This NBC travel adventure show follows four celebrity old timers on a life-changing experience through Tokyo, Kyoto, Seoul, Hong Kong, Phuket and Chiang Mai. The cast consists of the award-winning actor, producer, writer and director Henry Winkler (“Royal Pains”), Emmy and Golden Globe-winning actor, director and writer William Shatner (“The Practice”), celebrated football legend and NFL analyst Terry Bradshaw (“Fox NFL Sunday”), boxing Hall of Famer and gold medal winner turned businessman, George Foreman and the young comedian Jeff Dye (NBC’s “I Can Do That”).
Like most travel shows these days, it follows the usual format structure of so-called unexpected twists, exploring the “off the beaten track” locations and experiencing unusual activities and food. This is similar to the current South African produced travel show on M-Net, called “Wingin’ It”, which is co-presented by Janez Vermeiren and Siv Ngesi.
But what makes “Better Late Than Never” stand out, is having two experienced TV personalities like Terry Bradshaw and William Shatner, seemingly playing pre-determined roles, with Shatner playing the role of the person using this trip as part of his spiritual enlightenment (journeyman) while Terry Bradshaw plays the reluctant explorer, wanting to experience everything the trip has to offer, but at the same time, being very cautious. This has all the ingredients for a fun, high energy, magical and sometimes, emotional, high quality travel adventure television show.
As this show followers 5 individuals traveling together, the director and video editors had loads of funny and interesting footage of their experiences to cut to, which helps a lot with the pace of this 60 minute show.
The 5 personalities offer 5 different story beats, which they cleverly use within the show’s structure. For example, Terry Bradshaw always acts like the big kid and uses any opportunity to show off his singing skills. He also continuously expresses his frustrations, while William Shatner is always talking about the spiritual significance of every place they visit, and the witty banter between these two characters is the stuff of great television.
Jeff Dye is always finding them weird activities to do, unusual accommodation to stay at and moaning about having to stop every 6 minutes for the old guys to pee.
George Foreman has the ability to sleep soundly in any environment, be is noisy, compact or uncomfortable.
William Shatner eagerly shares his knowledge of things they encounter and places they visit, even if he knows absolutely nothing about it.
Henry Winkler is the sanest person amongst them all, and the only character who has had one wife.
I strongly recommend watching “Better Late Than Never” if you are looking to develop new creative travel adventure TV show formats.
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