Stephen Fry in America: Deep South

Stephen Fry in America: Deep South

Ratings: 7.06/10 from 18 users.

Stephen Fry in America: Deep SouthHere, Stephen Fry explores what it is that makes the south so distinctive. He joins coal miners deep underground in West Virginia, meets a young man with the state of Kentucky tattooed on his butt, and enjoys a delirious session of bluegrass music-making in Tennessee.

He has an encounter with a bear in the Smokey Mountains, ascends in a balloon above North Carolina, learns the language of slaves in South Carolina, and is invited into a Georgian family's Old Plantation house to join their Thanksgiving celebrations (and has an unfortunate encounter with a horse).

He fails as a dancing escort in Florida and is moved by two very different events in Alabama: a parole board's deliberations and the extraordinary hoopla of a college ball game, complete with air-force jets. Episode one here New World.

More great documentaries

46 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Nathan Pilkington

    GodmanEnki, I know Stephen Fry is British, but hes wonderfully intelligent and I'm pretty sure he's correct with regards to his geographical knowledge of the united states, and there is nothing wrong with calling it "America", Its part of the American continent after all. Its new name is the United states but the culture itself can only be described as American. I would not try and outsmart Sir Stephen Fry, you would lose terribly.

  2. christina spring

    Texas is the south-west.

  3. GodmanEnki

    Sorry buddy, but "Virginia" by geographical-standards, is in THE EAST! TEXAS, ALABAMA, FLORIDA, ARKANSAS, and maybe Missouri, but not California or Arizona. The "South" is full of idiots that wear white robes and chant KKK all day. Either that, or they drink bear all day and watch baseball or golf. Real "games of intelligence." Texas, is-the-"SOUTH." Virginia is ON THE EAST COAST!

  4. GodmanEnki

    WHY do they STILL CALL IT "America?" Seems to me, after LITTLE-baby-george signed those papers, with the "Prime Minister" of Canada, and the "President of Mexico," "we" haven't been "SAmerica, aka The United States" SINCE 2005!
    THIS.....IS NOW "the north American union." GET USE TO IT.

  5. Bealtaine Cottage

    Oh gosh...I've now fallen for Tennessee! This could be a real problem!

  6. Bealtaine Cottage

    It is so damned takes my breath away!

  7. Bealtaine Cottage

    North Carolina in a hot air balloon...I have never been to the USA, but this is tempting me big time! Stephen, you wicked, wicked man!

  8. Taylor Ryen

    I actually tear up towards the end of this one. Best episode of the series.

  9. Jes Cervoni

    I love seeing how giddy he got when the auctioneer started doing his thing lol!

  10. Rob Burgin

    yay its uncut, i finally got to see the dead bodies

  11. czgator

    Just as Alabama is much more than prisons and college sports, as a fifth generation Floridian, I have to say I was disappointed that only Miami was chosen to represent our state. We have some of the largest state parks and nature preserves in the world, one of which is the Everglades, which was shown in the film, and an underwater park in the Fla. Keys. We have the second largest lake in the US, Lake Okeechobee, in Fla. and the oldest settlement, St. Augustine. Many may not realize that the Seminole Indians own one of the largest Indian reservations in the country, where they raise cattle and crops, as well as operating several gaming casinos throughout the state. The Space Coast (a little north of Miami) has been home to the space shuttle launches for several decades, and Orlando, in the center of the state, is known for tourist attractions such as Disneyworld, Universal Studios (where the Wizarding World of Harry Potter is located), Sea World and many more. Although urban areas and some coastal regions are heavily developed, if you could take a balloon ride over Florida, you would also see acres upon acres of farmland, cattle ranches, orange groves and unspoiled wilderness areas. Central Florida, where I live, looks much like Kentucky, with hundreds of horse farms and rolling hills dotted with oak trees, as well as palms. In fact, many Kentucky Derby winners, such as Unbridled that Kentucky takes their motto from, were born and bred in Florida. Affirmed, the last Triple Crown winner, was also a Florida-bred. We also have NASCAR racing in Daytona Beach. We have thousands of lakes and spring fed rivers; in fact, many companies bottle and sell our water around the world. So if you plan to come to our state in the future, try to see more than just the tourist attractions. And no matter where you travel, it is wise to learn as much as you can about your destination, so you will not miss out on the true character of the place and its people.

