Monday, February 4, 2008

More 4. Tuesday. 10pm.

This is a picture of Frances and Dennis and their giant beagle shaped Bed & Breakfast. It's in Cottonwood, Idaho and in the unlikely event that you ever find yourself in that part of the world, I can recommend you stay there.

They're in the documentary that airs tomorrow night on More 4.

I've been really surprised by the amount of press coverage the film has received. And flattered too. Documentaries aren't exactly the most written about of genres and More 4 - brilliant as it is - isn't exactly the most written about channel so when you've got a documentary on More 4 you don't exactly expect a blitz of press. But there's been far more than I expected.

On Saturday the Times made it the cover of their TV coverage and had this feature written by the Reverend Billy, which I thought was a novel way of approaching it. The Independent on Sunday gave it the cover of their TV coverage also and the Daily Mail's Weeekend magazine gave it a prominent preview and four stars saying, "Is it possible to drive across the US without staying at a chain hotel, eating at a chain restaurant or refuelling at a chain gas station? We won't spoil Dave Gorman's film by saying. His route follows its own peculiar logic, free from the carefully choreographed quirkiness that would be present in a more thoroughly researched travelogue, and this produces some real moments of magic - especially the closing 'mom and pop' soda fountain store, and a beagle shaped hotel which is in a class of its own. At one point Gorman rather loses it when his director is forced to drop out with a bad back, marooning him in a dead-end town. Towards the end it gets a touch repetitive - but the sense of adventure, warmth and Gorman's charm makes it work."

I honestly wouldn't have expected the Daily Mail to have noticed it existed let alone reviewed it. Given that they have, I'm really glad they appreciated the subtlety and could see what the film wasn't as well as what it was. (I can live with them saying it's "a touch repetitive" towards the end.)

The Scotsman was nice too. Mind you, the Daily Record seem to think I'm a Scotsman. Which I'm not. Still, at least he liked the film.

I'll be popping in to The Geoff Show on Virgin Radio tonight, The Wright Stuff on Channel 5 Tuesday morning and Richard and Judy on Tuesday also. And just to prove that I do leave the house for other reasons I'm taking part in an episode of Radio 4's Banter on Sunday. It's recoded at The Drill Hall in central London and if you want to get hold of some free tickets to come along you can get them here.

But all this aside, there are two huge honours being bestowed on the film that no one could ever have predicted. Apparently, the people of Britain are going to celebrate the screening by devoting the whole day to eating that most American of foodstuffs: the pancake. Thanks guys. That's a pretty amazing gesture. I won't forget it.

In America things have gone even crazier. The film isn't even being screened on US TV and yet the media over there have dubbed the day 'Super Tuesday!' How nice is that? I mean documentaries aren't exactly the most written about of genres and More 4 - brilliant as it is - isn't exactly the most written about channel so when you've got a documentary on More 4 you don't expect the country the film is about to declare the day of the UK broadcast to be especially super.

Enjoy your pancakes. Have a super Tuesday. I hope you like the doc.


Unknown said...

Any plans for it to be shown in the States?

Dave Gorman said...

No definite plans. Which doesn't mean 'no.' More, 'I don't know'.

Djalma said...

Hi Dave, I've seen your "Googlewhack" adventure on DVD and I have to say I was fascinated! Is there any chance of you coming to Serbia? Wish you all the best...

Unknown said...

I'm hoping the docu will air in America this year. I'm guessing it will eventually make it's way here. Being impatient, I ordered the dvd from and I'm anxiously awaiting it's delivery.

Anonymous said...

Marvellous. With Curb Your Enthusiasm on a Monday and this tonight, More4 is really spoiling us...

Looking forward to it.

Kevin D said...

Dave, top man. I listened to you on Talksport yesterday, very good!

Please drop me a mail if you get two seconds, I have a bit of an idea ;-) and involves my online community, the USA and you, and plenty of fun!

Kevin {at}


SMARTBuddy said...

