'Travel Man': Why You Should Be Watching This Delightful British Series

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Opinion
Channel 4

Ever wonder what it's like to journey to Paris for the weekend, or even Marrakesh? Well, you can find out by tuning into the delightful British travel series, Travel Man, which airs on the UK's Channel 4, and is now streaming on Hulu.

Currently there are 7 seasons available with 34 episodes ripe for your bingeing pleasure. Travel Man is hosted by Richard Ayoade, the former It Crowd star who is widely popular over in Britain, as he invites famous pals to accompany him in each 23-minute episode — with the exception of two double-length holiday installments.

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This delectable docuseries is one tasty treat after the other.

Every episode features a new city, new activities and much more, and Ayoade's travel companions have ranged from Chris O'Dowd, Paul Rudd and Jon Hamm to Rebel Wilson and Lena Dunham. Most of his guests are directly from his neck of the woods, so their star power may be lost on some viewers less familiar with the Brits.

Premiering in 2015, the series is an offshoot format of another program Ayoade hosted — Gadget Man. The comedian, actor, director, writer and TV host also hosts Britain's popular game show The Crystal Maze, and that's where I initially noted Ayoade's quick humor.

(Credit: Channel 4)

After researching the game show ahead of its Nickelodeon release this year with American host Adam Conover, a coworker suggested I check out Travel Man for more hilarious banter. And there certainly is plenty of it for viewers to enjoy as the subjects eat up the sights and sounds of cities such as Brussels, Ibiza, Hong Kong, Miami, Moscow, Paris, Florence, Valencia and Dubai to name a few.

Along with sharing travel costs, from flight and hotel to transport in the city, this series is user-friendly and makes you really consider the possibilities of exploring travel options, especially when they're calculated for a comfortable two-day time period. As well as visiting and admiring the most popular sights and locations in featured cities, Ayoade and his guests often partake in various excursions, meals, and tours that aren't always conventional.

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One particularly hilarious adventure included Ayoade and comedian Sara Pascoe's time in Valencia, Spain where they visited the City of Arts and Sciences' cultural and architectural complex (this also happens to be a filming location for the upcoming third season of Westworld). While there, they partook in a brief time encased in giant plastic bubbles as they floated on the water feature.

The activity — which is called zorbing — will have you in hysterics as they try to right themselves in the unstable capsule. "Have you zorbed before?" Richard asks Sara.

(Credit: Channel 4)

"I never have, have you? Are you into it?" Sara asks in return.

As Ayoade answers, he says, "For a claustrophobic, it's a dream" — just a small taste of his sarcastic sense of humor. While that's just one excursion taken, others that can be seen in accompanying episodes are museum tours, ice skating, sledding, whale watching, gladiator class, cooking classes and more.

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Plus, 'The Big Bang Theory' and others make the list.

Whether you're aware of Ayoade's pop culture presence or not, you're likely to be charmed by his polite sarcasm and his myriad of adventuring companions. Even if you aren't looking to jetset anytime soon, Travel Man immerses you just enough to feel like you've had a getaway of your own, and isn't that what TV's all about?

While there are only 7 seasons available on Hulu, there are eight additional episodes that haven't been added to the streamer as of yet. For now, enjoy the installments currently available, and see if you can find some travel inspiration of your own.

Travel Man, Seasons 1-7, Streaming now, Hulu