Parents' Guide to

An Idiot Abroad

By Matt Springer, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Uncomfortable cultural encounters show how NOT to behave.

An Idiot Abroad Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

Community Reviews

age 15+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 16+

First episode funny but then bottomed out

I live overseas and love travelling; I also know personally how we can react to "strange" things in other cultures. The first episode had me laughing until I cried a couple of times, as the main guy actually said things that I might think but wouldn't dare say! I was hooked! Until I watched the 2nd episode; my husband and I were very disappointed. Significantly more cussing and it just wasn't funny, really at all, to us. Tried again with the Ep. 3, thinking maybe Ep. 2 was a fluke. Nope. Again, not impressed. It seemed that in Ep. 2, Ricky Gervais (British "The Office"), who sent this man out traveling, became harsher, ruder and almost malicious towards him, wanting very much to make this tourist miserable...thinking it was funny. But it made me not like him at all and I didn't think it was funny. The guy touring handled it all with a sigh and grace but it just removed the light-hearted humor for me. Also the it seemed that the show lost a perspective of respect towards the other cultures - I know that's not the point of the show, but there seemed to be a shift. And as I said, they took it up a level in the allowed-cussing, so the show became more offensive to me and far from funny. I was very disappointed as I would have enjoyed the cross-cultural exposure and humor like in the first episode. But nope; we gave it up.
age 13+

Fine for anyone age 14 or older.

Ridiculously funny. This is seriously one of the absolutely best things I have ever watched.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (4 ):

The past decade or so of reality television has given us some truly strange figures. Karl Pilkington may be the strangest. Stubbornly certain of his own narrow viewpoint, he speaks without thinking and delivers with such conviction that it becomes difficult to take him at all seriously.

To be fair, taking Karl Pilkington seriously is not the intent of An Idiot Abroad. Rather, show hosts and producers Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant fully encourage the viewer to laugh at Pilkington by placing him in situations where they know his innate instinct for distrust and closed-mindedness will kick in. At first, you may feel uncomfortable at how merciless Gervais and Merchant can be in probing and prodding Pilkington. But Pilkington remains unblinking; whatever his views, however outlandish or unfounded, he has a quiet certainty that almost dares you to keep a straight face. It makes for supremely watchable television.

TV Details

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