Episode two of Better Late Than Never starts in Kyoto, Japan and ends in Hong Kong. There is samurai training, zen training, a night of entertainment in a Geisha house and Sumo. At least in the clips there was Sumo. We get a tantalizing glimpse of Winkler and Jeff Dye “diapered” up and wrestling. In reality there is no Sumo segment. Okay, NBC, what happened to the flaming Sumo?
The older celebs are still enjoying their stay in Japan, although William Shatner is less than enamored of the futon beds (side by side) on offer. In Kyoto, at the Geisha “experience” there was fish-head consommé (aka clear soup). Bradshaw was horrified at the prospect of eating the eyes and George Foreman happily ate his without complaint.
Zen was something that only Shatner got. The rest, even George Foreman, were miles from understanding the whole thing. Jeff lost his phone, the zen master chucks it out the window when it rings, and Henry got the lion’s share of the “zen stick.”
William Shatner complains, several times, that he is stuck with a “bunch of buffoons.” Terry Bradshaw and Jeff clearly bring out the child in one another. George is pretty calm throughout, except in Hong Kong, and Henry is out to have fun – nothing to be taken too seriously.
After the futon fiasco, Shatner decides he is taking charge of arrangements. He bluntly invites Jeff off of the Hong Kong helicopter trip. Henry offers up his seat to Dye, who does not hold William’s somewhat rude demeanor against him. Winkler and Foreman take the bus, with all the luggage, to the hotel.
At the former British commonwealth the group stay in five star accommodation. All are ensconced in the Presidential Suite, a real steal at $18,000 a night. Terry is excited by the computerized toilet (Shatner is not impressed.) and so too is his new buddy Jeff.
Bradshaw proves two things in Hong Kong. He loves karaoke, which was sort of established in Japan, and going commando. Either under a kimono os swimming on the roof of a five star hotel, the former quarterback loves going au naturale.
In Hong Kong, Shatner treats all his traveling buddies to new suits. He also takes the group to a Chinese medicine shop where 5,000 year old treatments are dispensed. Baby mouse wine, cow penis and live cobras are on offer. William happily eats his cow penis. When asked what it tastes like, Shatner responds, “cow penis.”
The group also go “yachting” around Hong Kong. George explains how he got involved in George Foreman Grills and the guys go fishing. Jeff catches something and falls in the water. He does not look best pleased. Shatner is not overly impressed with his boat mates, for one thing they keep calling it “William Shatner’s boat.”
“It is not my boat,” Shatner says bluntly.
To make Bradshaw happy, after the medicine meltdown where Terry scrambled from the shop when the cobras were brought out, Shatner used Twitter to set up a street karaoke for Terry.
At night, as George sleeps, Henry Winkler and William Shatner share “life changing moments” and Winker does the Fonz for Bradshaw. It is a defining moment, this cigar smoking (Cuban obviously.) time of calm revelation. For once, no one is mugging for the camera or putting up a front.
Better Late Than Never is a travelogue of sorts. Built on broad comedy, nothing like the delightful Michael Palin travelogues, this is a fun show to watch. Episode two had plenty of pleasing laugh out loud moments.
(Palin is a one man show though and he writes about his travels as well.)
It matters not that the show is obviously scripted, as are all reality shows, what make the series fun are the personalities of those involved. Sure they may be “acting” to a degree, although to be fair Bradshaw and Foreman come across as “straight,” but this is good natured and sometimes silly fun.
Despite the amount of laughs that this episode generated it would have been nice to know what happened to the Sumo. Did someone lose the pixelating application?
Beter Late Than Never airs Tuesdays on NBC.