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The Reluctant Traveler


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Eugene Levy visits some of the world's most remarkable hotels, and explores the people, places and cultures that surround them. Not what he thinks of when he thinks of a globe-trotter, Levy will be packing his suitcase with some trepidation, but hopes his experiences might lead to a whole new chapter in his life – as long as he doesn't have to battle his motion sickness, and still gets dinner at 7. 

Coming soon to Apple TV+

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It sounds very much like Richard Ayoade's "Travel Man" and I wonder if it was inspired by such.

Either way, I am very much looking forward to this! Eugene Levy is a perfect pick as host. I did read an article that his daughter Sarah would pop up in a few episodes...wouldn't it be a hoot if Dan Levy made an occasional appearance as well!

 

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All 8 episodes are available to stream now.

I've watched 3 of them.  The photography is great, lot of drone shots, some macro shots of insects and so forth.  It's in 4K with Dolby Vision if you have the streaming device and TV which will support them.

 

The first two eps almost seem to have been chosen so they can play up Eugene Levy's reluctance to be an adventurous traveler.  He talks a lot about being uncomfortable or not liking when it's too cold or hot or just doing things out of his comfort zone.

So in Finland, he goes ice fishing and is invited to jump into a frozen lake for instance.  Or in Costa Rica, he goes on a night safari where they come across snakes and insects.  He talks about all the dangerous creatures in the jungle.  Says he did not like the night safari and probably wouldn't do it again.

The show isn't food-centric but Eugene says he isn't an adventurous eater.  He does try things like reindeer.  But even though he's in the Finland wilderness (Lapland) or the Costa Rica jungle, he's staying at these very expensive resorts, which in some cases cost well over $1000 a night, so he does get some gourmet meals and they show the food but nothing like in Searching for Italy or some other shows.

In the Venice episode, he stays at the Gritti Palace, with a room on the Grand Canal.  But he does go to a bacaro to try cichetti, says he likes it.  Of course he has dinner in the hotel's expensive restaurant.

There are a couple of articles about the show, as he does a press tour.  Levy says Apple kept pitching travel shows and he was resistant but then they came up with this Reluctant Traveler theme, where he'd do things he normally wouldn't.  Says he mostly stays in the hotel, around the pool, so even walking around in Venice to these small neighborhood bars is also outside his comfort zone.

Read in Variety: https://apple.news/AKnShOIg_Rb60fvvvlM3dvQ

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Hotels visited during the season.

https://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/travel-guide/g42748281/the-reluctant-traveler-eugene-levy-luxury-hotels/

Some of them are just incredibly expensive.  The Utah resort is $3,000 a night they said.  Eugene tried to get the chef to confirm if George Clooney or Brad Pitt had the same pancake the chef was making for him, in a comic way.

These places seem to be for "A-listers" or billionaires, that is the price guarantees certain guests privacy almost, or keeps certain types of people away from them.

Maybe that was one of the ways they got Levy to do the show, promise him fancy stays.  But then again, for cinematography, these expensive hotels are the ones which are going to have prime or unique views.

 

 

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The Maldives and South Africa episodes seem to be of places with customized tours, not stuff open to the general public.

Other shows had those kinds of scenes too but Searching for Italy did feature real restaurants open to all, though sometimes they seem to prepare dishes which weren't regular menu items.

These customized experiences for Eugene certainly look impressive visually though.

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The Lisbon and Tokyo episodes, to finish the season, felt much different than the Maldives and South Africa episodes preceding it.

Not as much about his discomfort and the most challenging thing he did was probably cross Shibuya.

 

I enjoyed the series but it would be surprising if they do another season.  Doesn't seem to be many people watching and his style can only go so far.  If he was really uncomfortable, why does he keep traveling?

Hope Apple does more though the scenery porn was great, with great picture quality.  I haven't seen Somebody Feed Feel in Netflix 4K.

I did see Our Man in Italy on Amazon Prime and that looked good in 4K but not as good as The Reluctant Traveler.

Feels like if Stanley Tucci wanted to do more of his show or a travel show -- maybe CNN won't let him use the same show name on another outlet -- Apple TV + would be terrific for the photography.  But he may be holding out for too much money or he may prefer to book other jobs instead.

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I had posted earlier that I was really looking forward to the series. But I've watched 2 episodes and will probably eventually watch the remainder, but sadly I was less than enchanted. I think I was spoiled by Travel Man (Richard Ayoade's) show...he also did things and tried foods that were out of his comfort zone, but he had a "guest traveler" (usually another comedian) with him for all his trips, and they bounced things off of each other (with less of the "celebrity quipping" that the NY Times mentions) and didn't seen quite so ill-at-ease. He didn't have special meals made for him at his hotel but instead went to local restaurants and ate from the regular menu. Anyway, I've realized that he & Eugene are more different in their personalities than I previously thought. I'll watch the remainder of the shows, at least for the scenery,  but won't be sad if it's not renewed.

 

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