Gordon Ramsay is doing more globe-trotting in Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted season 2, and the first episode “Tasmania” feels like something right out of an adventure movie.
Given all the challenges he’s faced across his wide variety of TV shows, it’s no surprise that Ramsay has done a few travel-oriented projects. He filmed two series of Gordon’s Great Escape a decade ago and the documentary Gordon Ramsay: Shark Bait in 2011. But in Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, he’s truly putting himself out on a limb. Lots of chefs have gone around learning about cultures through food, but this is the one series where you’re not quite sure what’s going to happen by the end of it.
From Gordon’s interesting ride on a seaplane to the welcoming ceremony he gets when he first arrives in country, “Tasmania” doesn’t feel like an episode of a food show. It feels like a wild, strange adventure that just happens to be caught on film – which is why it’s a great fit for National Geographic. This is a travel series centered around food and not a cooking show that wanders around.
The inherent challenge for Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted has been setting itself apart from other shows with similar aspirations. Thanks to shows like this, Anthony Bourdain’s many series, and others, audiences have seen a lot of chefs travel a lot of miles on TV. So what makes this one different, and worth the audience’s time?
In season 2, the show feels much tighter. The first season was a good show, but there have clearly been some tweaks to make it feel more like an organic journey and less like a fly-on-the-wall docuseries. It also seems like, in a good move for the more squeamish viewers and those who are watching with families, that the editors have toned down the more graphic footage that appeared in a few episodes last season.
But most importantly, the personalities shine through a bit more warmly as well. Gordon Ramsay is known for his personality, and this season he seems to be having even more fun. Uncharted is at its best when Gordon is making commentary about what’s going on or bantering with the locals, instead of just asking questions or offering explanations for the viewer at home. He’s our eyes and ears on the scene, so when he’s having fun or he’s out of his element, we feel that – and that’s what makes the show pop.
“Tasmania” also features a great expert in chef Analiese Gregory, who has herself been through multiple countries on her own culinary journey. She holds her own with Gordon and even keeps him on his toes; the experts have to bring something to the table, too, and you almost wish she had her own show. It’s a strong start for the new season, which is great news, since NatGeo has already renewed the program for season 3.
Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted premieres Sunday, June 6 at 10:00 p.m. on National Geographic.