19 Jul Review | “Down To Earth” Sustainable Travel Series, Superb or Just Silly?
On this blog, you know I’m all about Well-being and Wellness Travel. Combine that with my love of being in front of the camera and producing video content, and that’s a match made in heaven.
So, when I saw there was a new series called “Down to Earth” coming out on Sustainable Travel on the OTT platform, Netflix, of course I was excited for something fresh to watch along the lines of what I would love to host and create in the near future.
Did the show live up to the hype? Read on.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
A travel show featuring actor Zac Efron journeying around the world with wellness expert Darin Olien in search of healthy, sustainable ways to live. New to Netflix, this TV Mini-series and documentary
Each episode features a new destination. In their eight episodes, they take you to Iceland, France, Costa Rica, Sardinia, Lima, Puerto Rico, London and Iquitos.
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WHERE TO WATCH IT
Launched July 10, 2020 on Netflix, this series came with much anticipation to fill the void of travel during our times of quarantine and stay home efforts due to to COVID.
THE VERDICT: SUPERB OR SILLY?
I wanted to like it. I really did. Since Anthony Bourdain or Samantha Brown, there hasn’t been a true, deep and well-done travel show since I can personally remember. A show that offers levels of entertainment, education and quality production.
Unfortunately, “Down to Earth” will not be filling that void. With two co-hosts that appear to act more like frat brothers, or “Beavis and Butthead” as one IMDb reviewer referenced, lacked chemistry. Even worse, the stupid banter banter between the two, and lack-luster “Wow” reactions to their experiences take away from what could have been a hit show.
To note, the cinematography was incredibly shot by Jeff Santos and deserving better credit than to be in the mix of the remainder of the reviews.
A personal plug, I do see a show like such as a step in the right direction towards better content that is focusing on well-being, sustainability and travel related. My hopes are, there’s a producer or sales department head reading this and watches the Wellness Passport reel above for the opportunity to produce and launch an authentic wellness travel show that can fill the void of Bourdain and Brown to give the public some faith in safety and motivation to travel well once again.
IS IT SUSTAINABLE? HEALTHY?
Sustainable? Yes, they feature options for renewable resources, water preservation, eco travel destinations, trending or local healthy experiences or food finds. To some degree. Staying in high-end hotels and resorts (on a show that is clearly sponsored by Hilton), eating carnivorous foods, and Mitsubishi vehicles for transportation is far from sustainable. And, I’m not sure where ayahuasca fits in with sustainability.
Healthy? Questionable, for the mentions above. Watching the first episode featured in Iceland, I didn’t find much about health in the entire 46 minutes of the show, aside from the end where there’s a mention of the healing benefits of the blue lagoon waters for psoriasis.
Overall, it’s a good attempt at a well-being focused travel show. I do hope there’s more productions being created in the near future. Perhaps, however, let the high school actors stay on screen and leave the production up to NatGeo.