Looking forward to it! Hope its not been built up too much now?!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave - I haven't seen your documentary yet (though I do have it set to record on my V+ box tonight). I am however a follower of your work, and have one of those strange, he grew up kind of near me, we're not that different in age, so clearly I must have some deep-seated affinity with him type of affairs going on.

I hope it is as good as I think it will be, and I'll be sure to let you have my comments tomorrow (if I remember to of course).

This is kind of turning into less of a comment and more idle idolatory now, so I'll sign off.


Anonymous said...

Dave, I'm really excited about this project (like I am about all your work), but I have a few questions. How different are the film and the book going to be, and based on that do you think either would be more appropriate to watch/read first?

I assume the book will be similar to Are You Dave Gorman? where it has a lot more detail compared to the film? Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Similarly, is the DVD longer than what will be shown on More4?

Anonymous said...

Will this be available to watch again on 4od (4 on demand)?

Eyerex said...

Hope it's good as taped it to watch tomorrow as need my sleep

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
Watching the doc now, been looking forward to it for ages - great stuff, something to be proud of, a real insight. I think the reason that it's gained so much attention and exposure is that although at first it is such a simple idea, your core message has a real reflection on almost every part of western society..

But what's it done to the graph????? That's what I really need to know!


Lorraine Paterson said...

I'm watching the film now and really enjoying it so thank you!

I did laugh when I saw an advert for Shell during one of the breaks- it could well be that you have indeed got under the skin of the corporations with your message. I certainly hope so.

I wish you all the best with its success and hope it does reach american screens because then maybe it will give the small guys some deserved exposure.

Anonymous said...

Wow, just saw the film on More4 and thought it was great. Can't wait for the book.


shaky mouse said...

Fantastic documentary.. the music was beautiful as well. Like Lors, the Shell commercial brought a wry smile to my face.

As you're such a keen photographer, would you have any plans to publish a photobook from this journey?

Anonymous said...

I hope there are lots of your photo's in the book, and did you find the time for any rock balancing?

Stuart Ian Burns said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Stuart Ian Burns said...

What a great documentary, congratulations Dave and some of the themes, including the loss of independence are just as valid over here.

As I watched the various corporate signs for chains passing by your car window it was a reminder that not only has the uk too become stolen by the chains, they're not even our own but Americas.

Like you I love the city, but each time I visit a new one, outside of the architecture and the museums I'm always faintly disappointed because they all look increasingly the same and it just seems to be getting worse.

I once had a conversation with someone who said they liked the fact that a Big Mac was the same wherever he went because it offered a taste of home which was and is really appalling.

What happened to the car? In my imagination you sold it someone who was driving it back in the opposite direction. That the bloke you bought it from looks out of his window one day in February and sees it passing by with a completely different driver ...

How different is the dvd version? I'm assuming that some of the reiterations out of the ad-breaks are gone -- is there anything else?

Anonymous said...

The Beagle B&B reminded me of my road trip thru California 10 yrs back. Me and my friend were on a sort of Thelma and Louise trip, on our way to the Joshua Tree Desert,and we saw this life size plastic dinosaur in the distance - so we drove to it, and there was a door in its hind leg- so we went inside, and in it was a little shop ,selling......little plastic dinosaurs! the only other thing on the site was an all american diner ( definitely independent!) the walls were covered in little pictures of fluffy cats and Elvis and the Virgin Mary and princess Diana...and I half expected Tammy Wynette to be our waitress!

Madame Deux Chats. Horwich, ...Lancs

Anonymous said...

loved the doc, but how did you manage to find an independant mobile phone provider? :)

the shot of the live cat when you got back on track after the metaphor of the dead cat was ace.

Anonymous said...

oh ps ...i cant believe you actually ate a burger king sorry, you ate 3 !!! if you were gonna cancel out your vegetarianism for the night and eat meat - u should have gone for the road-kill - there would have been more actual meat on it

fab doc!! really enjoyed it

Eliot Sykes said...

Really enjoyed the doc - made my wife homesick and made me want to take a trip to the States soon. I can't believe you didn't have to go to more chain gas stations.