    1. Terry "OldFox" Seale

      Oh, yeah, czgator! The Seminole Indian Reservation: That's where Anna Nicole Simpson died from a drug overdose. You forgot Ted Bundy: he killed plenty of college girls in Florida. And the kidnapping of Little Adam Walsh launched a lucrative career for his dad and 'America's Most Wanted.' Miami was mentioned but not Little Havana, the remarkably corrupt police department, and the insanity of the circus around Lil' Elian. Florida offers so many diversions: Cock fights, divorce by suicide/murder, free samples from drug pushers, mafia burial grounds, hit-and-run epidemics, huge AIDS infection, multifarious smuggling coves, progressive career trajectories: police chief -> city manager -> mayor -> federal penitentiary -> reelected mayor. They have a crooked toll road called the Don Shula Expressway that Don Shula doesn't even get a dime from! They have elections where the loser concedes then changes his mind, rescinds his concession (try that at chess AlGore) and throws the nation into 42 lawsuits that take 38 days to resolve before the president is "elected." As that Russian comedian says, "What a country!"

  12. Guest

    @ Vlatko?
    What's with the new little grey square...notifications? is that where we get scolded for misbehaving?

  13. KsDevil

    Another look at America through the eyes of another culture. What, he didn't like Miami? Can't blame him. It's an American thing. At least Stephen got a good dose of good old fashioned southern hospitality. Something we Americans are proud of.

  14. BeardHero420

    Wow. I miss the old days when all the Europeans thought we were cowboys. Now they all think we're rednecks.

    1. Guest

      Right. And I think all of them are like Dieter on "Sprockets". (lol)

    2. BeardHero420

      Wow...blast from the past right there...I miss the heyday of SNL

      Thanks for the laugh P

    3. notamerican

      I assume that's the same. But the documentary clearly shows that Americans are not all cowboys/rednecks.

  15. Guest

    Ok i'll give him an other try....later.

    1. Yavanna

      So.... how are you enjoying Jeeves and Wooster?

    2. Guest

      Not as much enjoyment as i would like today, i am fixing and painting a patio floor...on a sunny day.

    3. Yavanna

      Fraid I don't speak French so it was all a bit "chinese" to me....

      My new wife!! That had me stumped for a few minutes till I twigged lol :P

      Au Revoir (I can remember that from school and ummmm La porte est rouge.)

  16. bbga

    Fun doc...I love Stephen Fry. WARNING: He goes to The University of Tennessee and looks at decomposing corpses. If you think that sort of thing will make you uncomfortable, then skip through that whole part (it was pretty gross).

  17. knowledgeizpower

    LOL.... Don't cha just love folk from DA SOUTH :P
    @Pysmythe & @Az I know ya'll are gonna see this :)
    When ya'll do just think of that ol Tennessee Gal friend of yours Knowledge
    and SMILE!

    1. Guest

      I left 17 years ago, but I don't guess it'll hurt to drop back in for an hour... (lol) Actually, I look forward to the section on the 'Gullah' language from the South Carolina coast. An old, rotund black lady I used to know down there when I was young, who was a part of that culture, was probably the finest cook I ever knew. Her shrimp-gumbo was just the best stuff I ever ate in my entire life, bar none. She used to "fuss" at me for eating too much of it, but at the time (I was 27) I only weighed 133 pounds!

      She was trying to fatten me up, I have no doubt.

    2. Guest

      I can't stand Stephen Fry, even in the South. I would rather you host the doc, you seem funnier than him to me!

    3. Yavanna

      If you like BBC nature docs (and who doesn't love David Attenborough) you may have to learn to love Stephen Fry as he just narrated the most recent one: "Ocean's Giants." I suspect that he will be taking up the mantle of DA as now he is 85 he seems to have gone into retirement.

      I can understand non-English not liking Fry as he probably appears stuffy, snobby and so forth but you would probably understand why he is so loved over here if you had grown up with him in such TV greats as Blackadder, Jeeves & Wooster, QI and A Bit of Fry and Laurie.... Just my own favourites off the top of my head but the amount of films, TV and theatre productions he has been in is massive.

      'A Bit of Fry and Laurie.' That's Hugh Laurie; who you may know best as 'House.' We know him better for the stuff he has done with Stephen Fry and they are still best mates. If you like Laurie (who don't?) I`d recommend you look up some of his earlier stuff. I highly recommend some Jeeves and Wooster episodes as they're very fun and silly. Warning though - It's very British humour!

      (edited it's Oceans Giants - not Nature's giants)

    4. Yavanna

      Well good news! I seem to have given bad info on David Attenborough. On BBC next Wednesday (In the UK) a brand new nature doc narrated by the great D.A.... "Frozen Planet."

      Seems the man is unstoppable. Not retired but possibly just taking a lighter load these days.

    5. Guest

      thanks to you, i am developing a liking.

    6. Guest


      You don't really think I'll stay away forever and leave my beloved Azilda* to Achems all for himself, do you?!

