Is Netflix’s new travel-documentary series Dark Tourist edgy entertainment or does it take an irreverent view of others’ misery and cultural traditions?Hosted by David Farrier, a New Zealand journalist who also co-directed 2016’s intriguing documentary Tickled (which pulled surprising depth out of the world of competitive tickling), Dark Tourist focuses on the trend of dark tourism, in which vacationers visit unorthodox spots for pleasure — or pleasure through pain, in some cases.
The eight-part series takes Farrier around the world — America, Japan, Africa, Europe, “the Stans” and to Southeast Asia including Indonesia (Toraja in South Sulawesi to be exact). They take a fish-out-of-water perspective that similar series have done before. Whether they do so successfully varies in each episode.
Though Farrier manages to balance his droll sense of humor (often ve...