If the location of these and all other independent gas stations aren't on typical maps, then it would be great if you could use your might to be involved in making that information easily available (e.g. using online maps) and tying that in with the documentary, providing some extra lifeblood for these small businesses. A web developer could knock something up quick using Google maps. Google is 'the man' though so you should probably hand draw the maps.

Unknown said...

Enjoyed the film a lot and put me in mind of Elliott Bristow's films. See

Anonymous said...

Sorry Dave, but I am let down by the documentary. Expected it to be funnier. Could hardly turn the pages of your first two books for laughing. Sadly won't be buying the third.

When did you give up Comedy?

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,
I know I've seen a good documentary when I think about it the next day and the first thing I thought of when I woke up this morning was you ...hehehe you should be honoured.

Thankfully, for you (and me), you were only 100% in my thoughts because of this documentary and not your stunning good looks. It was amazing to watch. I dunno, it just gave me that warm fuzzy feeling and a real yearning for nostalgia. I felt so sorry for that 60+ year diner closing in Independence but I'm so glad you diverted up to it. I think the best experiences come from the impromptu and this held true in America Unchained. Thanks for making it and good luck with the book and DVD sales
Robert Burdock

Dave Walker said...

A really good programme - thank you.

I suppose doing the same sort of thing in Britain wouldn't be enough of a challenge.

Dave Frear said...

Thoroughly enjoyed the programme last night, made me want to travel more myself. Also liked that perfect moment with the live cat.
Looking foward to the book.

Andy said...

Hi Dave,

I saw the documentary last night and really enjoyed it. Thanks for doing it.

On the downside though, my wife now has the bright idea that we should give up on chains for lent (me not being a Christian is not an excuse, apparently). It'll be tricky but we'll give it a go. As you found out, petrol may be impossible - but I least I get better mileage than your station wagon.

Looking forward to your next project,

Andy P

Stuart said...

Really enjoyed the Doc Dave. It was very good, and I particularly liked the flash backs and little added extras like the electricity striking the fella that electrocuted himself daily, and the plane showing how many miles you'd gone. Some very nice touches.

I don't remember the last time I saw an indy petrol station. They've all been put out of business by Tesco, Sainsburys and ASDA selling petrol cheaper than they can. I only know of one indy petrol station, and that's about 200 miles from my home in Cheddar (if it's still there), and whilst I could reach it on a full tank, I'm not sure I could find that initial tank here.

I too would be interested to know if there's any extra material on the DVD, and if there's extra stories in the book, a la Are you Dave Gorman?

Anonymous said...


I thought '...America Unchained' was brilliant. I'm now refusing any Starbucks coffee that comes my way, and heading down to the family run coffee shop.

Not only that, but it really made me want to travel, and showed a side of America that we really don't see enough of.
Over here, the US and its people seem to have become very stereotyped, and this really made me see past that.

Thanks, watching it was awesome;
& I'm getting the DVD.

Anonymous said...

The graphics were very good. It is a shame that more was not shown around Moab, when you were stuck there. It really is breathtaking !!

Sherbet said...

I had to record it to watch it when I got home but I am so glad I did! Absoloutely loved it - I've never really thought of America in the "homegrown" sence that the documentary shows. Brillaint stuff!

Really hope you come to do Edinburgh Festival again soon! I want to see some of this comic genius live! lol!

Sherb x

Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

You said everything I was thinking about the states! Loved the film to bits, look forward to more!


Burkey said...

Hi Dave,

I caught your documentary by fluke last night (didn't know it was going to be on) and must say I really enjoyed it. I haven't seen much of you since Googlewhack, which I bought (and glad I did) so it was great to see you back on-screen, and I thoroughly enjoyed the documentary. I really want to go travelling now! Thanks for an enjoyable ride.


Anonymous said...

Dave...Watched the doc last night and loved every second of it! Looking forward to the book and DVD!

One thing though - am I right in thinking that you only wanted More4 to be involved with the project if it was just you and someone else "to hold the camera"...correct?

So how or why did you have the "continuity" shots where the camera was filming the car driving away/infront of/past/towards the point of view of the camera?

