All your questions about the new Netflix from Jack Whitehall are Traveling with my Father, answered.
Britain welcomes another “comedian and parents go on a boat” series in the tentation of mining comedy from cross-generational rivalry. All the expenses charged for the journey are too mild to leave.
But instead of taking his mother on a road trip through America-as, Ramesh Ranganathan and Russell Howard did last year. So, as you know, we did-the comedian Jack Whitehall took his Father Michael on a six-episode special Netflix tour of Southeast Asia.
Who is Michael Whitehall?
Jack’s 77-year-old Father is well-matched with the shtick of his son and the entertainment industry in general.
Apart from being a former talent agent and director, Michael also featured in the Countdown, John Bishop’s Britain, and short-lived Alexander Armstrong’s Big Ask board, which represented the likes of Colin Firth and Judi Dench. Tellingly, since 2010, he has kept a Twitter account.
Jack told the Guardian in 2013 that his dad was the funniest guy he knows. “He uses satire in a high disarmament fashion. I saw how people loved and still envied his company and decided to try this.
He also knows it. “I wouldn’t want you to quote me like this by blowing my own trumpet, but a lot of people say to me, ‘You’re the funniest guy I’ve ever met.’ Yeah, I try to be funny,” said he during the same interview.
Why did Jack Whitehall take a backpacking holiday with his Father?
There are a variety of explanations – it’s a popular format today, as you may have noticed. But unlike their contemporaries, Jack and Michael are already a double act and have worked on Backchat’s talk show before. They also co-authored Him & Me, a winning 2014 Christmas stock filler.
The idea was that Jack never went on a gap year (the poor thing), so he does it now, and he takes with him his posh, crotchety Father.
Jack states in his teaser that Michael is “really poor with immigrants” – so expect plenty of uncomfortable, culturally offensive conversations.
Where did they go? Where did they go?
It is not the most significant tour you’ll possibly see in South-East Asia. The first two episodes are mainly in Bangkok – with a quick stop at The Bridge Over The Kwai River – and the third one takes them to Phuket at a Full Moon Party and Phang Nga, the beach of Goldfinger. Cambodia and Vietnam are squeezed into the final three.
Is it good?
The two Whitehall’s have built a decently entertaining show here without breaking any new ground. Jack Whitehall is slightly sidelined with a lot of humor from Michael’s inability to adapt – after all, he is 77.
However, scenes that sound orchestrated at times remind us of two experienced business pros, taking us back to earth with a thud. However, if you’re a genre lover, you’re not going to be disappointed.