TV Review: Disney+ ‘The World According to Jeff Goldblum’ is an Inquisitive Look at the Everyday

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In Disney+’s new docu-series, Jeff Goldblum takes us behind the story of some of the most ubiquitous and commonplace “modern marvels” from denim to ice cream. With his child-like yet scientific curiosity and quirky personality, Goldblum makes the everyday mundane interesting and engaging in this 12-part series co-produced by National Geographic.

Filled with great production value and pop art-like visuals mixed with history, science and psychology, “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” takes us on a journey to uncover the often mind-blowing backstories of tattoos, sneakers, denim and ice cream among other modern-day staples. In the roughly 30-minute segments, the show does a wonderful job of making history and science interesting and fun. Goldblum takes viewers into the big money world of sneaker subculture with the same ease as trekking through the woods to find ingredients for a custom specialty ice cream flavor.

The series starts with Goldblum examining sneaker culture from both the customer’s viewpoint and the creator’s side. He goes to SneakerCon to understand the world of collectors and is blown away by the economics of this subculture while trying to understand the psychology behind the sneaker obsession. Viewers also get a sneak peek into Adidas show labs to see the technology that goes into making the perfect custom sneakers. In Episode two, Goldblum takes us into the wonderful and nostalgia-filled world of ice cream while delving into the back story of Ben & Jerry’s. He even participates in an ice cream social aboard a US Navy aircraft carrier, a tradition since WWII.

In the next episode, Goldblum’s curiosity takes us into the world of tattoos while spotlighting passionate artists and eccentric personalities, exploring the storied history of tattoos in our culture. He fully immerses himself in this community by taking up the needle himself. The fourth episode examines the world of denim, showing how the clothing item has transformed into a cultural force, from an expression of one’s personality to a form of protest. Goldblum shows us a world most never knew.

Goldblum’s witty banter and genuine thirst for knowledge allow him to talk to everyone from sports scientists to tattoo artists and vintage denim collectors. It is Goldblum himself that makes the series worth watching with his unorthodox approach to learning and “interviewing” his experts, even though sometimes his idiosyncrasies becomes a little annoying. But if you break the episodes up in weekly doses, it’s much more tolerable. Over the course of the episodes, Goldblum and his intriguing guests discover “the how,” “the now” and “the why” while showing us the hidden worlds behind the everyday. So come along and see a new perspective while experiencing “The World According to Jeff Goldblum.”

“The World According to Jeff Goldblum” is now streaming on Disney+ with new episodes available every Friday. 

GRADE: (★)

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