"Up to Speed"

"Up to Speed"

Up to Speed
3.5 stars

Timothy "Speed" Levitch came to the public's notice as the focus of the 1998 cult documentary "The Cruise," which captured the life of the eccentric tour guide who worked for the Gray Line double-decker bus line in Manhattan.

While the Bronx-raised Renaissance Man has taken on some acting gigs and art projects, it's clear from his wonderful new Hulu series that his real love is history and being a tour guide.

Directed by Richard Linklater ("Dazed and Confused"), "Up to Speed" takes Levitch from city to city, bringing light to some of the lesser-known historical spots and "monumentally ignored monuments." The series begins today with a tour of San Francisco, and you'll meet off-the-beaten-path landmarks such as the golden fire hydrant that miraculously saved the Mission District after an earthquake. Later episodes will bring you through Chicago; Kansas; Charlottesville, Va.; and New York City.

Consistent with Levitch's unique sensibilities, the series is a combination of a tour, animations and conversations with the monuments and buildings themselves.

The show might seem silly, but it's quickly endearing and you'll learn a lot, too.

Watch it: "Up to Speed" debuts Thursday on Hulu.com 

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