music friday: otis redding, “i've been loving you too long”
what i watched last week

an idiot abroad, season finale

Or series finale, it’s hard to tell … a second season is rumored to be coming.

My opinion of An Idiot Abroad never really changed from the first episode, after which I wrote, “[Karl] Pilkington doesn’t seem like an idiot at all in this show. He most definitely seems like a fish out of water, and he has a willingness to blurt out whatever is in his head. But as often as not, I found myself empathizing with him, because I knew I’d be the same.” Over the course of the season, Ricky Gervais became more and more annoying … he no longer seemed like Ricky Gervais playing a rude version of “Ricky Gervais,” he just seemed like a rude person who took real joy out of tormenting his “friend.” Also, the show was a bit of a one-trick pony: send Karl off to a wonder of the world, put him through unexpected-to-him tortuous side trips, and listen to him complain. The entire season would work well as a Greatest Hits package, with the best bits from each episode blended into one. Still, every episode had plenty to recommend it, and for all his complaining, Karl does indeed seem, as I said before, “oddly heroic.”

Highlights: the Great Wall of China, which Karl says is only an alright wall. Mexico, where Karl spends his entire visit trying to find the Mexican Jumping Beans of his childhood memories. Best of all may have been Petra in Jordan. Before he goes to Jordan, he explains that he wouldn’t want to live in the great ruin, but rather would prefer to live in a cave across from Petra. His logic is that if he lived in Petra and he looked out the window, all he’d see is a boring cave. But if he lived in that boring cave, then when he looked out from his cave, he’d see a Wonder of the World. And sure enough, at the end of the episode, when Karl is sitting in his cave looking at Petra, you can see what he means.