Warning this review contains spoilers.

 

Mesmerizing. Like deep oceans of sparkling sapphire or the brilliant color of spring skies…

…could apply to both the Blue Lagoon geothermal spa in Iceland and Zac Efron’s swoon-worthy eyes.

Down to Earth is a new Netflix docu-series where everyone’s favorite High School Musical star travels to beautiful sites in search of sustainable practices designed to minimize the human footprint and combat climate change. 

By Efron’s side is a man he so eloquently introduces as the “guru of healthy living and superfoods,” Darin Olien. Author of SuperLife: The 5 Simple Fixes That Will Make You Healthy, Fit, and Eternally Awesome, Olien is more than just a travel companion, he’s a wellness expert. The “exotic superfoods hunter” is known for his treks across the globe – unearthing plants and foods that possess both medicinal and nutritional benefits. 

Beneath the Surface

Upon first glance, “Zac Efron” and “travel show” seem anything but synonymous with one another. However, Efron’s curiosity and naiveté bring a light-heartedness to a sub-genre that tends to be serious and sobering. Amid the profusion of humorless A-list vanity projects frowning upon humanity’s carbon footprint, Down to Earth gives viewers a refreshing look at crucial, real-world issues. Yeah, a nature documentary can be impactful and eye-opening while still peppering in a few LOL’s along the way. Shout out to that poor waterfall guide who legit had zero answers but stole the show anyway. 

In all seriousness, Down to Earth is like the hip cousin of some dated nature documentaries. It’s hard to ignore a series that delves into some important subjects while simultaneously appealing to the everyday Millennial or Gen-Zer. 

A Few Missteps

While Down to Earth gives its audience a look into sustainable living, was it enough to spark meaningful conversations? The fast-paced series hops rather quickly from scene to scene, just skimming the surface on a number of topics rather than broaching them on a deeper, more thoughtful level. In Iceland, for example, Zac and Darin visit a chocolate shop where they have the opportunity to make their own chocolate bars (jealous). However, what this scene lacked was an explanation as to how it relates to the show’s overall environmental mission. 

Similarly, while having the ability to bake bread in a hot spring is incredibly neat, how is this applicable to the average American? Know anyone who lives near a hot spring? I don’t. I wish there were more actionable takeaways people could incorporate into their lives right now to help deliver a better tomorrow.  

Final Thoughts

Overall, I blew through this docu-series – it was entertaining and a reminder of how much work we have ahead of us when it comes to taking care of the earth. I honestly hope they continue on their journey or someone picks up where they left off, as this is the type of education the world needs right now.

Oh, and real quick, let’s put an end to this whole “dad bod” debate.

Eneba Many GEOs

Seriously…are we looking at the same man?


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