Destination: European Nights Season 1 Review – An enjoyable but unfocused sport doc

Season 1

Episode Guide

Episode 1
Episode 2
Episode 3
Episode 4
Episode 5

With the football season drawing to an end, and only the Champions League final to look forward to, it’s a great time to look back and reflect on what a crazy year its been. In the Bundesliga, we had a e final day shocker. Only, this was perhaps usurped by Arsenal bottling the league to an unstoppable Man City.

Napoli won the Serie A with some gorgeous football while Barcelona won the La Liga, while also simultaneously missing out on both Champions League and Europa League gold this year. And of course, that’s to say nothing of the tumultuous highs and lows of the Champions League.

Destination: European Nights is a short and simple documentary, giving a bite-size analysis of the Champions League season, centering on journalist Guillem BalaguĂ© as he jets across to different stadiums in a variety of countries, drinking in the sights, sounds and culture. The trouble is, there’s just not very much of it.

With episodes clocking in at 20 minutes a pop, the format feels rushed and sporadic, as we get small clips from pivotal games in each Group stage and knock-out rounds, alongside an interview or two before we move across to a different location and team. In episode 1 alone, we visit three different countries!

Episode 3 does go some way to switch things up, briefly touching on the Super League and seeing Guillem in the studio debating (and losing I may add) to Jamie Carragher over a debate on finances. And in doing so, it really raises the question – what is Destination: European Nights?

Is it a recap of the Champions League season? Is it a fly-on-the-wall doc for the life of a CBS journalist? Or is it a cultural examination of what makes different stadiums tick and why these fanbases are so passionate? The result, I guess, is a very tepid “a bit of everything”.

The trouble is, this approach doesn’t really give much in the way of a consistent vision. If we want to watch a recap of these games, YouTube has some great highlight reels for the season. If we want to follow an individual team, Amazon’s All or Nothing has us covered, and in terms of examining the joy of football across the globe, there are documentaries for that too.

So Destination: European Nights is somewhat of a tepid and unfocused effort, something that’s certainly enjoyable but is screaming out for a much longer run-time and a good vision to really drink in the atmosphere.

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  • Verdict - 5.5/10

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