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Hollywood Insider Down to Earth with Zac Efron, Netflix, Review

Photo: Down to Earth with Zac Efron/Netflix

You might know and love him forever as Troy Bolton, or you may have been completely creeped out by him as Ted Bundy, but Zac Efron’s newest Netflix project is very different for him, and we love it. Netflix’s Down to Earth with Zac Efron follows Mr. Efron in his journey traveling the globe, making connections with some amazing people, and eating some amazing food. Efron pairs up with long time friend and health guru Darin Olien to travel the world while learning more about the people and places that are working towards an innovative and sustainable future for our earth. While he may not be singing show tunes and killing it in the basketball playoffs (I’m just obsessed with High School Musical) this new show is a really educational and fun watch!

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Down to Earth with Zac Efron – Across The Globe

Most of us are pretty familiar with Zac Efron, the teen heartthrob has been around since High School Musical and has been stealing hearts ever since. His co-host and friend Darin Olien is the author of SuperLife, a book all about healthy living. He also hosts a podcast that discusses sustainable living. The pair of them together are the perfect match. So why travel the globe to learn techniques? Well, in short, the US is pretty behind in a lot of major areas. Efron and Olien set out in the hopes that they can learn first hand from people all over the world, what systems are in place in terms of things like our drinking water, sustainable energy, plant-based foods, and much more.

Each episode tackles a different topic and follows the duo traveling to a specific city where progressive systems or highly influential people are in place. I was slightly skeptical about the show, wondering what direction it was heading in, but it really doesn’t take long to see that Efron and Olien are both extremely passionate about learning about the Earth and healthy living. Aside from being just so educational, every episode has equal parts entertainment and teaching. 

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As they meet with different people, all interesting in their own right, the audience is able to see Efron and Olien’s interests grow. This in turn only fuels the excitement of the audience (who knew learning about the water system in France could have such a profound impact!) and peaks the interest in order to stay tuned for the next episode. So, no you will not see Zac Efron singing HSM or The Greatest Showman style, but it’s not all serious either. It is quite clear that Efron and Olien have a wonderful bond, and seeing them joke around and learn together is actually incredibly heartwarming. 

Getting Grounded

It’s not shocking that Efron is totally likable and great as host (as is his co-host Olien) but the show is more than just an educational mini-series. Let me explain why. Many documentaries or mini-series such as this one lack the empathy factor. I love to learn new things, but even more than that I love the passion behind it. That is something that Down to Earth hits spot on. In theory learning about Icelandic hot springs, or pollution in London may not seem all that interesting to the average person. But they make every single episode interesting. These are extremely prevalent issues going on not just in the places they visit, but everywhere in the world.

Related article: Did you see the hidden messages in ‘Call Me By Your Name’? Find out behind the scenes facts in the full commentary and In-depth analysis of the cinematic masterpiece

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The duo visits Iceland, France, Costa Rica (my personal favorite because so many cute animals are involved), Sardinia, Lima, Puerto Rico, London and finally Iquitos. Each place they go, Efron and Olien learn more and more about environmentally friendly techniques and practices that are quite honestly stunning and revolutionary. They subtly emphasize along the way that we as people tend to be pretty disconnected to our physical world. We are so caught up in the material things that we forget to just stop and smell the roses. 

What makes this such a fun watch is seeing just how utterly excited Efron and Olien are to be wherever they are that episode. They aren’t just showing them in a fancy hotel making one trip to a restaurant. These two are in the mix, learning, trying new things, raising funds, and making deep connections with some extraordinary people. You wouldn’t know it by just watching the trailer, but Down to Earth is the positive and helpful quarantine content you never knew you needed. With most of us being restricted in terms of travel, this show really came at a good time. You can get all the benefits and wonderful experiences of traveling the globe with Zac Efron without having to leave your bed. Seems pretty perfect to me. I mean what is better than watching Zac Efron eat carbs again, and seeing two friends run around the globe growing and expanding their minds.

We’d like more episodes, please!

By Rebecca Breitfeller

Click here to read Hollywood Insider’s CEO Pritan Ambroase’s love letter to Black Lives Matter, in which he tackles more than just police reform, press freedom and more – click here.

An excerpt from the love letter: Hollywood Insider’s CEO/editor-in-chief Pritan Ambroase affirms, “Hollywood Insider fully supports the much-needed Black Lives Matter movement. We are actively, physically and digitally a part of this global movement. We will continue reporting on this major issue of police brutality and legal murders of Black people to hold the system accountable. We will continue reporting on this major issue with kindness and respect to all Black people, as each and every one of them are seen and heard. Just a reminder, that the Black Lives Matter movement is about more than just police brutality and extends into banking, housing, education, medical, infrastructure, etc. We have the space and time for all your stories. We believe in peaceful/non-violent protests and I would like to request the rest of media to focus on 95% of the protests that are peaceful and working effectively with positive changes happening daily. Media has a responsibility to better the world and Hollywood Insider will continue to do so.”

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Author

  • Rebecca is a writer with a passion for all things entertainment. With a heavy emphasis on pop culture, Rebecca touches on how contemporary mediums are shaping the way in which we present ourselves to the world. She often focuses her writing on how deeply affected younger generations are by Hollywood. Determined to deliver the fan perspective, as she is a fan herself, Rebecca hopes to highlight the ways in which our forms of entertainment can unite us which is exactly why she writes for Hollywood Insider. Rebecca writes reviews and feature stories that take a deeper look into the stories that have shaped us all.

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