Jeff Goldblum Disney plus review-Gist

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Jeff Goldblum Disney plus review-Gist

Jeff Goldblum Disney plus review-advance

This is an advance review for the first episode of The World According to Jeff Goldblum, which will be available on Disney+ at launch today. The second episode will be up on November 15, and then they’ll be released weekly after that. In honor of the show’s launch, watch Jeff Goldblum answer 10 nerdy questions about the world and his career in the video above, and check out our reviews for Forky Asks a Question, Marvel’s Hero Project, and Lady and the Tramp, plus critics’ spoiler-free reactions to The Mandalorian.

The quirky star of “The Fly” and “Jurassic Park” takes on the role of zeitgeist whisperer, innocently inquiring into our fascinations with sneakers, jeans and tattoos.

The World According to Jeff Goldblum,

Jeff Goldblum Disney plus review

For a game-changing, earthshaking new player in the entertainment market, Disney Plus arrives Tuesday with a pretty motley assortment of original shows. There are a couple of franchise extensions (the Star Wars series “The Mandalorian,” the strenuously named “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series”), a few self-promotional reality series (“The Imagineering Story,” “Marvel’s Hero Project”), a couple of showcases for Pixar animation (“SparkShorts,” “Forky Asks a Question”).

Jeff Goldblum Disney plus review

It’s saying something that the most immediately engaging and recognizably television-like of the new Disney shows, for some of us, will be “The World According to Jeff Goldblum.” (It begins with one episode Tuesday, and adds episodes weekly beginning Friday.) Goldblum may have built an acting career on oddity — his tics and hesitations, his mincing praying-mantis carriage, his distinctive arch-naïveté and sly hipsterism — but his series is reassuringly familiar: Guy of a certain age parlays cultish success into gig as televised interviewer cum zeitgeist whisperer. (See Anthony Bourdain, Jerry Seinfeld, David Chang, Elvis Mitchell.)

Goldblum’s take on the genre, produced with National Geographic, is, not surprisingly, more personal than usual. The diverse topics he explores — sneakers, ice cream, tattoos and jeans, in the episodes available for review — are, we’re told, linked by Goldblum’s own wide-ranging curiosity. And for those who know him only glancingly, from “Jurassic Park” or Apartments.com commercials, he provides occasional Cliffs Notes to his own persona: “Bohemian, artist and poet, that’s what I’m trying to affect”; “Known for my hands, my stillness and my unbridled joy, and my ability to have a childlike sense of wonder.”

That performed self-consciousness is as charming here as ever, though it may be a good thing that it’s being served up in small doses a week apart. Goldblum is nearly impossible not to like, whether he’s watching a high-tech gizmo in operation and exclaiming “It’s doing something, it’s doing something!” or making interview subjects deeply uncomfortable with his soulful hugs or invitations to engage in public prancing.

Goldblum’s genius is for rendering a child’s overwhelming need for attention in a pure, nonirritating form, and there’s a theme running through “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” that relates to that. Looking at tattoos, sneakers and bluejeans and asking why each is so confoundingly popular, he arrives at variations of the same answer: They allow for both conformity and individuality; they’re uniforms that are also an inexhaustible means of self-expression.

The show’s means of expression, however, are quite finite. The formula is pretty ironclad: a statistic (half the world’s population wears denim; 45 million Americans have tattoos); a question (“How did that happen?” “Why do people get tattoos?”); mob-scene segments (sneaker and tattoo conventions) and magic-tech segments (at the Adidas and Levi-Strauss labs); sprightly animated summaries of rubber production and the history of denim. In keeping with both Jeff-as-artist and Jeff-as-center-of-attention, he helps design his own sneaker, ice cream flavor and pair of jeans.

It feels like a fairly extreme case of a star parachuting into the scenes his producers have set up, dispensing charisma and charming non sequiturs (twice in four episodes he declares he’s having the best time of his life) and not forgetting to find a backdrop for the 15-second philosophical wrap-up. When you get past the Goldblumishness of it, there’s probably nothing you need to go out of your way for.

