Sunday, November 2, 2008

Stephen Fry in America - part 4: Review

Stephen Fry in America 4/6 - Mountains and Plains (Sunday 2 November 9:00pm - 10:00pm BBC1) This series is about Stephen Fry visiting all fifty states of the USA, via his black London taxi. Tonight's show was another whirlwind journey where Stephen visits ten states, from the border dividing Montana and Canada in the north to the border dividing Texas and Mexico in the south. Stephen started with a visit to the border control headquarters in Montana where he strolled the border with an officer from the National Border Patrol and he stood straddling the 49th parallel (sometimes used as a nickname for the entire Canada-U.S. border) so that he was in the USA and Canada at the same time. He met up with a geologist working in Glacier National Park and they discussed global warming. After that, Stephen met up with Ted Turner on his Montana ranch and inspected his herd of buffalo (bison). Stephen mentioned that Ted Turner owns nearly 20% of the bison in the USA. Idaho was next. And a very brief visit it was too. Stephen just stood underneath a sign marking the continental divide and explained what that meant by pouring water to demonstrate (water drains into the Atlantic on one side and into the Pacific on the other) and right after that he was in Wyoming. He met up with a couple who have had particularly close encounters with wolves - they have lost six dogs killed by wolves. Stephen also was pulled on a sled by a team of huskies in Wyoming. In Bismarck, North Dakota, he visited a German diner and ate a deep fried hamburger. In South Dakota, he saw Mount Rushmore and obviously wasn't very impressed - "just a little bit silly" - and even less so with the new work in progress "just down the road" of Crazy Horse. Stephen visited the Lakota Sioux reservation in South Dakota and visited the site of the notorious massacre at Wounded Knee. He also met with Russell Means, an acitivist for the rights of American Indians. He went trucking in Nebraska and visited a truckers shop. In Kansas, Stephen went down a decomissioned missile bunker. The facility was active during the Cuban missile crisis. He chatted with a family that make the underground location, their home. He rode on a ski lift in Aspen, Colorado, and viewed the scenery from a restaurant on the mountain top. Stephen watched "mutton busting" (little kids riding sheep) at a rodeo in Oklahoma which I thought was interesting. I've been to rodeos and never seen that before. He also visted the home of the largest charity in the world, the Salvation Army, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In Houston, Texas, Stephen spoke at a fund raising dinner. He finished this part of the series with a visit to the border along the Rio Grande between Texas and Mexico with the Border Patrol in El Paso, Texas, which was sad. It showed how desperate Mexicans try to enter the USA and it was disturbing to see two Mexicans chased back into Mexico and to see one caught, and arrested. At least the show finished on a high note (literally) with three Mexicans who are US citizens, serenading a pleased looking Stephen Fry. related links from my blog: Stephen Fry in America - part 1: Review Stephen Fry in America - part 2: Review Stephen Fry in America - part 3: Review Stephen Fry in America - part 5: Review Stephen Fry in America - part 6: Review Stephen Fry talks about his new TV series (video) Stephen Fry on the road in the USA

4 comments:

  1. Another interesting programme, if a little too much ground covered in the hour! xx

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  2. Yes, I agree, flighty. I think the TV series is excellent - but since there are only six episodes, he doesn't give equal time to each state and it's a bit of a whirlwind tour!

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  3. I think Stephen Fry looked like a little boy in a toy shop when he was in that trucker's store!Another great episode...

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  4. You're right, Daniel, he did. It was quite funny when he looked more closely at some of the strange items on sale in that shop!

    It was indeed another great episode. I only wish he could spend more time showing more in each state.

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