an avowed homebody who appreciates the shallower things in life--and his extreme discomfort at being forced to travel the globe and face a host of unique experiences is the backbone of the show's humor and appeal. Gervais and Merchant are largely off-screen, reveling in their chance to shake up Pilkington's narrow world by forcing him to endure a centrifuge at a cosmonaut training facility in Russia, plunge into shark-infested waters, consume animal droppings, be embraced by a gaggle of New Age therapists, and endure an on-camera prostate exam at the series' close. While many of the encounters would cause even the most adventurous viewer to have second thoughts, some moments are unique, once-in-a-lifetime scenarios, like coming face-to-face with an African mountain gorilla or climbing Japan's Mount Fuji. Pilkington's response to these situations is the same po-faced, mumbled litany of complaints he reserves for the series' more hideous challenges, which wipes away a lot of sympathy for his tribulations. In the end, An Idiot Abroad
is less of a travelogue about the most unusual places and events in the world and more about a man who views them with the bleary, grey-colored glasses of a terminally checked-out individual. Your appreciation of the series will depend entirely on whether you regard Pilkington as funny or baffling; the DVD includes all 16 episodes, as well as a collection of clips set to his rendition of Chas & Dave's "Ain't No Pleasing You" and Pilkington hawking his own invention, "Pilko's Pump Pants," on television. --Paul Gaita