First of all, I’ll just say it on behalf of everyone – Zac Efron stole all of our hearts a long time ago. Whether that be in 17 Again, Neighbours, Baywatch, or even High School Musical, he’s definitely easy on the eyes, whether he’s playing serial-killer Ted Bundy or a hot, washed-up lifeguard. However, his new docuseries, Down to Earth with Zac Efron, paints the heartthrob in a different light and opened the eyes of many.
The whole idea of the series was for Efron to learn what living in-sync with Mother Earth really looks like and teach audiences at the same time. Taking the guy out of Hollywood, seems like the Hollywood was taken out of him too as we saw him vulnerable, talking to the camera, and feeling a range of emotions on his learning journey whether it be scared, moved, shocked – all adding to the authenticity. Each place that they visit highlights a specific issue, which through the pandemic when it was released, watchers were able to reflect on their own habits, both good and bad.
The first episode took us to Iceland, to which I had previously assumed to be a cold country, covered with snow. Which it mostly is, but also home to a number of active volcanoes. The episode shows Efron and executive producer Darin Olien cooking boiled eggs in a dug-up hole in a backyard from the Earth’s natural heat. While it might be a cool concept on paper, the episode revolves around the planet’s seven tectonic plates that are actively, and slowly, moving apart. They even show a place in Iceland where you can see the plates between Eurasia and North America. He later goes to West Hollywood, Paris and Lourdes, highlighting Paris’ focus of making clean, healthy drinking water available to every single person as an essential for humanity. We see their numerous water fountains all over the city, as well as vending machines with reusable drink bottles on offer. We also saw him in Costa Rica, showing the Casa Sula School where grades don’t define a thing, all the students learn together, and no homework is given. Whether this is a recipe for super obedient and intelligent kids that you see in the docuseries is arguable, however, they’re doing something right and the concept of learning itself is reimagined.
I won’t spoil the whole docuseries for you, but hopefully this teaser of the first three episodes pushes you to give it a watch, because I know that I personally came out of it feeling more aware, and re-thinking how I go about my everyday life and its bigger effect on the only planet we have to call home.
Down to Earth With Zac Efron is streaming now on Netflix.