Fans of An Idiot Abroad may be missing Karl Pilkington since the travel series wrapped up, but Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant’s pal hasn’t stopped traveling. Pilkington has been starring in The Moaning of Life, a Sky series that separates him completely from the trio in which he’s usually best associated, and has him once again, on the move as he embarks on a new, solo life adventure.
The Moaning of Life aired this past fall in the UK, and today Science Channel announced that they’ll be airing it stateside starting in January. Science Channel was also the network that delivered An Idiot Abroad to U.S. viewers after the series aired overseas. In the case of The Moaning of Life, Pilkington won’t be guided by the recommendations of Stephen Merchant and Ricky Gervais. This time around, he's flying solo, which will have him reassessing his life and looking at things a little bit differently. As you’ll see in the episode descriptions below, Karl will be exploring topics like how other people achieve happiness, why people get married and have kids, and how different cultures deal with the subject of death.
Here’s a look at Sky’s trailer for the series:
It looks like The Moaning of Life’s theme if focused on Karl’s examination of his own life by exploring other cultures, but looking at the Sky trailer for the series, added to what I’ve seen of An Idiot Abroad, it seems like familiar territory — if trying new things could be classified as such — for Pilkington, who’s at his best when he’s confused or frustrated by how other people do things. With that in mind, The Moaning of Life sounds like a must-watch for anyone who appreciates Karl’s quiet, dry brand of humor. The series premieres Saturday, January 18 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT with back-to-back episodes on Science Channel.
“Happiness” Premieres Saturday, January 18 at 10 PM
Karl hasn’t given much thought to happiness and isn’t sure it’s something you should pursue. However, Karl wants to see how other people achieve happiness, and is travelling to Mexico to meet a tribe that gets happiness from running ultra-marathons and a group in Guadalajara who get pleasure from pain. In Los Angeles Karl finds his first dose of happiness comes when he meets a group of “hip hop clowns” and dances through the streets of Compton. From there Karl experiences a day of beauty with a plastic surgery addict, as well as a day of anger before having a go at giving up all possessions to see if the simple life is the answer to happiness.
“Kids” Premieres Saturday, January 18 at 11 PM
At the age of 40 Karl doesn’t have kids and has never felt the need to start a family. But all his friends are having them and think he should too. Karl sets off on a worldwide journey in an attempt to understand why people have kids. It begins in Japan where Karl attends a traditional fertility festival centered around a parade of giant phalluses before he finds out whether he’s even capable of having kids by getting his sperm tested. Karl continues his journey in Bali where he helps out at a natural birthing center, babysitting a new born child and lending a hand to the midwives as they deliver a baby. In the Indonesian Island of Sulawesi, Karl joins of group of sea gypsy kids on a fishing trip and discovers a more relaxed approach to parenting. Karl’s journey ends in Los Angeles where he puts his learnings into practice and comes up with an unusual parenting test for a young couple thinking of starting a family.
“Marriage” Premieres Saturday, January 25 at 10 PM
Karl’s been with Suzanne 20 years but has never seen the need to get married. But now he’s travelling around the world to see how other cultures do it and to see if he’s in the wrong. Karl starts his journey in Delhi, India where he gets a taste of an arranged marriage by going on a date with a prospective wife and her parents. Then he goes on patrol with one of India’s growing band of “wedding detectives” hired to spy on potential husbands and wives. In Bangalore Karl attends a big Indian wedding and is enlisted to help a couple of elite wedding planners get the groom ready for the ceremony, deal with catering and look after thousands of guests at the reception. Karl’s journey continues in Los Angeles where he explores using science to meet an ideal partner before driving to Las Vegas where he searches out an alternative to the huge wedding he experienced in India. His trip concludes with a unique wedding ceremony that he’s invented using the information he’s learned along the way.
“Vocation” Premieres Saturday, February 1 at 10 PM
Karl has gone from job to job without any grand plan. He certainly never felt he had a vocation. Karl starts by meeting an 85 year old inventor in Japan who attempts to teach Karl how to be a genius. Failing that Karl tries his hand as a traditional Japanese odd-job man. To get a taste of the high lifeKarl travels to South Africa to meet a flamboyant self-made millionaire who enjoys his money by driving sports cars, flying helicopters and eating sushi off naked women. In Los Angeles, the land of opportunity, Karl sees whether you really can do anything you want by trying his hand as Catwalk model in a Hollywood Fashion Show.
“Death” Premieres Saturday, February 8 at 10 PM
Karl has never been to a funeral or thought much about death in his life. But now he’s embarking on a journey around the world to see how other cultures deal with death to help him prepare for his own funeral. Karl’s trip begins in Ghana where he seeks out alternatives to the depressing funerals on offer back home. He goes shopping for a Ghanaian “crazy coffin” (a customized coffin designed in the shape of anything from a hammer to a bottle of beer) before attending his first ever funeral, helping the undertaker display the embalmed body for relatives, before joining a carnival atmosphere of the funeral parade the next day. Karl continues his journey in Taiwan where he’s taught how to cry and deal with grief by a professional mourner before heading to the Philippines where he discovers a community of people that live and work with the dead, and an unusual alternative to burial on the side of a cliff. The journey concludes back in Britain where he organizes an unusual