As a part of this week’s massive launch for the Disney+ streaming service, the company rolled out an enormous amount of content through its various owned properties to attract potential subscribers. One such offering was “The World According to Jeff Goldblum” through National Geographic.
On paper, the name alone was enough to attract my attention. Goldblum has established himself as an actor through a variety of iconic performances, and the idea of a documentary series, through the lens of Goldblum’s famously quirky public persona, seemed attractive.
However, the first episode has given me doubts. While Goldblum’s personality makes for entertaining interviews and red-carpet clips, none of that comes through while he’s hosting the show.
During the premiere, Goldblum covers the life cycle of sneakers, talking about the entire process from design to production to purchasing.
The main issue, however, is that the episode tries to cover too much information. There is no specific focus on anything about sneakers. It’s just a basic outline of what sneakers are. The narrative jumps all over the place, trying to cram as much information into as brief of segments as possible.
This would work well for a children’s documentary series, and the show very much feels like one — with its constant music tracks and bright graphics begging for the viewer’s attention constantly.
That begs the question, however, of why children would care about anything to do with Jeff Goldblum or the world according to him, especially considering he has starred in relatively few kids’ movies.
If the series had not been centered entirely around Goldblum’s name and persona, it definitely could have worked as a straightforward children’s documentary series. It’s flashy, it’s hip, and it gives just enough information for a kid to process in the span of an episode.
Most of my disappointment in the show stems from being a Goldblum fan, honestly. I was hoping to see a Jeff Goldblum documentary series. Instead I got a pretty bland and generic series with Jeff Goldblum reading off of scripts that surely could have been read just as well by someone much less expensive.
While my impressions came from the first episode that launched with Disney’s streaming service, I doubt the series will improve any as the season goes on since the only real change between episodes is topic.
“The World According to Jeff Goldblum” fits well with the mission of Disney+, which is to supply enough inoffensive content to anyone solely for consumption in massive amounts. The production value is high, as expected with anything Disney, but this is first and foremost a show designed for streaming.
It was made to be binge-watched, which unfortunately makes it more forgettable than anything that isn’t “Jurassic World” that Goldblum has appeared in in a long time.