Down to Earth with Zac Efron

In his new Netflix mini-series “Down to Earth”, Zac Efron travels the Americas, and Europe on a quest to find sustainable, and healthy ways to live.      

Wellness expert Darin Olien accompanies Efron on his expedition. The pair became friends a few years before they began filming the series. Efron describes Olien as a “guru of healthy living and super foods.”

“Down to Earth” puts a modern twist on accustomed travel content. Typical travel series such as “Travel Man”, or “Jack Whitehall: Travels with My Father” shed light on tourist attractions, and culture to give viewers a better idea of things to do whilst travelling.

However, “Down To Earth” gives its viewers an insight into these places, and allows them to adopt new perspectives on climate change, and sustainability in their daily lives.

Containing all the facts and figures necessary to reinforce his views, the show is well-constructed. Each episode is centred on a different aspect of sustainability, and every interview that Efron and Olien conduct is a compelling case study that brings meaning and depth to the each topic they discuss.

Efron, who has only played himself twice in his 18 year-long career, stuns viewers as a well-grounded, and humble character.

Two episodes in particular stand out when thinking of his caring nature – “Sardinia”, and “Puerto Rico”.

In both episodes, Efron shows his empathetic side, and genuine interest in other people. It is undeniable that this character suits him exceptionally – he truly adopts the show’s title “Down To Earth”.

It is so evident that not one of the eight episodes is scripted. Every second is authentic, and informal, making the viewer feel as though they are travelling alongside these friends.

It is near impossible to not link similarities between Efron, and fellow actor Leonardo DiCaprio as a high-profile Hollywood actor turned environmentalist.

Efron also sports a new beard in the series, which bears striking resemblance to that of DiCaprio’s – alike in traits, and features.

It is incredible for Efron, who people hold in such high regard, to shed light on the issues facing us, and our planet.

Hopefully, this series will inspire its viewers to alter their lifestyle in a minor way that will inevitably have a huge impact on the environment, and the future of the planet.

On Earth Day, Efron shared an Instagram post explaining the reason behind his travel series, “Exploring the unknown has always been a true passion in my life and now, more than ever, I realise how important it is to take care of our planet, our people and every living thing we share it with.”

The final episode, “Iquitos” shows candid conversations between Efron and Olien as they discuss the Woolsey Fire that occurred in California at the time they were filming.

“It’s in our face that the planet is changing. It’s in our face, and it’s burning our houses down.”

Unfortunately, Olien lost his home to the fire, and reflects on how the human race has affected the planet, which is now rebounding to have an effect on us, “Our planet being affected by us, living an unsustainable way is affecting people’s lives and now, it’s directly affecting mine.”

The Netflix miniseries deserves a huge thumbs up – not only for its entertainment value, but also for its educational content.

There is something so pure, and intriguing about watching Zac Efron adventure across the globe, sharing laughter and fascination with our planet with one of his close friends.

There is no doubt that this will spark some kind of positive change in our mentality towards the environment.

Emma Costigan

Image Credit: Netflix