Science Channel has picked up “An Idiot Abroad,” Ricky Gervais’ ugly-Brit-abroad series featuring his podcast sidekick, Karl Pilkington.
Gervais and Stephen Merchant have already gotten considerable mileage out of Pilkington’s dunderheaded oddness, first in their podcasts and then an animated version of them airing on HBO.
Funny? Occasionally. But it’s an awfully long slog — and a rather mean-spirited one at that — especially since Gervais and Merchant largely disappear after the intro, other than the occasional phone call.
The premiere, airing Saturday (Jan. 22), sends Pilkington to China to see the Great Wall — part of a round-the-world trip to visit all of the Great Wonders. In subsequent installments of the series (which has already aired in the U.K.), he’ll visit the Taj Mahal, the Pyramids, etc.
Frankly, I’d suggest skipping the first seven episodes and tuning in for the eighth, described as follows:
Karl Pilkington finally returns home after travelling around the world to see the Seven Wonders of the World. Back in Britain he’s quizzed about his travels abroad by his friends Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, who want to find out if he’s actually learned anything from his experiences.
Unless you’re really into the idea of traveling with a nincompoop (and hey, been there, done that), you can safely ignore the show until then.