Big Fry Up

Ah… this poor, neglected blog o’ mine.  I simply have not been inspired to write anything here lately. It’s not for lack of watching TV because my Sky planner and DVD shelves remain full of watched and unwatched material waiting for a rainy day. Having said that, even the rainy days, of which we have endured plenty, aren’t motivating me either. Promises have been broken previously when I have vowed to regale you with musings about the latest and greatest (and not so great) offerings being zapped at my house by the Astra satellite. None have come to pass… and I can do nothing but apologise once more.

“Apologising once more”, of course, is how the irrespressible force of nature that is Stephen Fry often begins his infrequent podgrams, which I can only urge you to listen to if not subscribed already.  And it is Mr Fry who has finally inspired me to put… well, fingers to keyboard.  Stephen Fry in America is an ambitious project, with our titular hero taking his black London taxi through all fifty states of the USA on a voyage of discovery.  Fifty states in six, 55-minute installments leaves us with only 6-and-a-half minutes per state, so anyone expecting in depth analysis will feel hard done by (take a bow, Delaware, who managed the merest of mentions in last night’s debut episode.  However, while I agree that this “sheep dip” approach may do a disservice to some states, this appearss more like a home movie of Stephen’s holiday, albeit the world’s greatest example of a home movie you’re likely to see.

I thoroughly enjoyed the first installment. I thought it was a lovely glimpse at a side of America seldom seen in the UK. The segment in New York for example avoided all the cliche traps… no Statue of Liberty, no 9/11, no Central Park, no Empire State building nor any ooh’ing and ahh’ing at the skyline. Just meet some of the people and have a chat with them. I’m sure that the book and the DVD will add a certain depth to procedings that may be missing from the whistle-stop tour.  For my money, however, it is the perfect Sunday night travelogue and I’d recommend it to all my friends.  Why not on HD though?

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