Down to Earth leaves Rebecca up in the air, totally underwhelmed and none the wiser for watching this new offering from Netflix
Firstly, I would like to dedicate this column to all of the IQ points I lost while watching Netflix’s Down to Earth.
It’s a new show that nobody asked for and was uploaded to the streaming channel on July 10, hosted by that all-important environmental expert… Zac Efron?
If you haven’t watched it yet but intend to, I do hope you have a chance to suitably inebriate yourself or find a way to “accidentally” disconnect your wifi. Or, better yet, don’t watch it at all.
Zac Efron, that bloke off High School Musical (HSM), has taken it upon himself and a very subdued man called Darin to find, in their words, “new solutions to old problems” around the world.
Down-to-earth Darin is apparently a “guru of healthy living and superfoods”, having written a book about it, and speaks as though he could fall asleep at any moment. There are eight episodes in the series, which is maybe a bit too generous of Netflix to offer us, but I skipped to “London”, episode seven.
It was largely because it was the only place I had been to on the list and I like to watch new shows with a bit of bias if possible.
Kicking off their London episode, Zac says “we’re in Europe…” while showing pictures of London things – a typically American but also very controversial thing to say given Brexit.
And that’s only the beginning of Zac’s insightful commentary on life and environmentalism (please read that sentence again with a hint of sarcasm).
Much of the way he talks in the programme’s narration is as though he is trying to appeal to his High School Musical fans, but without realising that these people (of which I was one before watching Down to Earth) are now in their late 20s-early 30s.
Before him and down-to-earth Darin travel to London, they visit a beekeeper on a rooftop in New York. This becomes the setting for one of my favourite quotes of the whole episode: “everything is better in Europe”.
Then quickly cut to Zac skateboarding through the airport (again – stuck appealing to the HSM audience?). Once in London they meet the director of cities at London’s School of Economics (LSE) who claims that the best way we can solve climate change is by voting.
This is then reiterated by Zac telling us we should vote in our elections. He is from Trumpland.
Lots more naive and un-Googled comments emerge from Zac’s mouth while down-to-earth Darin gets excited by a rather large bush on the wall of LSE which he then proceeds to hug.
The two then round off the day in Stratford to have a go on the world’s tallest and longest tube slide, the Arcelormittal Orbit.
I went on that same slide before my birthday in November 2018. It was almost £20 for 30 seconds on a wee chute. Not worth the time or money. Bit like this show, come to think of it.