Before the pandemic hit, Ride with Norman Reedus had filmed a third of its new season. Then the travel restrictions and lockdown arrived and they were forced to pivot to fill the remaining episodes. What came were a variety of clip shows that revisited memorable moments throughout the travel series.
For the season five finale, we go behind the scenes with the host and all the people who make the show possible. As with many work meetings now, the crew gather together remotely via Zoom and reminisce about their fondest scenes and share anecdotes with what fans didn’t see.
Reedus has a busy schedule because of The Walking Dead and the only time they can shoot is during the dead of winter. This can be a problem for a series focused on travelling via motorcycle and we learn all the complications they face due to inclement weather. It’s a testament to the showrunner and everyone’s ability to adjust under such conditions. Sometimes they turn lemons into lemonade like when they were in Japan and after being snowed out of going to hot springs. Instead, they took Norman drifting and the slippery environment made it more ideal.
It’s also fascinating to learn the degree of commitment some of the guests on Ride with Norman Reedus have. For example, Melissa McBride learned to ride a motorcycle and obtained her license prior to her episode. However, once again, the weather altered plans and since she was a beginner, it was safer for them to travel by SUV. It all worked out since the automobile provided a more intimate environment for conversation as McBride explored her own ancestry in Scotland.
The adventures with Dom Rocket and Jeffrey Dean Morgan add to the comic relief. There’s an entertaining highlight reel of all of Dom’s minor crashes and it shows how good of a sport he was even when he chipped a tooth during one of the accidents. For Morgan, we learn the reason why his bike is so small compared to Reedus’ in the Barcelona episode. It was technically a scooter and the sight of the hardcore Negan on a less imposing mode of transportation is one to see.
The behind-the-scenes tales of managing the fame of the host on the road is also very interesting. If you’ve watched the show before, there are scenes of Reedus approached by fans on the street for pictures and autographs. He’s always willing to accommodate them but sometimes the crowd can be too big and the crew become a makeshift security detail to protect the star.
The season five finale of Ride with Norman Reedus provides a different perspective from the memorable moments and serves as a nice symbol of appreciation to those that make the series possible.
Ride with Norman Reedus is on AMC.
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