The show which follows Jack Whitehall’s relationship with his conservative father, Michael Whitehall, as they travel around the world is back on Netflix. This time on Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father, Michael Whitehall decides to bestow his wisdom unto his son, whilst taking in some high culture on a tour around Europe.
However, similar to the previous series, this is not Jack’s idea of fun. Jack derails his father’s intended ‘cultural’ trip, by convincing him to partake in unlikely hilarious experiences, such as motorcycle skijoring in the Bavarian Alps and dressing up for a clown parade in Ukraine.
Nevertheless, this season still feels a bit flat. The father and son duo travel to forgettable locations, visiting fairly unexciting tourist attractions. There are a few moments that will certainly make you laugh out loud, but they are considerably infrequent, which is disappointing considering the consistent hilarity of the previous season.
The majority of the jokes appear staged and are not nearly as funny. For example, when Michael disappears from dinner with the wine expert from Moldova or when Jack tries to negotiate the price of a five-star hotel room down. Sadly, both of these jokes felt a bit cheap. Moreover, bringing back the doll which was made for them in Thailand in the first season also felt tired. A joke is not always funny the second time around.
Having said that, a highlight of this season transpires in the exploration and celebration of the relationship between Jack and his father, much more than seen in the last series. The audience see more than just their bickering and conflicting personalities. Michael gives Jack advice about his recent break-up from his partner of six years, consequently the audience feels like Michael has achieved at least part of his goal for the trip – passing on wisdom to his son.
Furthermore, when they are in a graveyard that celebrates death in Romania, Jack and his father have a genuinely serious chat about death. The fact that Jack cares so much about what people think about his father so much that he will have a legacy after he dies is touching and imbues the viewer with emotion. It is made clear that they have a very strong bond as father and son.
Overall, whilst this season does not quite live up to the same standard of its first season there are still moments that will have you giggling and others that will touch your heart.
Image: Waltelan Papetti via Wikimedia Commons