The Benefit of Being An Idiot (Abroad)


While it’s hard to justify watching much television, an hour or so a day probably won’t hurt and I think could help round one out.  It’s the eyes glazed over Netflix marathons–buzzing through a season of a series in a day or two–that is kind of unforgivable, though I forgive myself for such past transgressions.
What I like about The Office-famed Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s “An Idiot Abroad” is that the “idiot,” Karl Pilkington, is sent around the globe to places he doesn’t want to go, to do things he doesn’t want to do.  I have great sympathy for the character because his resistance is palpable.  I mean, who wants to handle snakes, wing-walk, get a massage in which fire is an element, etc.  So he wines and complains, gets brow-beaten by constant unsympathetic call from Gervais or Merchant, and gets on with it, despite his trepidation.  He is doing his duty.  Gervais reminds him constantly (by phone) that he is on a travel show for Sky 1 and not out there on holiday.
What I find interesting about my viewing experience, besides being put off by “the idiot’s” constant moaning and complaining, is that he does what he agreed to do, which is essentially anything the sadists thousands of miles away tell him to do.  What I also find interesting is my internal reactions to the constant unreasonable assignments he is given.  I find myself mentally putting myself in his position, and every fiber of my being screams NO!  I wouldn’t do that thing or the otter.  It’s insane, it’s unreasonable, etc.  Yet he does it.
I wonder if the Idiot realizes just how much of a lesson he is providing those who are really paying attention.

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