I especially noted the ones where it appeared that it was just you who drove off in the car, (or the camera was left on the roadside) - would you not have had to drive back to get the camera?! Surely thats rubbish for the fuel comsumption?!

I realise they probably had to be in there for the purpose of making it into a TV show but they just felt like the detracted from the real-ness of it a little bit for me.

Unknown said...

-Mike R-; you are a moron.

Dave; I enjoyed it. A lot. Looking forward to the book.

TCB said...

Saved the film to watch this evening and I'm so glad we had time to savour it. It was superb.

I loved the graphics - especially when the "zapping" of the veteran who electrocutes himself.

A really inspiring challenge and as soon as I win the lottery I'm going take 6 months to go on a grand driving tour myself - I love a good USA road trip.

We were en route to Moab for halloween and were disappointed that you didn't show more of how you filled your time there - especially since it is soo photogenic.

Keep up the good work.


Anonymous said...

I am sooooo glad you found the Beagle B&B and showed it to the world. The more people who know about that B&B the better.

WiggyToo said...

Very much enjoyed your film, I found the astuteness of the people commenting on their own country's malaise of chains refreshing. It is like watching an accident happening and not being able to stop it. As you say the US is like two countries, on a visit you can see both sides and when people dismiss America based on the media view they dismiss all those things that are good alongside all those things that are bad. Anyway thanks for making the film - made me want to visit again and stay in a beagle.


Anonymous said...

@ simmo, the continuity shots thing - i was thinking about that stuff as well! but im fairly certain it was just dave and andy (or the girl, mega sorry i cant remember her name - hope her back is better now though!!), and yes as you said, they probably had to film dave driving off and then turn off the camera and then go back and get andy or him go to the car, pretty sure more4 didnt have any crew on the journey. though thats just me guessing.

@ dave, awesome doc! thoroughly enjoyed it and like everyone else has said, made me wanna travel and see sights perhaps i hadnt thought of looking for before. inspiring stuff! and i loved how nervous you were getting when your car was being towed and the dude towing it was "getting angry" with you haha, i loved it. great job :)

Anonymous said...

dave i know its wrong to say but the bit in the film where 'you cracked' after being in the same town for a few days, was possibly one of the funniest things i have ever seen.

does that make me a bad person?

on another note well done, a piece of work to be extremely pleased of.

RJM said...

Well done, Dave! I am so pleased you made it to my Independence, USA (in Kansas) which was my hometown when growing up.

We always bought our gas at Miller Brothers and I was gobsmacked to catch a glimpse of downtown Independence on the telly.

I was even more impressed to see that my fellow Kansans remain so hospitable. That was my fave part as you went through Liberal, Dodge, Hutch, lovely Cottonwood Falls, etc and all us Kansans were friendly and helpful. It's the first thing I appreciate any time I leave Manchester here in the UK and visit folks there - the welcome!

My folks still live near Independence near the Little House on the Prairie. Honestly, if you had stopped in and told them I had sent you, they would've baked you a cake.

When exactly did you take this trip, was it in 2007? If so, you may have driven through Independence's neighbour Coffeyville which was slicked over by oil when the refinery was flooded. And nearby Neodesha just lost a $400m lawsuit against BP to recover the cost of cleaning up damage done by their refinery.

That was one thing you could've mentioned - the environmental price Americans pay by being beholden to the chains!

I really hope you return to the States for another trip adhering to the 'unchained' principles, but at a slower pace so you can appreciate the back roads of the US.

Anonymous said...

I watched this last night, on my telly and everything. Good times, good times.

I really enjoyed it, and thought it was by turns laugh-out-loud funny and rather touching.

Although I still can't get that image of the roadkill cat out of my head. THANKS A LOT.

Matthew Lloyd said...

I have just finished watching America Unchained, and it is an inspiring movie. It shows a startling contrast between 'generic' America and hometown America. You get a great glimpse of 'generic' America (if you have never seen it) during the first 10 mins, where Dave is driving along the highway and you see the classic 'crossroads outlet' and they all look the same. This contrasted against real people with real stories. It is inspiring yet somehow depressing. The fact that you are loosing all of this and it just becomes sterile, generic and heartless is an absolute tradgedy. But as is mentioned in the film the only way to avoid this is to stand up and create your own buisness.

