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Better Late Than Never

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A place to discuss particular episodes, arcs and moments from the show's run. Please remember this isn't a complete catch-all topic -- check out the forum for character topics and other places for show-related talk.

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Wall Street Journal Review: http://www.wsj.com/articles/better-late-than-never-review-the-innocents-abroad-1471559499

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Inspired by the Korean TV hit “Grandpas Over Flowers,” this late-summer entry features “TV superstar” Henry Winkler, “cultural icon”William Shatner, NFL Hall of Famer Terry Bradshaw and ex-heavyweight champ George Foreman, traveling together through Asia, intent on establishing themselves as the Mount Rushmore of Ugly Americans. 

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“Better Late Than Never” seems like an effort by NBC to wash the relatively good taste of the Olympics out of its mouth and get back to basic—very basic—entertainment. The show is certainly good-natured, and largely inoffensive, though there are some culinary references certain audiences might find objectionable. (Animal parts served up in some Tokyo restaurants give Mr. Bradshaw, in particular, the willies). Unfortunately, the program has the depth of a tuna can and is edited so frantically it feels like a trailer for itself. The four stars are basically there to present their well-established personae

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I laughed and enjoyed the first episode.   All the guys had their funny moments.    It seems like a nice summer show. 

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I watched, mostly because I didn't feel like jumping up and turning the tv - broken sensor on tv so no remote, pain in the arse, takes me back to the 60s. I laughed a few times, it's not great tv, it's the 4 being themselves, Shatner maybe not as big as an arse as I've seen him be. If it comes on again when I'm too lazy to get up and turn the tv, I may watch, but it's not something I'll go out of the way for.

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Surprised Shatner actually has friends in the business. He also looks damn good for 85.

As soon as they said they were going to an "interesting" hotel in Tokyo, I knew they were going to that capsule place. I remember seeing it on the Amazing Race.

Edited by Quilt Fairy
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Eh, I'll watch it because there's not much else on in its timeslot right now. The show would be better without Terry Bradshaw. I liked Terry Bradshaw the football player, but I can't stand Terry Bradshaw the celebrity. He's such a hayseed. I don't watch his Sunday football pre-game show on CBS. Any other network's football pre-game show I'll watch no problem. But not his. Jay Leno, for some inexplicable reason, used to have him on the Tonight Show on a regular basis. I couldn't change the channel fast enough. They should make him dress up like Jethro from the old Beverly Hillbillies. It would make his persona a little more authentic.

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I hadn't heard a thing about this show until I read something about Henry Winkler recently and they mentioned it.  It was hilarious!  I laughed throughout the entire episode.  I'm hoping that, as they continue on with their journey, that the lure of the cameras don't make the guys (mainly Bill) start to over-do it and act all exaggerated in their reactions to things.

The naked dude just walking down the hallway in the Japanese hotel was so funny, as were Henry and Bill's reactions.

Funniest part of the episode: Henry falls out of the bed after night 4 in the hotel, and the Japanese guy next door asks (in subtitles), "Are you okay, Fonzie?", and Henry just meekly says, "I'm okay". LOL

Anyone else notice that, on the trip up the 800 steps to see Mt. Fuji, 85-year-old Bill was in the lead the entire way?  That Starfleet training must be first-class!

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Well, it may only be as deep as a tuna can, or whatever that reviewer linked in the media thread said, but whatever. I loved it. Not everything has to be dark and deep and serious. While I do think some things were staged (like hopefully they all got to film the capsule hotel bits and then go stay in a real hotel, because old) and the food things, for the most part I found it hilarious. If they actually did all those steps, then mad props, because I couldn't do it. I'm surprised Shatner wasn't recognized more, but maybe he was and they just didn't show it.

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I watched this purely by chance, and really enjoyed it.  I giggled throughout the entire show.  I would love to know more about how Winkler chose the other 3 specifically.  I hate the editing style, and all the GIANT ALL CAPS pop ups throughout.  I like the talking head interviews - Shatner is so... Shatner.  And he's 85!  Damn!  I don't know a thing about Terry Bradshaw.  He's big and loud, but that just made him funnier in Tokyo.  I really didn't expect them to stay in the capsule hotel every night - I figured that was just a first night thing.  Did Bradshaw actually fit in those things?

I can't say I'll race home to watch this, but if I miss it I will probably try to catch it on-line.  I wish it had started earlier in the summer - this is great summer programming.  Now if they could just get a cameo by Phil Keoghan...

