It sounds like a game of Kiwi Mad Libs gone wrong: [Jamie Curry] and [Damian Christie] went to [Antarctica] to [film a web series]. Only it really did happen, earlier this year, as part of Antarctica New Zealand's community engagement programme.

The result of the unlikely duo's Antarctic expedition is a five mini-episode series called Jamie's World on Ice, now on TVNZ OnDemand after debuting on the YouTube channel Jamie's World.

That's the one with a million-and-something subscribers, to go with the nine million-and-something on Facebook. The 20-year-old from Hawkes Bay is still New Zealand's most famous vlogger, carving a lucrative career out of what basically amounts to jabbering away in front of a camera in her bedroom.

At least, that's what vlogging has always looked like to an ancient old-fashioned TV-watcher. To the millions of mostly under-25-year-olds who subscribe to Jamie's World it's the most normal thing in the world. And that's the audience - the ones who don't really care for 'traditional' media - that Christie's production company SciFilms hoped to engage with Jamie's World on Ice.

Advertisement

Jamie's World On Ice - Episode 1 from SciFilms on Vimeo.

The series, which comes in at a little under half an hour in total, straddles the old and new. It's part vlog, part Michael Parkinson travelogue - though we probably never got to see Parky doing his last-minute packing at six in the morning, trying to decide if he should take his hair dryer or not.

Jamie is relatable like that. And that's what makes Jamie's World on Ice relatively unique among shows shot in Antarctica. Where every other show packs in reel after reel of spectacular scenery and wildlife footage or gets stuck into some heavy-duty capital-S Science, this one actually provides a pretty good sense of what it'd be like just... spending a week in Antarctica.

For a start, it's very cold. It's so cold that one of Captain Scott's expedition huts sits eerily preserved almost exactly how it was in 1907. "It's pretty cool, but I dunno if I could live in it," said Jamie, understandably put off by the room full of old dead penguins. "Did they do science on them?"

There's plenty of living penguins too ("I wonder if they get bored just standing there"), and seals and everything. But nothing blows Jamie's mind quite as much as the Kiwi scientist living in a remote shipping container village studying ice crystals who hadn't had a shower for 30 days.

The backdrop to all of this is, of course, science. It's everywhere at Scott Base! But while there is the occasional brief lesson - on the ozone layer and climate change and all that - it's just as much about showing science in action, seeing the real scientists at work.

The vlogger's eye for identifying universal experiences in the mundane and everyday is equally as effective at capturing how weird it feels to be in a place like Antarctica, sleeping in a tent on the ice under the glare of the midnight sun. While it's made for the youth (as the unbearably chipper theme song makes very clear), the appeal of Jamie's World on Ice should extend far beyond the vlogosphere.