REVIEW: Rogue Trip
With a funeral I attended last weekend, it was completely lost on me that Rogue Trip began streaming last Friday. So, I managed to watch it last night and found it to be a wonderful travelogue as shared by a father and son.
The show, the latest National Geographic series on Disney+, follows former ABC World Correspondent Bob Woodruff and his son Mack visiting under appreciated areas of the world. In 2006, Bob was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq which left him extremely injured and took him years of extensive therapy to get him through it all. He also credits his children as being his strongest cheerleaders and, because of that, he wanted to teach them that, despite his injuries, the world is not as scary a place.
You can see Mack's hesitance at first going to these places as he knew first hand what his father went through. Bob is always headed to the story while Mack is content taking in the sights and the local culture. A good example of this is in the Lebanon episode. There was news about two Israeli drones hitting a building in Beirut. Bob's immediate instinct was to go visit the site and see if there is a story there. Mack ended up not going, looking for more personal stories to check out.
The show is made up of six episodes, each one in a different country. The countries they visit include Colombia, Papua New Guinea, Ethiopia, Pakistan, Lebanon and Ukraine. Each area they visit you can tell were hit by some difficult situation whether it be the drug trade or war or nuclear fall out. Yet, the spirit of these countries stay strong with its people loving their country despite adversity.
In Colombia, Mack asks a young woman if she ever wondered what her life would be like outside of Colombia, but she simply says that she couldn't. And, why should she as she loves her country too much. We often fail to appreciate the resolve of some people.
As much as the show is a travelogue, Rogue Trip is a show about the relationship between father and son. Despite their arguments and bickering on the trip as a result of having to share a car for 10 hours and a room, as Mack tells his sister at the end, the journey was "pretty cool." You can tell how much admiration Mack has for his father and how appreciative Bob is of his son helping restore him to health. At one point, Mack tells his father that his ten year old self is jealous of the time they got to spend together now. As somebody who's lost his father, that's a pretty special thing.
It's not really giving anything away to say that younger sister and daughter Cathryn joins them on the Ukraine leg of their trip. I thought it added a different dynamic to the show that I'd love to see them explore in subsequent seasons. And I hope there will be more seasons. At the end of the show, Mack asks his dad where they should go next. Bob replies home. It's bittersweet, but understandable given the journey they've taken. I'm just glad to have been taken on it.