Review: Travels With My Father, Series 2, Episode 1, Netflix

After a first series in which Jack Whitehall and his perma-grumpy dad tried to live out Jack’s gap year fantasies in the Far East the second series find the Whitehalls closer to home and adventuring around Europe. Not that this is going to keep the budget down because Michael will, of course, insist on travelling in expensive style wherever he goes.

First up the duo land in Bavaria and it’s not long before the Nazis are being namechecked with a visit to Hitler’s holiday retreat Berchtesgaden and Jack trying to attract the attention of a tour guide with a rather accidentally inappropriate wave of his hand that looks a little bit like a Germanic salute.

I say accidentally inappropriate but I’m not sure how much of what happens here is accidental. In Luke McQueen’s recent BBC Three reality TV travel spoof in Amsterdam with his 'dad' Mark Wilcox, he created a fuss about a hotel room because, as he pointed out, it would make better TV. Here Jack and Michael find themselves sharing a sleeper compartment with two strangers, prompting a hilarious hissy fit from Whitehall senior. I’m sure the issue could have been resolved off camera but instead the sulk in captured for all of its comic diva potential.

But if you can accept that this is what I think you might call ‘constructed reality’ it is still very funny. The father/son relationship is oddly tender at times even though they don’t see eye to eye on very much. You also get to see Jack Whitehall’s frozen bum if that’s the sort of thing you want from travel programmes. Sadly Netflix hasn’t provided us with a press shot of that so you’ll have to make do with this snap of the twosome as clowns in the Ukraine in a later episode. 

Watch the full series on Netflix now.


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