Better Late Than Never: A Thai Goodbye – So Soon? (Review)

 Better Late Than Never - Season 1

Better Late Than Never ended things in an apparent rush with the guys visiting Thailand. Last week saw the group in Seoul, South Korea where Jeff played a brilliant practical joke on his aged companions.

This travelogue ended on a rather restrained note as the travelers said goodbye to Asia after a number of activities.  There was a tuk tuk race, visiting with elephants, tattoos,  a water fight, and Terry Bradshaw’s birthday.

Better Late Than Never, which is, amazingly enough,  an American travelogue version of a South Korean production; Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team, has been interesting and very popular. The viewing figures are impressive with an average, not counting this episode, of 7.196 per segment.

(The “Grandpas” show featured a group of 20-something detectives who grow old “overnight” – except for one member who stays young – and they must investigate their new body’s issues and how to change back. BLTN is quite a leap from the original.)

In “A Thai Goodbye” George Foreman “knocks out” Bill Shatner in a Mai Thai boxing ring.  The two icons spar in the ring and it looks like Shatner pushes it that bit too far. (Something that Bill has been accused of for years…)  Foreman turns serious and pastes a right on Shatner that takes him to the matt.

Better Late Than Never - Season 1
The smiles before the “fight.”

The whole thing is played for laughs and afterward the guys put ice on Bill’s face. Sidekick Jeff brings out a larger bag of ice for Shatner’s ego. (Very funny.)

Once again there are clips shown that are never followed up on. The trip to the monkey island for example.

Terry Bradshaw got to celebrate his 67th birthday in Phuket, Thailand.  As part of the celebration a Thai ladyboy came and sang for him.  The transgender performer tricked Bradshaw into a “lip smack.”  The former quarterback went with the flow and enjoyed his party.

(On a sidenote, there was obviously a little smoke and mirrors editing done for this sequence, or at the very least a  David Copperfield feat of teleportation. Jeff manages to be in two places at once, sitting at the table with the birthday boy and then popping out of the giant birthday cake seconds later.)

The group end up in Chang-Mai where they visit the elephants and partake of the culture. Shatner heads to the library and Bradshaw falls in love with Chang-Mai while Henry and George take cooking lessons.

Both Foreman and Shatner try the hottest pepper in Thailand. Later the guys ride elephants and they meet one that paints flowers on canvas.

They finish up in the Karen Hill Tribe village. While they tour this cultural area, Terry sings and it begins to rain.

“A Thai Goodbye” was more about wildlife, suburbia (jungle style) and less about city life, and weird foodstuffs.

Better Late Than Never - Season 1
Thailand travel…

The show ends with a “lana meal” and the guys all recap their feelings about the journey and their experiences. They also send off a prayer, or wish, via a floating lantern.

Although Better Late Than Never  ended far too soon (when the show first started it seemed there would be five episodes and not four) it was a fun look at four older icons traveling outside their comfort zones.

Jeff Dye, with that whole Ben Affleck thing going on, was a good fit with the young at heart actors and athletes  on the show.  (Dye looks so much like Affleck that one wonders if he is a sibling. He would have to be as Ben is not old enough to declare Jeff as a secret love child.)

The big question, after this fond and somewhat sentimental goodbye, is whether or not the show will return for another season.  It is doubtful. After all “Grandpas Over Flowers Investigation Team” was set in South Korea. Going back with the same guys would be redundant.

Still, for “summer filler” this was an entertaining, if not completely factual, travelogue. Well done chaps, even if  you did leave out the Sumo visit…

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