Steve is asked to review restaurants for the UK's Observer who is joined on a working road trip by his friend Rob who fills in at the last minute when Coogan's romantic relationship falls apart.
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Two men, six meals in six different places on a road trip around Italy. Liguria, Tuscany, Rome, Amalfi and ending in Capri.

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Series cast summary:
 Steve (18 episodes, 2010-2017)
 Rob (18 episodes, 2010-2017)
 Sally (11 episodes, 2010-2014)
 Emma (9 episodes, 2010-2014)


When Steve is asked by The Observer to tour Northern England's finest restaurants, he envisions it as the perfect getaway with his beautiful girlfriend. But, when she backs out on him, he has no one to accompany him but his best friend and source of eternal aggravation, Rob. Series two finds the men touring Italy. Written by Anonymous

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Release Date:

1 November 2010 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

The Trip to Italy  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Michael Winterbottom came up with the idea for the series after working with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story (2005). He was specifically inspired by the opening scene, where the two actors, playing fictionalized versions of themselves, make fun of each other in a completely ad-libbed conversation. See more »

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User Reviews

A Near Perfect Gastro-Comic Excursion
28 June 2011 | by (Collingswood, NJ USA) – See all my reviews

One part Gourmet Orgy, one part North of England Postcard, one part Buddy Road Picture, and one part Indulgent Vanity Piece, The Trip serves up thoroughly sating entertainment. While on a one week sojourn through the picturesque countryside to review haute cuisine for a Sunday newspaper, Steve Coogan's character - a rather melancholic version of himself - struggles to salvage a failing relationship with his distant American actress girlfriend over awkward, difficult cell phone calls. It's a clever ploy that personifies Steve's escaping opportunities to land a substantial role in a major Hollywood production. His spirit is so crushed by his fractured romance, or by his unfulfilled professional ambitions, or by both - you decide! - that it casts a shadow over his days' adventures.

Though he indulges his libido at will with a string of attractive young ladies along the way, he still implores us to empathize with his misery. It is hard to commiserate with a guy who's meanwhile indulging, at every meal, in spectacularly sumptuous delicacies and exquisite vintages, all the while engaged in wonderfully hysterical banter with a fellow comedic master, Rob Brydon, who is sarcastically presented as just a casual work acquaintance. Steve's spot on executions of Michael Caine, Roger Moore, Sean Connery, Billy Connolly, and even Woody Allen are nearly matched by Rob, whose uncanny Hugh Grant he employs in his ridiculous nightly phone sex calls to his wife back home. Rob seems unaware of just how awful is his Al Pacino, which he isn't shy to use. Even Rob's lesser talents, especially his trademark Small Man in a Box, are very entertaining, at least in as much as they severely irritate Steve, who secretly envies the amusing skill.

The conceit that drives the six episode series is that we are in fact encouraged to despise Steve to some degree for his prideful self obsession, all-the-while vicariously reveling in the bacchanalian indulgences. Rob's genial, boyish charm is just as likely to provoke as it is to dampen a condescending, scolding retort from Steve. Rob, it seems, is content to have such a knowledgeable, if critical, audience for his theatrics. The heavy moods, however, are overplayed a bit, prodded by Mr. Coogan's genuine(?) desire to be recognized as an artist. Apparently true comedians are not satisfied with their rare talent for making people laugh. It's a dilemma similar to that explored by Ricky Gervais in Extras series 2, where Ricky's character, Andy, is often despondent over his stalled career, trapped in a low brow sitcom, mechanically repeating a tedious, tiresome catch phrase. The Trip manages to avoid Alan Partridge's signature "Aha!" for all but a few utterances where it's used to great effect. The Trip also shares considerable psychic terrain with the 2004 film Sideways with Paul Giamatti as a morose failed writer and Thomas Haden Church as a better adjusted minor TV star on a cross country wine tasting excursion. The Trip plays it much less dramatically, more subtly.

As brilliant as this hybrid amalgam is, I left off one half a star for it's less-than-funny, even distracting, self fascinated pathos. Steve's hubris is initially compelling but it eventually grew just a bit tiresome. In all fairness watching the six episodes straight through in one sitting may have contributed to this impression. Even so, that leaves nine and one half gleaming stars of supremely fulfilling rich humor and stunning visual treats, plus a few savory historical morsels.

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