Apple TV+ invites us to take the ‘Long Way Up’

Ewan McGregor and friend embark on an ecofriendly globetrotting adventure

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Benjamin Haylett, arts & leisure editor

While Apple TV+ is the new streaming service on the block, it is already stacking its lineup with high-quality content.
The latest of which is “Long Way Up,” starring Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman.
“Long Way Up” is a sequel to the pair’s previous shows, “Long Way Round” and “Long Way Down,” which premiered in 2004 and 2007, respectively.
In those previous series, McGregor and Boorman traveled from London to New York across Europe and Asia, and then from the northern end of Scotland to Cape Town, South Africa. “Long Way Up” follows the team as they travel from the southern tip of South America to Los Angeles.
The previous two journeys, as with this one, were all done exclusively on motorcycles, but there is a twist this time around.
Instead of the traditional “petrol” bikes that the men were used to, they decided to make this journey on purely electric bikes that were provided by Harley-Davidson.
Along the way, an electric vehicle manufacturer, Rivian, placed charging stations that were as close together as was economical, which is to say, they are pretty few and far between.
McGregor and Boorman made the decision to go all electric for two reasons: to spread environmental awareness and to really differentiate this trip from the previous two. It works out beautifully.
It is obvious that McGregor and Boorman have been lifelong friends, as their onscreen chemistry is out of this world. It is also obvious that the duo have done trips similar to this in the past.
Although the road in front of them is essentially parts unknown, there is a sense of assuredness that the pair bring to the endeavor.
The only thing that breaks the sense that they have everything under control is the fickle nature of the electric bikes that they chose to ride.
The added challenge of where to charge the bikes and how to keep them charged adds a low level of suspense and anxiety to every episode.
Whether the pair is in the frostbitten Patagonian wilderness or a small town in Argentina, the electric motorcycles seem to be constantly working against them.
But watching the show, the viewer gets the sense that the uncertainness of it all is just part of the fun.
Watching McGregor riding a motorcycle through South America is a strange sight to see if you have only ever seen him in “Star Wars,” but the charisma that he brought to the character of Obi-Wan Kenobi must just be his personality, because he is just as charming to watch on this show as he was on the big screen.
It isn’t often that you get to see celebrities out in the world doing things that you wouldn’t expect them to do, and the fact that McGregor feels comfortable enough to share this experience with the world is something truly special.
While it may be going a bit far to say that everyone should get an Apple TV+ account just to watch “Long Way Up,” it is only a bit of a stretch. At the very least, give the service a shot and watch a couple episodes on the free trial.
You’ll be hooked within minutes.
And that’s a guarantee.