      Now I've REALLY gone and done it, haven't I...? (lol)


      I feel I've completely dishonored** the name of "Pysmythe" by losing my temper so badly, and that's a big deal to me, because I promised myself before I ever started posting here that I'd never let it happen. For months before I ever posted anything I'd seen guys/girls having wars with each other over this or that, and it always seemed so stupid, ultimately... and by nature I'm actually a pretty laid-back guy, would be hard for me to express how HUGELY disappointed in myself I am. I don't like making mistakes, and I don't normally make very many... Of that sort, anyway.

      I'm just going to have to take a little time off... But... I LOVE this website, and even if everybody hates me now, I'm gonna have to try and tip-toe back in on a regular basis at some point relatively soon, probably under a different name.

      * This is in jest...

      ** This is the Klingon in me.

      (Thanks, Leon! And I'll be back in touch with you very, very soon. Love you, buddy...)

    7. Guest

      are you back yet? what's the new name?
      Solfeggio? Dièse? Harmony?

    8. Guest


      Well...what do you think about this name and avatar?

      Like you said (or implied), why should I care at all what anyone thinks? So I made a mistake and lost my cool, who hasn't? I've seen almost EVERYONE HERE do it at one time or another.

      I've even seen YOU do it (a little, tiny bit) 2 or 3 times out of a thousand!

      So...I guess I'm out of hibernation for a while, and to h*ll with what anyone thinks.

      Just don't expect me to join any 9/11 discussions anymore, thank you very much...

      edit- What on earth does "diese" mean? Is it a musical-term? I've never heard of it.

    9. Guest

      Welcome back in the forum.
      A Dièse is a little french "sharp" "ladder", was my way to say climb back up.

    10. Guest

      and you still haven't answered my question about the ancient solfeggio.

    11. Guest

      I can say I liked the idea of it; certain frequencies having a power like that appeals to the creative sense I've got. How real do I think it was, or maybe could be? Who knows, really? Sounds can be used as weapons, though, certain bass frequencies can make you puke, for example. Barry Manilow makes people commit suicide, etc. To give you a better answer, I'd have to read it again and gather my thoughts more. I do know from my music schooling about certain chords that were outlawed in the late middle ages through the start of the baroque period, because they had a supposed relationship to the devil!

      edit- didn't it say something about using them in meditation, or something?

    12. Achems_Razor

      Py, Howdy man, welcome back, no need for apologies, we are all only human.

      Yeah, you better watch eeet! or I will swipe Azilda off her feet. Already lost one internet "voman" to internet marriage.

    13. Guest

      Nothing like a man that can make me fly! LOL

    14. Guest


    15. Guest

      Ok, I'll go back and spend more time with this.
      It does look interesting, I must say. But I think you know I'm not too susceptible to new-agey type stuff.
      But maybe I don't see some of these things in the right light sometimes, I don't know. I guess you're just trying to broaden my horizons, right? I have to say, though, I'm probably not nearly so "limited" (is that the right word?) in my views about certain kinds of things as I'm pretty sure you think I must be from my past comments. You might even be surprised to hear about some of the lateral things I was into for a while when I was younger. I haven't always been so colorless as I probably appear to be now.

      And I did actually read (probably most of) the article, although I know you think I didn't!

    16. Guest

      the site i picked this from is probably not the best place to research the subject. I found it this morning by Googling.
      It is an interesting concept to think that frequencies have the potential to have such impact. Words do...don't we know that? frequencies must too.
      I'll see what i can find too...i was looking to see if there was a doc on the subject, didn't find anything but apparently Primacy of Conciousness talks about it. I'll have to watch this one again. May be we could change doc if we are going to talk about this since it is out of context here.

    17. Guest

      @Az that you mention it, that's what i did was google the term after reading your post at the pyramids, and read most of one of the top hits that came up.

      or at least I'm pretty sure that's what I did.

    18. Guest

      Not easy to stay calm when a gushing wave of arguments churns your inside, upside down. I know.
      But keep in mind we are here to learn, teach, learn, teach, learn, the monkey game in a barrel. That's how we form a rope of people smarter, softer, kinder that can reach higher and higher within.
      A nice name would be Music, it would always remind you that in your head...words are like notes. Some more pleasant than others to listen to. But you'd never let a sheet of music enrage you, you'd turn the sound off.
      It's hunting season (soon), being a moose is a hard position,
      Your opinion counts further than 9 or 11.

      *and while you're at it...bring the oz with you. I saw his email add...not sure if i should send him a note or not. But i sure felt like it. Thanks for the note from Vlatko