***This show premieres tonight on the Science Channel. There will be a handful of spoilers in the article below, as is necessary to illustrate what it is about, but I promise not to ruin the enjoyment. If you are OK with that, please read on.***
Is half an hour a week of Karl Pilkington not enough for you? I love him on HBO's The Ricky Gervais Show, but I am always left wanting more. Luckily, the Science Channel is giving us just that beginning tonight, and every Saturday for the next eight weeks. The premise? Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant send Karl around the world to visit the Seven Wonders and the culture that surrounds them.
Karl, of course, is reluctant to go. He likes to stay safely in his comfort zone, and just read about exotic places on the internet. His first stop is China to see The Great Wall. His biggest reason he wouldn't want to make the trip? He might eat toad and like it, then miss it when he returns home. I've said it before, and I'll say it again: Karl's brain does not work like everyone else's on the planet. Who else would possibly have thought of that?
I did find it a bit odd, at first, to not have Ricky and Stephen along for the ride. I'm so used to them picking at Karl continuously, and now here is a look at him by himself. Ricky and Stephen did check in by phone frequently, so they're still a presence on the show. Even better, though, was Karl's mingling with the locals. Although there was a serious language barrier, Karl seems more at home that I would be in his situation. For someone who is perpetually out of place, he was remarkably well adjusted to the situation. Well, except when getting a fire massage or eating local cuisine. But with the people, he was fine. He can really roll with the punches. Which he did, while learning Kung Fu.