I’m not what you’d call “a YouTube person,” but then again, the shows at Bergara, Lim, and Madej’s company Watcher often feel more creative than much of what the digital platform has to offer. “Weird (and/or) Wonderful World” couches its humor and exploration in the aesthetic of the sort of retro series that a certain generation stumbled upon as kids: funky, magical shows that could only be found either way past our bedtimes or earlier than we meant to get up. With a VHS-tape-style intro, a uniform that includes khaki jackets and inexplicable mustaches, and expert deployment of energetic sound effects, “Weird (and/or) Wonderful World” radiates a zany energy that’s incredibly contagious.
For scaredy-cats like me, the show also serves as a palette cleanser for the duo’s much-hyped new ghost hunting series “Ghost Files.” While that series and “Buzzfeed Unsolved” capture the dynamic duo’s excellent repertoire in high-stress scenarios, “Weird (and/or) Wonderful World” is about as comparatively low stakes as you can get. In fact, it’s an excellent comfort watch in general, as it’s so jam-packed with details and great bits that you’ll find something new each time you travel along to The Mystic Museum, The Pie Hole, or The LA Breakfast Club.
Plus, like any great travel show, it opens up the world for viewers, introducing us to new perspectives and, in the best episodes, maybe even giving us the travel bug. I’ve traversed to a few places spotlighted by “Weird (and/or) Wonderful World,” and felt an acute appreciation for their uniqueness – and for the people whose care keeps them in business – each time. It’s unclear at this point if or when “Weird (and/or) Wonderful World” will return, but regardless of what its future holds, its first nine episodes are an endlessly entertaining source of comedic anthropological discovery.