Traveller sees the sights in a dreamy New York
PICK OF THE DAY
Travel Man 8pm, SBS Viceland
Series four of the off-the-wall half-hour travel show Travel Man finally takes mop-topped and motormouthed host Richard Ayoade to the American mecca of New York. The show is based not only on his fast-paced narration of his adventures but a fundamental reluctance to travel that is refreshing for anyone who has ever had the urge to see the world despite a fundamental reluctance to step out of their comfort zone.
Thus Ayoade has been everywhere from Moscow to Iceland, with stops along the way in Barcelona, Istanbul, Paris, Berlin and elsewhere. Each week he travels with a low-level celebrity, and his partner this week is London-based Canadian comedian and actress Katherine Ryan, who has an interesting backstory. She began doing stand-up while working at a Toronto outpost of American restaurant chain Hooters, and segued into a series of television presenting and performing gigs.
The pair throw their bags in a trendy and retro Chelsea hotel and immediately hop the subway to Rockefeller Centre. A hot dog later, they sprint through the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a private guide. (“Is this for sale?” Ayoade asks of one painting.)
Back in Chelsea, they wander the trendy High Line pedestrian walkway, eat a lot of sugar via a cronut, go shopping, hit the Staten Island Ferry and even rollerblade with professional Central Park identity Roller Joe. After a visit to Grand Central Terminal and Chinatown, they trek across the Brooklyn Bridge and decide New York is “the city of dreams”.
What sells the show is Ayoade’s irreverent yet enthusiastic wit, as well as superimposed price tags and informational factoids useful to the prospective traveller. The pace and short attention span of the show may be frustrating for more conservative viewers but there’s no doubt Ayoade has hit the sweet spot for the younger, more budget-minded traveller.
Next week Ayoade will go to Helsinki with actor Paul Rudd.