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I actually enjoyed it more than I thought I would. All four guys are pretty amiable, but I was deeply disappointed with Terry Bradshaw. Nice guy, but he really is an "Ugly American". That's sad. Shatner was a lot more tolerable (and tolerant) than I thought he would be. Shocked that he is 85, he's doing great! Hopefully, he will continue to have some positive influence over Bradshaw. They seem to be having fun, but it's still early on. I've been to Japan twice and know some Japanese, so I enjoyed them trying to make their way around and having "adventures". Pretty funny! Watched On Demand and will continue to do that. It's only 5 eps.

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1 hour ago, Gregg247 said:

Anyone else notice that, on the trip up the 800 steps to see Mt. Fuji, 85-year-old Bill was in the lead the entire way?  That Starfleet training must be first-class!

I noticed that too. Also, he seemed to be the most open to sampling different cuisine.

I was more worried about Foreman fitting into the capsules. He's actually bigger than Bradshaw.

I'll probably continue to watch on demand.

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Having no expectations for this show, I enjoyed it quite a bit.  While I'm sure a great deal of it is staged, it was fun all around, and the guys seemed to be having a good time too.  My personal favorite was the Japanese game show.  All four of them seemed to be fairly into that.  I'll probably stick around for the rest of the episodes.

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I was charmed by this lightweight lowbrow bit of summertime fluff.  So sue me. :-)

I'd heard nothing about this show until seeing the promos during the AGT episode that preceded it.  From the promos, I assumed it was a sitcom and thought, "What the heck, that's an odd grouping of quirky characters, I'll give it a shot."

The actual format came as a complete surprise, as did how often it made me laugh...and not at the guys, but with them.  All four guys are pretty quick and good-humored, and none of them take themselves (or each other) seriously.  Throw in a sprinkling of f bombs, pig vaginas, off-color remarks about balls, and not realizing the naked Japanese roommate was Jewish, and I added it to my season passes.   

Terry Bradshaw has the potential to annoy, reminding me a bit of Gary Busey...if Busey wasn't quite such a brain-injured attention whore.  But, as long as Bradshaw doesn't try to grab the spotlight too much, I think he may be a great foil for Shatner.     

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I hate watching people from the US gag their way through other cultures cuisines but other than that I was laughing pretty much throughout.

I loved Henry's "no I will not say I was wrong" when they went East instead of West at the train station.

I also cannot believe Shatner is 85.  He's quite spry!  And oh the deadpan "Priceline" when Henry asked how you would find a capsule hotel.

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Though a life-long Trekkie, I sometimes find Bill Shatner hard to take. Yet here I found him quite endearing. Sure, he was pedantic and pushy, but I liked his "embrace the adventure" attitude. Despite--or maybe because of--being 15 years older than his traveling companions, he came off as more free, less worried. Shatner and Winkler had a nice rapport, leaving Bradshaw and Foreman as the other natural pairing.  These perspectives came into play when they discussed fear, with the athletes seeing it as a positive and the actors as a negative. Then, as the review linked in the media thread noted, Bill's admission that he feared death stopped them cold, but I think in a good way. Whatever our differences, that's something we all have in common; Bill might just be more forthright about it than most. Terry's bit about guessing which country Bill would die in struck me as kind of obnoxious. And seeing Bill charge up those stairs, well . . . he might not be the first to go!

Edited by tpel
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I liked it. This week I went back and forth from the The View special but will watch it in its entirety from now on.

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I only turned to this because nothing else was on, and am I glad I did. i enjoyed the entire thing. Loved the fast pace, and all five guys are funny. I could have done w/o the "gross food" part. Why not let them enjoy something delicious, not that that stuff wasn't. But you know what I mean. And Bill's Priceline comment made me LOL. And I cracked up that they were booked into the capsules for the entire Tokoyo stay. I'm in for every episode. Loved it.

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11 hours ago, saber5055 said:

I only turned to this because nothing else was on, and am I glad I did. i enjoyed the entire thing. Loved the fast pace, and all five guys are funny. I could have done w/o the "gross food" part. Why not let them enjoy something delicious, not that that stuff wasn't. But you know what I mean.

Heh.

 

I watched it on-demand last night. I wanted to like it but it just didn't keep my interest past the stupid Japanese TV show.

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Didn't have many expectations, but I loved it!  Set it to record after I read a small item in the LA Times and was not disappointed. My sister and I laughed so hard we were crying. Is it deep or does it convey an important message? No. Sometimes you just need some absolutely mindless fun. Will definely continue to record and watch.

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On ‎8‎/‎24‎/‎2016 at 7:26 PM, mojoween said:

I hate watching people from the US gag their way through other cultures cuisines but other than that I was laughing pretty much throughout.

