Rainn Wilson is getting into the travel doc biz; the Office star—whose recent regular TV gigs include Dark Winds, Mom, and Utopia, but who will always be Backstrom to us—is set to star in a new Peacock travel series, Rainn Wilson And The Geography Of Bliss.
Rather than being, as the name suggests, a five-piece jazz combo that really tears it up on the weekends, babe, the series is instead based on Eric Weiner’s best-selling book, The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World.
And here’s where the pitch for this whole thing, for us at least, goes from, “huh” to “huh?!”: According to the press release, the show will follow Wilson “as he traverses the globe searching for the secrets to the world’s happiest and least happiest places on earth,” emphasis ours, what the fuck.
Like, we get sending Wilson, whose screen presence trends dour, and who’s been open about mental health struggles in the past, to all sorts of places where standards of living are generally high to film fun little bits where he looks kind of frown-y while everyone around him has big smiles. It is a whole other thing to send him off to “the least happiest places on earth” to, what, try to understand why people living in miserable conditions are so dang sad? That’s not just grim; it’s “that’s literally an Andy Daly character bit” grim.
Anyway, Peacock is feeling very cheerful about the whole concept, at least, describing the show as “a deeply personal journey for Rainn” in which he “gets his hands dirty as the audience’s globe-trotting, soul-searching happiness warrior with a propensity for the comedic, quirky, reflective, and downright bizarre.” The show will reportedly send Wilson to Iceland, Qatar, Ghana, Japan, and other locations with its six-episode run in pursuit of the understanding of happiness, which, if you ask us, requires nothing more than a DVD of Backstrom and a quiet evening at home.