Watching the four episodes together — and seeing Goldblum in conversation with sneaker promoters, a purveyor of highbrow ice cream, a mystical big-wave surfer or a promoter of eco-friendly technologies (and eliminator of jobs) at Levi-Strauss — you might decide that “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” is really a show about hucksters, and that the host is someone who appreciates, and knows, a good hustle.

Jeff Goldblum, in recent years, has become the latest in a long line of veteran movie stars who’ve graduated into semi-self-parody status. It’s a stratum reserved for elite, quirky icons who we enjoy so much that we allow them the opportunity to permanently slip into what used to be everyone’s hacky impersonation of them (see also: Bill Murray). Basically, the Jeff Goldblum of the past five years is Goldblum at his Goldblum-iest. Peak Goldblum, if you will.This isn’t a criticism, mind you, just ground-level information. Goldblum’s a hot commodity right now not only because our collective love of Jurassic Park never waned, or that he’s effortlessly quotable/meme-able, but also because he was given free rein by Thor: Ragnarok writer-director Taika Waititi to play Marvel villain The Grandmaster as… you guessed it, Jeff Goldblum. It’s natural for Disney to want to try and bottle this charm and dose it out as part of their Disney+ launch.The World According to Jeff Goldblum – Official TrailershareShareAutoplay setting: On1:59So what is the new Disney+ series, The World According to Jeff Goldblum? Well, it doesn’t cover enough geography or examine enough local culture to be a travelogue. It also doesn’t go into enough depth about any particular topic to be considered a true exploratory docu-series. It’s basically an opportunity to take advantage of Goldblum’s trademark “befuddled joy” as he learns the basics about a variety of topics. Some brilliant person, somewhere, asked, “Hey, what if we just kept introducing the unusually jovial Jeff Goldblum to cool things that make people happy? Bam. We got ourselves a streaming show.”

What do the episodic topics have in common other than Goldblum’s eager engagement? Well, looking at the first four episodes, they seem to be things which have existed in Goldblum’s lifetime that, over the course of decades, have become huge: sneakers, ice cream, tattoos, denim, gaming, etc. – things that started as a niche treat that now have giant conventions, pulling in fans from all over the country.The World According to Jeff Goldblum Gallery

This review, specifically, is for the first episode, called “Sneakers” (in which Goldblum explores the world of pricey athletic shoe creators and collectors), but I’ve also watched the three chapters that follow and – for the most part – this review could stand for them as well. There’s a definite sameness to the series, as no one episode truly leaps out as being an apex achiever (so far). But the show is also harmlessly fun, so there’s something to be said about keeping that same level of genial and innocently interested energy running throughout.

During “Sneakers,” Goldblum wheels and deals with top-shelf sneaker salesmen (entrepre-SHOE-er?) Jaysse Lopez, participates in Adidas’ scientific testing for next-gen footwear design, chats with a professional YouTube “unboxer” Jacques Slade, and has his own custom sneakers crafted by “Shoe Surgeon” Dominic Ciambrone. At all times, Goldblum is present, inquisitive, and appreciative. His default setting is “fascinated” and it makes him a perfect fit for these brief dips into hyper-specific fandoms.

Do we ever leave an episode knowing more than we did previously? Not really. Sure, there are a few fun factoids that slip through, but mostly we’re left with the fuzzy feeling that Jeff Goldblum himself had a grand old time. He definitely learned something and it’s through his education that we’re able to relish the experience. He offers up very basic platitudes and his questions never reach far beyond “Why [this thing]?” (spoiler: the answer is always “because it makes people feel good”) but the cocktail that is 1 Part Jeff Goldblum and 2 Parts Fun Activity and/or Item is admittedly a very potent brew.Everything Coming to Disney’s Streaming Service (So Far)

Verdict-Jeff Goldblum Disney plus review

The World According to Jeff Goldblum doesn’t break new ground, and it excludes a type of impermanent flightiness, but it’s also an awesome ouroboros constructed of people who enjoy Jeff Goldblum now watching Jeff Goldblum enjoying things they also might enjoy.


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