Thursday, June 17, 2010

Screaming Good

Category: TV Show Review

The Travel Channel apparently has been trying to catch lightning in a bottle yet again the way they did with No Reservations, Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, and Man V. Food. Their recent attempt was a major disappointment (as I reviewed here), and a number of their series launches have lasted shorter periods of time than the commercial hyping the show did.

Now the Travel Channel has started a new program, Bert the Conqueror. The show premiered on Wednesday (6/16) after the season opener of Man V. Food (a good lead-in, considering they are both from the same production company). This time, the Travel Channel has a good show that will hopefully catch on and stay around for a long time.

The "Bert" of Bert the Conqueror is comedian Bert Kreischer. He is taking his travel experiences ("half my life I've been on the road" he said in the opening episode) and putting them in front of a camera. Most of these tales revolve around the slightly offbeat: mainly, rides and daredevil attractions located at various cities and theme parks throughout the country.

While that's nothing new to the Travel Channel (see their Extreme series), Kreischer puts a familiar face to the guide showing the audience around these rides. He also puts a new point of view on the rides: his own. During most of the rides he experienced on the opening night shows Kreischer wore miniature cameras mounted to his helmet and clothing so the audience could see the ride from his perspective (and his usually terrified reaction to the ride). His enjoyment of the "human slingshot" in Utah was particularly enjoyable.

The two episodes of Bert the Conqueror that aired on Wednesday night were quite fun (if a little shaky because of the camera moving at 70 mph along with Kreischer on the rides). Here's hoping that Bert the Conqueror gets to stay on the Travel Channel and "conquer" a large audience.

Bert Kreischer's web site

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