Netflix Instant Pick: Stephen Fry in America
As a devoted Anglophile, it’s probably fitting that it took an Englishman to help me remember that my native country is actually pretty darn cool. In Stephen Fry in America, the great Stephen Fry (comic, author, actor, television presenter, host of the wonderful QI and British National Treasure) takes a journey through each of our 50 states, which is documented in this six-part series from 2008.
Driving an iconic London black cab literally from sea to shining sea, Fry stops to chat with personages famous (Morgan Freeman, Ted Turner) and mostly not, all while unearthing some truly fascinating American stories. He makes all the requisite stops at famous landmarks like Mount Rushmore and the Grand Canyon, but also mixes in less familiar sights like a body farm in Tennessee, hunting sasquatches in Oregon, a Nevada whorehouse, the most notorious prison in Louisiana and many others.
Even with the gorgeously shot scenery and the educational fun, the best part of the series is easily Fry himself. For those unfamiliar with him, a few minutes into the show will be more than enough to demonstrate why his combination of intelligence, politeness and warmth has made the the man so beloved on both sides of the Atlantic. You can see an example of his bewilderment, frustration and admiration for America in this clip, taken from an Auburn-Alabama football game.