Only fans need apply
from Caernarfon, North Wales
, 05 May 2010
It was having watched Long Way Round (LWR), a stocking filler, at the start of this year that I decided to rent out the follow up series- Long Way Down (LWD).
I must admit the first series was very enjoyable and not the kind of travel series I would usually watch due to its focus on bikes. It was thanks to this random christmas present, watched in its entirety during a period of unemployment back in january that gave me the focus to book my own adventure across america (with trekamerica for those of you reading this I highly recommend them). So the natural step was to watch the follow up one and pay back if you will to the series that gave me the inspiration and confidence to take the plunge with my own travels.
My god was I in for a suprise with LWD. It is one of the worst dvd series, possibly even the worst dvd I've watched in a while. Everything that made the first series so good has gone, they've become far too cocky and self aware since the last series.
They firstly have no sense of adventure anymore, over concerened about missing their families everything is much shorter, as one reviewer states on here very 'rushed'. Secondly their behaviour is constantly bordering on pretentious & precocious a result of the over confidence from the first bike ride. Thirdly the producers have now to much input in the series, the amount of times we have to hear their sycophantic rants about charley & ewan grow more and more tedious.
The whole thing not only oozes self indulgence but seems to be coated in it, an unescapable hardened shell of the stuff. The general banter between the two of them is the flagship example, always remaining within the realm of in-jokes and mindless chit chat. Never once do we feel like we're part of the action as a viewer but some outsider looking in as the two of them cackle away constantly at the epic safety-netted adventure their having.
The two of them only address the viewer under two circumstances either a) to say a few boring mindless things to camera whilst stroking either their face and/or hair (usually within the context of a whine) b) to laugh wildly about how great a time their having, whilst alongside this giving the counter statement of how deep all this is.
I honestly find it all grates on me after a while, especially Charley Boorman's (ironically named) desire to pass himself off as a 'real' everyday sort of guy when clearly he isn't. He's an over privileged, public school boy who based on his early child acting career has I'm assuming never worked a day in his life and has the surplus cash in which to do this kind of an adventure on a whim. Alongside this the celebrity backing in which it can be televised.
I find myself flicking from the dvd on my laptop to facebook just to get through it. I write this review after only having watched 1 disk of the 2, which is testament to my ever growing dissapointment as I trawl through the series thanks to my initial involvement.
If your a great fan of these two guys and you want to devour anything they produce then go for it but if your not a great fan and maybe you've watched the first series then avoid this, it will both bore and annoy you.
There needs to be a balance of youthful fun and insightful Stephen Fry-esque commentary about the countries in question. This program on the otherhand is like a drawn out version of watching someone else's holiday snaps.
If you enjoy watching a midlife crisis unfold infront of you and the sometimes vulgar sometimes 'diva' like qualities of Charley Boorman then select this DVD.
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