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Reader Request: Stephen Fry in America


True West

Stephen Fry (Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows) took it upon himself to travel across the U.S. and find the best, occasionally hidden, traits of each region in his six part travel series, Stephen Fry in America. To get a feel for the series, I viewed the True West episode, which covers New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.

Grade:

If you are a fan of travel shows or not, Fry’s British charm and genuine interest makes for a fun little series that displays aspects of American culture that do not necessarily get the fame they deserve. In this particular episode he travels from an almost completely self-sustaining house, to the Pueblo Native American reservation, and ends up in a legal brothel in Nevada before heading to the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco.  He shows genuine interest in everything locals are telling him (see: when he learns about basket weaving), and demonstrates a vast amount of knowledge regarding American history and each territory he covers.

This particular episode starts rather slowly, preventing you from seeing how funny Fry can be. By the time he reaches Las Vegas and participates in the Spy Games with Chippendale’s dancers, you begin to realize he is supremely clever and witty (and has a larger vocabulary than some Mormons). Unfortunately, there are moments where Fry dives a little too deep into the comedy and does small skits that seem to act as time fillers (along with extended scenic images).

In the end, there is not a vast difference between Fry’s series and any other travel series. If you are looking for random fun things to do on a cross-country trip, Fry provides many amusing stops along the way (although I don’t think many will have time to participate in a fake hostage crisis or partake in the wonders of a double king sized bed in a brothel suite).  Fry does his best to make the show unique, but there is only so much that can be done when travelling across America.

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  1. Excelent! Love it! Huge Stephen Fry fan!

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