The guys could make a side trip to the American South and feast on pickled pigs feet, scrambled eggs and pig brains, deep fried bull testicles and burgoo (squirrel and possum stew).  :-)

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8 hours ago, SnarkyTart said:

The guys could make a side trip to the American South and feast on pickled pigs feet, scrambled eggs and pig brains, deep fried bull testicles and burgoo (squirrel and possum stew).  :-)

You mean since two of them are FROM the American South?

Edited by Kromm
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1 hour ago, ketchuplover said:

Mr.Dye can go bye-bye imo.

He bored the hell out of on Last Comic Standing, and stank up I Can Do That, but clearly he has naked pictures of some executive at NBC to keep getting so many chances with them. 

Edited by Kromm
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My sister and I cackled throughout the show. We're in for the duration of the show. I think Shatner is now "the hardest working man in show business"; that guy is always involved in some project.

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On 8/24/2016 at 10:26 PM, mojoween said:

And oh the deadpan "Priceline" when Henry asked how you would find a capsule hotel.

This got the next biggest laugh from me - after the guys' deadpan reaction to the naked Japanese man, though when Jeff was naked the next morning was pretty funny too.  It's a fun show though I wish it felt a bit more spontaneous and less scripted.    Loved seeing the capsule hotel.  The crowds in Tokyo!  I would be freaking out, I don't do well in large groups of people.  The Shibuya intersection was giving me heebie jeebies. 

I like Terry Bradshaw but the "eek weird food" stuff went on too long. 

I'm in for the duration.

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I could have sworn I posted something a few days ago about this show.  I'm not as old as these guys, but still...my memory must be fading, lol.

Anyway, I love it.  I'm in.  : )

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 I laughed a few times, it's not great tv, it's the 4 being themselves,

I thought it suffered from being overly scripted, especially the beginning. I'll watch Shatner do anything (including the show where he remodeled his house), but this show felt too set up. What Japanese man walks naked down a hallway with cameras rolling? If they can relax and just let the guys actually be themselves, it will be better. It seems like Shatner is holding back from puncturing Bradshaw's "religious, art thou?" routine. Fonzie is the grown up. George isn't sure why he is there. 

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In Hong Kong they turn out a hand made suit in 24 hours. My boss got one last year. 

I heard an interview with Henry Winkler, which is what got me watching this show in the first place, in which he insists the show is not scripted. I think it's the editing that makes it seem scripted. When all you show is the guys' wittiest remarks, it's bound to seem that way.

Also, they cut some of the best bits out. That lady with the cobras apparently handed Henry Winkler one, which looked him right in the eye, at which point he handed it back with a quickness. I would have like to have seen that..maybe there was a lot of bad language.

I am really enjoying this show. I've been to Tokyo and Kyoto and my brother lived in Japan for 15 years. Eastern culture can be extremely foreign to Americans. For people who apparently spent their lives in a cave, like Terry Bradshaw, it can seem like another planet. Large parts of it, I believe, should be respected and admired. But some parts of it are just plain absurd, and I believe that it is the intention! The Japanese cultivate the absurd and outlandish, like their game shows, and they invite you to laugh at it, as they do themselves. 

Anyway, I think the whole thing is a lot of fun. And if Terry Bradshaw can get his mind pried open, just a little bit, then it will be worthwhile. And Shatner is amazing for 85!

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Sounds like I made a mistake passing this up.  The programming description made it seem like another show where the whole point was "watching Celebrities!"  But I'm always up for seeing interesting unfamiliar places and if celebs can show me those, and offer some bonus funny on top, great.

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Fonzie was only 5'6"?! Oh my. And I missed part of the graphic that said how much George made from the grill. Was it $8 million per week? Again, oh my.

I'm glad they got to be in some luxury and comfort this time. Well, except for Terry whaling around in the infinity pool. Shatner is an odd duck for sure. He worked so hard for the George Foreman Grill joke, and did seem a bit butthurt after, but he's able to roll with most of the punches and absorb the new experiences. He may completely snap on Bradshaw by the end of this though.

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It was nice to see the pictures of George's children.

I cracked up at the guys when that lady came out with the snakes, because I would have gotten out of there too.  I hate snakes.

I thought the chicken vaginas last week were gross, then they come out this week with baby mice in a wine bottle. 

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5 hours ago, Jodithgrace said:

That lady with the cobras apparently handed Henry Winkler one, which looked him right in the eye, at which point he handed it back with a quickness. I would have like to have seen that..maybe there was a lot of bad language.

I swear I saw that exact scene in one of the promos a few days ago.

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I thought the chicken vaginas last week were gross, then they come out this week with baby mice in a wine bottle. 

The chicken vaginas just looked like an odd shaped piece of meat on a skewer; the baby mice, once they pulled one out of the bottle I had to look away.

