Down to Earth with Zac Efron ★★★☆☆

5 mins read

Over the past few days, an undying chatter has been surrounding the release of Zac Efron’s new environmental travel show, Down to Earth with Zac Efron.

In the eight episodes long Netflix series, the unforgettable high‑school musical star Zac Efron, with his ‘superfoods expert’ friend Darin Olien, take us on an educational journey around the world. 

We are introduced to the need of having an eco‑friendly energy sources, waste‑free lands and the nutrition awareness for both body and soul. 

At first, the talks around the show started as a reaction of Efron’s fans to his new, bearded, dad‑bod look.  The social media have exploded with the fans’ confessions that it is indeed Efron’s body, that made them watch his mini‑series (multiple times, for sure). 

In one of the episodes, Efron admits that he felt the need to use his fame and the attention he’s getting for something good. With over 42 million followers on Instagram and an educational mini‑series promoted by him (his name is literally in title), perhaps this is the way to go. 

The documentary scored 8.2 on IMBD, so it must be more than Efron’s looks the critics enjoy.

In comparison, the God of Natural documentaries Sir David Attenborough with his Planet Earth I and II, scored 9.4 and 9.5 on IMBD. 

What’s different about Efron’s documentary is the fast and energic pace of the series, which is mostly aimed at the younger part of his fanbase.

The banter and foolishness between Efron and Olien are relatable and entertaining and make a great background for the important message of this show ‑ changing our attitudes to save our planet!  

Although, Efron has been criticised for being “hopelessly simplistic” throughout the series, one must remember that Efron is a movie star and not a scientist or environmental expert. Perhaps, it is this aspect of Efron that many of his fans can relate too. 

The series does not only show us an insight into places, we mortals could not normally access, we also get a small glimpse into Efron’s and Olien’s personal lives.

Efron speaks up about the unhealthy diets he undertook as a preparation for his movie roles. Olien lets us see his devastation, as he gets to experience first‑hand the consequences of global warming.

The downside of the show is however very hard to ignore.

Efron is always the centre of attention of every scene, causing the important stuff to be overshadowed. There are points when the show resembles a travel vlog, rather than an educational documentary . No wonder that by the end of the eight episodes, viewers remember Efron’s eye colour but not how much energy can a geothermal turbine in Iceland produce (it’s 45 megawatts which can run 45 000 homes, if you where wondering)

It is important that famous influences like Efron are promoting the need to fight climate change by living more sustainably and having a nature‑friendly attitude towards Mother Earth, especially since he comes from a country where global warming is a taboo topic for many. 

Now the only thing left to say is: when is the season 2 coming? 

Feature image: The Independent

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Film, Media and Journalism student at the University of Stirling. Sports editor @ Brig Newspaper. Bylines in Edinburgh Evening Times and the SPA National Magazine.

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