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Stephen Fry in America (DVD Review)

28 Jul, 2010 By: Alexandra Hammarth

Street 7/27/10
$29.98 two-DVD set, $39.98 two-disc Blu-ray
Not rated.

It takes great dedication to drive across the United States — even more when you’re driving in a puny London cab. In Stephen Fry in America, British comic Stephen Fry embarks upon a six-week journey across America, starting in Maine and ending in California.

The six episodes are based on regions (New England, Deep South, etc.) of which Fry shares the history and then discovers an array of the state’s fun quirks that make each so unique. As he sits down with locals for interviews, you really feel that you are discovering the states with him, as he is a British newcomer curious about his environment.

Although the situation of a British man schooling us about America’s history might seem more uninviting than ironic, Fry does an excellent job of touring America through its backyards rather than boasting its popular landmarks like a travel show normally would. The series was named Most Popular Star Travel Documentary by the National Television Awards.

Friendly citizens greet Fry and allow him into their homes, places of work, places of worship, etc. for him to learn and spread the knowledge, so to speak.

It seems that each state has its trademarks and traditions, all of which Fry is very willing to learn about, if not try himself. He’ll hop aboard a fishing vessel to catch lobsters in New England and then join a hard-working group of coal miners below the Earth’s surface in Mississippi. He even engages in all the political campaigning in New Hampshire and then takes a stroll down the chaotic streets of New Orleans for Mardi Gras. It’s almost as if there isn’t any cultural norm of which he won’t try to be a part.

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