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on 27 July 2017
Excellent series as S. Fry is always enjoyable to listen to. His views about our American cousins are always amusing
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on 17 April 2009
An amusing and entertaining (if not overly informative) series that fans of Mr.Fry will enjoy. However, I can't help but feel that a slower pace and perhaps a few more episodes would have delivered an exceptional, rather than simply good, series. The speed of the tour feels a little disjointed and doesn't sit too comfortably with Mr.Fry's affable cosy charm.
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on 6 June 2017
I only received Disc 1 - and it was a 2 Disc set
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on 16 February 2009
I am an American fan of Stephen Fry, and I ordered this from Amazon UK as it is not available for sale in the states. I was a bit worried this would be a sarcastic or patronizing look at some carefully selected American oddities. Rather, it was a kind-hearted look at some well-chosen slices of American society -- some a little quirky, but none so far off the mark as to be non-representative.

It moves a bit quickly through some states (such as mine, Delaware: we got about 2 minutes, if that), but is still an amusing overview of the country as a whole.

We enjoyed this series very much, and would recommend it.
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Stephen Fry is fantastically clever, and witty... he is also impossibly kind, so how much you like this DVD is entirely dependant on your opinion of Fry himself. I feel unabashed adoration, so perhaps my impending glowing review is slightly biased, but if you're not a fan of his, there are a myriad other "travel" shows you'll prefer.

It's impossible to say how long Fry actually spent in the States, but there are 6 episodes in which he visits all 50 states (travelling east to west) so it's very much made to appear he makes only whistlestop visits. He doesn't dissect each state historically/politically/religiously/etymologically; rather, he introduces us to one defining feature of each. For example, in Maine he takes us lobster fishing with a 3rd generation lobster baiter (heh. "Lobster baiter". Sounds a bit rude); in Florida he takes a drive through Miami and almost weeps at its anodyne ugliness and soullessness; in Louisiana we visit New Orleans' Mardi Gras and a peculiar voodoo woman with freaky eyes and sunken cheeks...

This isn't meant to be an indepth exposition - it's just a wonderful, loving skate across the surface of all things American, as seen by the most English man in the world. Well, no, he and James May run about even on that one, but his absolute Englishness contrasts perfectly with what he's introduced to. If that implies there's a degree of scorn, that's entirely my error: he is clearly enormously fond of, and intrigued by, the USA.

When I said Fry is impossibly nice, he really is. He meets a couple of people who, you can tell, slightly offend him and he says nothing; he meets people who would presume to educate him on matters he already knows (I'm not sure there's anything this wonderful man *doesn't* know) and instead of interrupting or telling them he knows, he responds with delight and interest, allowing them to feel they're somehow imparted wisdom to someone who was in the dark. Further, he can talk to anyone. Anyone. He has a genuine warmth which people can't help but respond to; he is kind to all, even those who are prickly and unlikeable, and he is genuinely interested in what everyone has to say, be they billionaires, homeless or regular joes.

The extras are a little thin on the ground... there are 6 more meetings with people that flesh out that state a little more, but that's all. It would have been nice to have more Fryness in the extras, but am just being greedy, really. Each episode is an hour, so there is over 6 hours as it is.

What's the American equivalent of an Anglophile? A Yankophile? Well, I watched this as a huge fan of Fry's and as a Yankophile. My views on the States haven't changed. In his own perfect words, it is "simultaneously preposterous, incredibly laughable, impressive, charming, ridiculous, expensive, over-populated... wonderful America."

Fry, though, shows himself to be an unadulterated gem in all ways, and the best *possible* companion for visiting the USA. If you go into this liking him very much, expect to come away from it having fallen completely in love with who he is as a person.

Immensely enjoyable, and anything less than 5 stars would be a travesty.
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on 19 March 2009
Stephen Fry once said, there are so much Europeans (and especially Brits) who think of Americans as dumb, fat, humourless, pompous people and how angry makes him these sterotypes.
Fry shows the far more attractive things and people of the US, never confirming typical sterotypes in an arrogant or mocking way - one of his true strenghts.
Kind, subtle, witful and never arrogant Fry shows us America through his open-minded eyes. Of course, some bits are too small and maybe to Fry-centered. But hey: If you're fan of Stephen Fry, it is a must-have.
A joy to watch the perhaps kindest but also most witful British actor. Highly recommended for those who cannot wait for the next Kingdom series.
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on 15 December 2015
I have both versions, the dvd and the blu-ray version.
Excellent quality, but there was 'snow' in the darker scenes!
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on 10 November 2008
This is an excellent TV series. It's a unique look at the side of American life that you rarely see & Stephen Fry is the ideal host, injecting his unique perspective & brand of humour. Unlike other series, looking into America, he hasn't gone for the obvious subjects. Instead concentrating on the people & their different ways of life. His love for the country & its people is apparent & his presentation of a different side of America (away from the usual stero-typical over weight arogant race we're normally presented with) is both fascinating & informative. The filming is beautifully shot, with some stunning views (this weekends episode featuring Monument Valley was simply stunning & makes you want to jump on the next plane over there). I can't wait to get the DVD to watch even more & look forward to more of Stephen Fry presenting in the future. The natural successor to Palin. Highly Recommended !!!!
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 December 2011
I have been a Fry fan for some years now, television programmes and non-fiction books, and usually enjoy his intelligence and erudition; I looked forward to this series - over six hours of televison viewing - but, in some ways, I was disappointed although it is difficult to explain why. Perhaps, despite his obvious charm, niceness and intelligence, I wanted a little less Fry and more America to deepen my appreciations and knowledge of this fascinating, vastly diverse and huge country. It was an ultra-quick visit to some parts of the country and, perhaps, therin lies the problem. It is a vast canvas and, to assume it could be covered, even in six hours of television, was being too optimistic.

As many of the reviewers have pointed out, throughout the programme he was charm itself, able to interact with anyone he met and seemingly interested in everything he was told, all wonderful skills and talents for a television presenter to have, not to mentioned just ordinary human beings.

"Simultaneously preposterous, incredibly laughable, impressive, charming, ridiculous, expensive, over-populated ... wonderful America," he stated, quite rightly. However, I would like to have seen more of it with his interesting and individualistic commentaries.
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on 10 June 2009
I am an American who lived in Europe for 20 years. I just retired back to America about 2 years ago.

This series where Stephen Fry travels to all 50 states is really superb. I makes me want to go see some of these places.

He specifically showed the border with Mexico in my hometown of El Paso, Texas. He did not try to make the desert look unattractive, the DVD just shows the reality.

This is one of the most enjoyable series that I have ever watched. I can't say that it is even better than Kingdom, but it is as good. This is fact and Kingdom is fiction.
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