For those absolved adequate to attend in a tradition, holding a “gap year” off before diving into college or work can be a smashing forgive to travel. British comedian Jack Whitehall never got to transport during his opening year—he was too bustling crafting his standup comedy skills. A decade later, Whitehall has leveraged his standup success to try to redress that, yet with a twist. In Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father, Jack spends 5 weeks kicking around southeast Asia … with his 76-year-old father Michael in tow.
Any good transport uncover needs during slightest dual things to work: outlandish locations that can fill even a many righteous homebody with a box of wanderlust and a colorful celebrity or dual to offer as a anchor for a audience’s substitute explorations. Travels with My Father simply ticks off a initial box. During a march of 6 30-minute episodes, Jack and his father transport via Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam, with their forays trimming from tourism staples like Bangkok and a hull of Angkor Wat, to smaller villages and swaths of beautiful Asian countryside.
As for a celebrity department, Jack and his father make for an beguiling and interesting peculiar couple. Jack is fervent to get a full opening year experience, crashing in hostels and backpacking from place to place. Unsurprisingly, his septuagenarian pops is carrying zero of that … during slightest not during first. When they arrive in a initial hostel in Bangkok, Michael stays only prolonged adequate to say, “No,” and afterwards turns on his heels in hunt of a nearest five-star hotel. The initial few episodes play adult this headbutting between father and son utterly a lot, with both fervent to make a many of their trip, yet handling underneath really opposite agendas. At first, it looks as yet Jack’s skeleton for a rough-and-tumble vacation might be sidelined by dad’s credit cards and hotel reservations, yet Michael shortly starts to alleviate and try new things however reluctantly.
Anyone who’s seen An Idiot Abroad will now note similarities between that uncover and this one, yet while Idiot saw Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant holding good pleasure in forcing their forbidding crony Karl Pilkington into places and activities he wanted zero to do with, Travels with My Father is most reduction sadistic and eventually operative toward a eminent idea of bringing a dual Whitehalls closer together. In An Idiot Abroad, Gervais and Merchant were really most shouting at their untimely star. Here, there are copiousness of laughs during a responsibility of both a elder and younger Whitehalls, yet they’re all good-natured.
If there’s a primary censure about Travels with My Father, it’s that it infrequently presents situations and punchlines that seem a small too ideal to be wholly unscripted. That’s frequency singular when it comes to pretended “reality” programming, yet here it’s only distracting some-more mostly than not. The infrequent contention between Jack and Michael is interesting adequate but a forced wackiness, adopted dolls, or Steven Seagal sightings.
Thankfully, that things seems to blur as a uncover progresses, even as Michael loosens adult and seems to welcome a suggestion of a trip. The uncover is during a best when a amusement and heart arises from small moments a cameras constraint that clearly weren’t planned, either it’s Jack bristling during his dad’s default vicious position or Michael perplexing to censor a grin when one of Jack’s many reticent jokes indeed gets past his defenses. The span are a lot of fun to watch even during their crankiest, so a uncover needn’t have attempted so tough for setup laughs when simply vouchsafing a dual of them be who they are around any other provides copiousness of entertainment.
Packed with beautiful view and easy charm, Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father is a lovely, simply binge-able further to a Netflix catalog. It’s not a outing you’ll bewail taking.