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Streaming pick of the week: Down To Earth

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Zac Efron in episode 2 of Down To Earth

Zac Efron in episode 2 of Down To Earth

Courtesy of Netflix

Zac Efron in episode 2 of Down To Earth

Your eyes don't deceive you. That is Mr High School Musical, Mr Carlyle, Mr Bundy, and, most notably, Mr Hudgens. What is he doing on Netflix? He's saving Earth. Shot pre-pandemic, this is Zac Efron as fans have rarely seen him before: bearded, bleary-eyed - obviously due to jet lag - and barefoot on a French roadside.

Now 32, and sober since 2013, Efron decided/was commissioned by Netflix to find more sustainable ways to live. Why not aid Mother Earth by finding such ways Stateside, instead of gas-guzzling his way across the globe? Somewhat ironically, that's the point of this docuseries: these practices - "for the good of the people" - don't exist in the Land of Liberty. Episode one sees Zac and friend/wellness expert Darin Olien travel to Paris to see how it provides free mineral- water fountains. There's even sparkling water, on tap, streetside, for everyone.

After investigating how the water is filtered sans chemicals, Zac and crew head to Lourdes to inadvertently insult the Head of Medicine. Next stop, Iceland! This 'edutainment' series is arguably half-filled with Efron skateboarding, walking in slow-mo, and earnestly narrating. However, it tackles serious subjects while somehow managing not to take itself too seriously. And, for anyone wondering: yes, there is partial nudity.


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Irish Independent