Review: Travels With My Father, Netflix

After Romesh Ranganathan and his mum and Russell Howard and his mum, here comes Jack Whitehall and his dad Michael on a trip to the Far East – the gap year he never had crammed into five weeks. Of course, they’ve got previous, having already formed a successful broadcasting partnership on the talk show Backchat and the formula is repeated here - dad posh, curmudgeonly, son posh, innocent and well-meaning.

It’s a familiar travelogue format but a very watchable one. In the first episode the duo reach Bangkok, but not before stay-at-home 76-year-old Michael has needed some persuading. “A trip over Putney Bridge is quite an excursion,” he explains.

But they do make it, although it isn’t quite the gap yah, sorry, gap year, Jack planned. Dad – perfectly  understandably – won’t stay in a hostel and slum it, so they hole up in a very smart hotel (Jack doesn’t put up much of a fight) and have dinner - pad thai for Jack, Welsh lamb for Michael, who is, shall we say, reticent about throwing himself headlong into the experience. It all looks very lush though - the Thai Tourist Board will probably love this.

There is plenty of fun to be had, however, watching them bond as they check out life and the occasional ladyboy. Jack eats – or at least tinkers with – pork intestine, they have a crack at elephant polo and best of all, Jack tries some non-invasive cosmetic surgery, which involves him having his face vigorously slapped. Let’s face it, who hasn’t wanted to slap Jack Whitehall at some point? Seeing someone else do it is the next best thing.

Review: Travels With My Father, Netflix.

Read a review of episode 2 here.

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