8 Netflix Travel Shows Worth Watching While Stuck At Home
Travel shows are the only thing I watch for fun these days.
Many factors led to this decision, the most obvious being our collective inability to travel anywhere during this pandemic. Other factors that contribute to this are certainly the logistical aspect of most good shows stopping production (and not returning this fall) or the original need to grapple with this country's ongoing collapse.
In desolate times there is a desire to experience the greatness of another representative.
Most of my travel observations consisted of old Anthony Bourdain episodes from his various shows, as well as YouTube upstarts like Johnny Harris who got their footage before the shutdown.
As a perennial Netflix observer, I figured I'd see what the subscription service had to offer too.
Michael Whitehall in "Traveling With My Father" on Netflix. (Photo: Netflix / Whitehall Films Ltd)
As with many past travel show projects, Netflix's offerings have different settings but suffer from the lack of different hosts. Unfortunately, most of the list below features white men explaining cultures around the world - and I've left out some of the recent Zac Efron and Paul Hollywood's recent Netflix shows where white men explain the world.
In the vacuum, any of these shows are worth watching, but overall, it's not a diverse collection from Netflix for a subject that requires nuance and sensitivity. Hopefully Netflix is working to fix this problem if we should ever get to some post-pandemic time.
Right now, the list below offers some different and fun glimpses of the globe for your surrogate viewing pleasure. If like me you're getting more and more restless on your couch, give this one a try.
If you want to be kept up to date with all the latest Netflix news every week, subscribe to the Streamline newsletter.
Streamline (Photo: Ji Sub Jeong / HuffPost)
"Jack Whitehall: Traveling With My Dad" (Netflix Original)
Premise: The laid-back comedian Jack Whitehall travels the world with (as you can see from the title) his father, who has a tight demeanor and a penchant for fine clothing. While the two have a stark contrast in personality that evokes an inherent sense of humor, the father is still adept at joking like his son.
Running time: 15 episodes of approximately 30 or 60 minutes
"Street Food" (Netflix Original)
Do you love HuffPost? Become a founding member of HuffPost Plus today.
Premise: The makers of "Chef's Table", a show that glorifies first-class chefs and bakers through profiles and film footage of their creations, treat "street food" in Latin America and Asia in the same way. This type of food is often celebrated in passing at larger travel shows like Anthony Bourdain's Works, but street food spends a lot more time with these undecorated chefs to understand the kitchen.
Running time: 15 episodes of about 30 minutes over the two versions
"Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner" (Netflix Original)
Premise: Chef David Chang visits different cities with different celebrities like Seth Rogen and Chrissy Teigen. The makeshift duo play tourists while Chang tries his best to interview the celebrity guest and keep a fun atmosphere with pals.
Running time: four episodes of approx. 45 minutes
"Conan Without Limits"
Premise: Conan O’Brien creates experience reports from different countries and combines the mechanics of his late night show with a more traditional travelogue. O'Brien deals with political issues in these episodes, but of course makes sure to prioritize humor.
Running time: six episodes of approximately 40 minutes
"Dark Tourist" (Netflix Original)
Premise: New Zealand journalist David Farrier finds bizarre and morally dubious travel destinations around the world. This includes some “real” vampires witnessing a ritual, letting a former drug officer guide them through past exploits, and taking several “fun” tours related to John F. Kennedy's assassination.
Running time: eight episodes of approximately 40 minutes
"Somebody Feeds Phil" (Netflix Original)
Premise: Phil Rosenthal, the creator of “Everybody Loves Raymond”, travels the world to eat different cuisines and to discover the surrounding cultures. After "Everyone Loves Raymond" ended, Rosenthal won a James Beard Award for his PBS show "I'll have what Phil has".
Running time: 17 episodes of approx. 50 minutes
"Restaurants on the Edge" (Netflix Original)
Premise: This follows the television model "experts fix a flawed business" more than the typical travel show format. But this show about experts who repair faulty restaurants in picturesque places has such a beautiful landscape that it is worth using it for all vicarious exploration dreams.
Running time: 13 episodes of approx. 45 minutes
"Larry Charles' Dangerous World of Comedy" (Netflix Original)
Premise: Comedian Larry Charles visits professional and aspiring comedians who do comedy in the most dire situations. This typically involves war, showing that humor is an ongoing human need even under threat of extreme violence (such as by warlords or terrorist attacks).
Running time: four episodes of approximately 60 minutes
Bonus short film: "National Parks Adventure"
Premise: This is just a one-off short film rather than an entire travel show, but I add that this list includes the United States National Parks as I keep an eye out to visit some of them once the pandemic ends. Robert Redford tells this film, but I would almost recommend that you watch it only in silence. The graphics are breathtaking and first class, but the music selection (Jason Mraz, The Lumineers, a version of the song "Hallelujah") is very stark.
The film also contains a bizarre story about three hikers who never really introduce themselves, but occasionally say no sequences about each other. It seems like their "story" was basically cut out of the film, but is also kind of left over, resulting in a narrative that definitely doesn't work. Nevertheless, the actual representation of the parks is worthwhile.
Running time: 42 minutes
10 Netflix Movies from 2020 That Actually Got Good Reviews
10 Movies You Must See Before Leaving Netflix in late October
The best movies on Netflix in October 2020
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.
Mention your own website in this post for Advertisement
Matt Gaetz's iPhone Is Seized; Associate Talks In Sex Trafficking Probe: Reports
Biden to pull U.S. Afghanistan troops by 9/11
Only one county left in purple tier as California's COVID-19 reopenings continue
Steph Curry breaks Wilt Chamberlain’s record to become the Golden State Warriors’ all-time
Here's Where Prince Harry Is Staying While in the U.K. for Prince Philip's Funeral
Katy Perry and Miranda Kerr Talk 'Unconditional Love' of Motherhood and Their 'Close' Relationship