Travel Channel // 2009 // 435 Minutes // Rated
Reviewed by Judge Steve Power // December 8th, 2009
"Doesn't really matter where you go, you gotta go there..." -- Dhani Jones
Travel adventure shows are nothing new. People windsurf, bungie jump, parasail, mountain climb and eat all manner of strange things on an hourly basis. Dhani Tackles The Globe mixes it up, however, with a pro-athlete taking a look at some foreign sports you may or may not have heard of. Insanity ensues.
Famed pro Linebacker Dhani Jones will need more than shoulder pads where he's going. He'll be embarking on a global sports odyssey that will take him from Australia's shores to the mountains of Switzerland. Dhani tackles sports of all shapes and sizes, from Ireland's Hurling to Russian Sambo. Along the way he meets colorful people, tries interesting foods, and takes in the unique sights and sounds of each region.
Dhani Jones has a theory; In order to truly experience another place's culture, you have to play the games they play. The American footballer finds himself trotting the globe, giving us a taste of food, culture, and some of the oldest and most intense sports on the planet.
Dhani Tackles the Globe is, for all intents and purposes, your average run of the mill travel adventure. Your precocious host trots from place to place with a new adventure each episode. The catch here is the sports, which, for the average North American viewer, range from obscure to downright bizarre. At 6' 3" and 235 pounds, Cincinnati Bengals Linebacker Dhani Jones cuts a pretty imposing figure. His football training helps him plunge into many of these sports, and at other times his size and strength simply overwhelm the competition, but the best episodes of the series find him completely out of his element. Enclosed on two discs are all 10 season one episodes:
Dhani tries his hand at Rugby, and answers the age old question: What's tougher, Rugby or American Football?
Hurling is the game, a sort of cross between Field Hockey and Lacrosse. You have to see it to understand it.
The first of several fight episodes, featuring Muay Thai kickboxing.
Dhani gets behind the oars in a Dragon Boat Race.
The national sport of Schwingen is the name of the game. No, it's not about wife-swapping, more like wresting...in sawdust, wearing large canvas shorts.
More of a culture episode, though we do get a taste of the fast paced Squash-like game of Jai Alai.
Dhani hits the beach and gets himself into a lifeguard competition.
Cambodia's brutal Pradal Serey martial arts are the focus here.
* "New Zealand"
Dhani gets in a bit of sailing.
Dhani does some Sambo fighting, which looks rather terrifying.
There are two things that really work for Dhani Tackles the Globe. First and foremost, never does the show feel like anything other than an honest look at another culture's favorite pastimes. Dhani isn't just some celebrity strolling into town to create a sideshow, he takes each and every visit seriously, and while he definitely has a good time, the respect is there, even if it isn't always reciprocated. This leads me to the second boon; Dhani Jones himself. Jones is a charismatic and enjoyable host. He exudes confidence without being cocky, and he's entertaining without coming off like a jackass. He's not a showman, he's not going back to his trailer at the end of each episode, cussing on his manager for landing him in some half-baked travel show. Dhani throws himself, body and mind, into everything he attempts, and whether he succeeds or fails (which does happen more than once), the professionalism and attitude of a hard-working athlete -- not a pro-superstar -- is what's on display. He's a gracious guy, he makes friends, earns respect, and tries his damndest. It all makes for entertaining TV, and the biggest sign that it's a good show is that it left me wanting more. Season Two will be coming and I for one can't wait to see where Dhani winds up next.
The DVD, brought to us by Travel Channel and Image Entertainment, is a top notch presentation. This is a fairly new show, taking advantage of some nice cameras and recording gear. We get a great, crisp video that looks vibrant and colorful, even if things do get a little grainy in certain lighting. The audio is front loaded stereo, but it works perfectly, and is crisp and clear throughout.
There's really not a lot here in terms of bonus material. What we do get is a section called "Bumps 'N Bruises," which is essentially commercials for each episode, followed by a smattering of deleted scenes. It's not much, but it'll have to do.
Dhani Tackles the Globe is a fun time for travel fans. Dhani has some great times when taken out of his element, and it's always a hoot to watch. Fans of reality TV and travel shows definitely have something good to watch here. Bring on Season Two!
Dhani is free to go and keep up the good work.
Review content copyright © 2009 Steve Power; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Travel Channel
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 435 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Rated
* Deleted Scenes
* Official Site