Before people had even seen this, they were lampooning Gervais for “playing disabled”. Yes, Derek isn’t smarter than the average bear, but neither was Baldrick, Mr Bean, Homer, Trigger or Father Dougal, were any of these characters mocking disabled people? Derek’s innocence isn’t the subject of ridicule.
Derek is a sweet caring and kind man.
To say this isn’t the funniest thing Ricky Gervais has produced would in no way be a criticism. What we get instead is a touching heartfelt drama about Britain’s forgotten.
The only moments the script fails are when it tries too hard to be funny. The script actually works best during its tender moments. Yes, the show wasn’t perfect, but aside from Being Human, what pilots have been?
I have been a fan of Karl Pilkington for a long time and used to tune into Ricky Gervais’ Saturday Xfm radio show religiously to hear Karl’s ramblings. I have been a fan of the podcasts since they started them and I have read Karl’s books. Yes, he is a published author and I have enjoyed spotting Karl’s cameos in all of Gervais’ and Merchant’s work. Safe to say, I was always going to watch An Idiot Abroad.
Now, if you did not like An Idiot Abroad first time round, this series will do little to win you over. Karl had such a rough experience filming the first series that he vowed he wouldn’t make a second. However, An Idiot Abroad was the most-watched programme in the history of Sky 1, so a second series was always going to happen.
This time around Karl got to pick things he wanted to do from the bucket list. A bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die. Swim with dolphins, drive along Route 66, etc. Ricky and Steve still pull out all the stops to make Karl’s experience as hellish as possible, from sending him to a hug-party, to getting him dressed up by Thai ladyboys and the result is hilarious. Karl is constantly out of his comfort zone and being pushed beyond his limits.
In typical Gervais/Merchant style there won’t be a third series of An Idiot Abroad, but there are plans for a 2012 Christmas special called An Idiot Abroad: The Short Way Round, where Pilkington travels the world on a bicycle with Warwick Davis sat in a basket on the front. Forget the Olympics, this will be the event of 2012.
An Idiot Abroad is available on DVD and Blu Ray