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Fonzie was only 5'6"?! Oh my.

5'6 1/2", IIRC.  I'm sure it's important to Henry.

Edited by Quilt Fairy
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I have no doubt that a lot of this show is staged (despite Winkler's denials), but I am enjoying it immensely.  It has been a year of suck for me and this is exactly the kind of mindless entertainment I need right now.  The second episode had me literally laughing out loud.

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Well, the situations are staged, they're not just randomly roaming through the county.  Their reactions though, while unfortunately 'ugly American' in some cases, look pretty authentic.

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The ambiguous "reality" bugged me a bit more this time than in the first episode. As Quilt Fairy notes, clearly the situations are staged. And, I think, the framing devices are mostly fictional. Last week, when Henry made it seem like the whole thing was his idea, and he called a few friends . . . nah. Pretty sure that's not how it happened. This week, they framed it as if Bill was making all the arrangements -- and paying the bill for expenses! Pretty sure that's not how reality or scripted TV works. The stars don't actually lose money. Sometimes this takes me out of the moment. But mostly, it seems like the interactions between the five travelers are real. They are obviously trying to emphasize certain narrative threads with the editing. This week: Bill thinks Terry is immature (and, yeah, he's kind of right, though maybe a bit priggish about it) but they grow to appreciate each other. Eh -- don't care much about the canned narratives. Still, the interactions themselves can be fun.

So now we know that Bill Shatner: (1) can climb stairs better than guys 15 years younger than him, (2) can throw ninja throwing stars with startling accuracy, (3) can meditate even when surrounded by friends who are cutting up, and (4) isn't nearly as freaked out by snakes as his peers were. Yup, he's Captain Kirk!

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I have found this series so far to be pretty funny. If I -- a born-and-bred Southerner -- visited Japan, I'd be eating vegetables the whole time. On the other hand, I've never eaten scrambled eggs with pig's brains, deep-friend bull's testicles, possum or any other gross sort of food. I love grits, though, and some folks think that's gross. *wink*

I've always enjoyed George Foreman. Bill Shatner seems to be an interesting, if opinionated, person. I adore Henry Winkler. Terry Bradshaw is an acquired taste. Of all the stereotypical "ugly American" behaviours, his are the most egregious.

The first episode's best moment for me was the "what do you fear/what do you think about fear?" segment. The second episode's best moment was the "what was your defining moment?" segment. These guys can, when they feel like it, go deep.

This show is scheduled to record weekly on my DVR.

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I'm enjoying it, but not expecting much.

Loved them ribbing Shatner about having worked with Moses, and as the scene fades out, you can hear faintly, "well, he was pretty tall."

Baby mouse!

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I laughed loudly at the ninja conga line to the tune of Shake, Shake Senora and even louder at how Henry turned "oh, I'll be magnanimous and let Jeff ride the helicopter" into "feel free to ride in that FLYING DEATH MACHINE!!!" And there was George saying "you aren't getting me into one".

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scripted or not, I enjoyed and laughed out loud several times. George Forman sure does fall asleep easily! I love my grill, just got it earlier this year, how did I live without one so long! Still not sure of Jeff's role, gofer, I guess. Liked the conga line, it did make me laugh. Hate snakes. And I'm kind of on Terry Bradshaw's side, I'm a picky eater and you couldn't get me to touch most of that stuff! But he doesn't have to be such an Ugly American about it. I guess if you have a private pool on top of Hong Kong you can do what you like. And I wouldn't mind staying in a suite like that, but it'll never happen, one night cost more than one year of my retirement.

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I think Jeff's role, since he's young, is to look after the guys in case something happens to one of them.  Like maybe they'd need him to run and get help or something.   

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We got a Fonzie "whoa" and "ayyyy".  I'm happy.

I also loved the dancing.  I read that no, the guys didn't really know each other until this trip; but their reactions to each other and the surroundings are genuine. 

1 hour ago, Ohwell said:

I think Jeff's role, since he's young, is to look after the guys in case something happens to one of them.

And carry the bags :) They have camera men too (or maybe just one? I can't tell) - I wonder if Jeff was supposed to be an outsider/audience viewpoint but he ended up just goofing around with them so much, and they're all scene stealers in their own way, that he's just part of the group. 

There are only two episodes left.

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I missed the first episode but loved the second one.  I was laughing so hard that I had tears running down my face.  I dvr it so Mriluv could watch it.  I don't recall him laughing so hard at a show in a very long time.

Wish Terry would dial back the hick side though.

William Shatner does amaze me at his age.  Hoping I will be that energic when I get to be 85.

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