Trav­eller sees the sights in a dreamy New York



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.

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