I live in Manchester in the UK (a fairly large city) and this idea of a small buisness ran by family is almost alien. Certainly to the extent shown in America Unchained. We just dont have that sense of community over here. Anyway I digress, this is an excellent documentary done in an honest way. My hats off to Dave and everyone else involved.

Dave Gorman said...

Hi. I want to reply to as much as I can... apologies if I skip you out. Before I go, I want to say I'm really quite startled by the reaction. I knew it would divide people - it's a different format to things I've done before - but while there has been some strangely virulent hatred of it the overall reaction has been really positive and the viewing figures were quite amazing. So thanks.

@ radley: the book and the film are - to my mind - quite different. Obviously they tell the same story but the film is restricted to 76 minutes and in any case, a film has to work as an entity in one sitting in a way that a book doesn't. It would be impossible to put all of each day in either telling of the story.

@Mike: the DVD isn't longer. It runs without ads obviously so it doesn't have some of the recapping so I think it flows better. I don't think making it longer would have added clarity. I do think that watching it in one sitting sans ads is a better way to take it all in.

@Wood: I don't know about 4OD. I'm guessing not... but only on the grounds that they've decided to release it on DVD and if that was my decision, I wouldn't make it available for a free also. I might be wrong though.

@MarkMaverickShaw: Thanks. Although I disagree with you on the graph. Worth having if it adds to the story, not if it doesn't.

@Lors: Thanks. I didn't notice that.

@Josh/Robert Burdock/Dave/Dave Frear/Andy/Stuart/Sherb/Aysha/Burkey/Nez/WiggyToo/Steve/Jimmy Mack/Fanton/Matthew Lloyd: Thanks.

@Shaky mouse: I agree with you about the music. One of the things that was most thrilling about making the doc when we got back was having a composer write music to fit the film rather than having to use library stuff. It's written by a guy called Dru Masters who's more than a bit brilliant. The music that plays over the very end makes me tearful every time I hear it. Dru's too good. No plans to publish a photo book - but then there will be a book book and the photos are available for free so I think a photo-book would appear cynical.

@redhouevincent: there is going to be a relatively large section of photos in the book. But more are/will be available online elsewhere. And yes, there was some rock balancing.

@Stuart Ian Burns: Ta. The car was sold - eventually. We left it in the care of a Florida based friend. I don't know if it has been sold again since - but I do know it's for sale again as I type.
You're right the DVD doesn't have some of the post-ad-break recapping. Apart from that it's the same. I think.

@Madame Deux Chats: That's nice. Oddly, the first gas station we stopped at in Colorado appears in Thelma & Louise. Apparently.

@Andy: The truth is, none of the gas stations made their own petrol. They didn't dig it out of the ground, refine it and sell it. They bought it from a major somewhere down the line. In the same way that the diners used Heinz ketchup and sold coke and the motels washed their sheets in laundry detergent they'd probably bought at Walmart. We were giving our money to Mom & Pop and they were inevitably giving their money to The Man. But it wasn't an attempt to do a modern counter-culture, bio-diesel, knit-your-own trousers journey. It was more about nostalgia than that. So yes, we used a mobile phone. But in what way is buying a pay-as-you-go credit from a M&P different to buying petrol from a M&P? Besides, it would only be an issue if we secretly used a mobile phone and then pretended we hadn't. The film is an honest telling of the story. You see the success and the failure - and can decide for yourself where the boundary lies. I think some other shows would have edited a version together where the gas is all unchained and nothing bad happens. But that wouldn't be a documentary.

@Eliot: I think that would encourage a small number of people to revisit particular places rather than to exploring. You can probably work out where they all are anyway. But exploring would be better.

@ -Mike-R-: I'm sorry you didn't like it. I won't try to persuade you that you're wrong because experience has taught me that people have made up their minds. I don't know why you thought it would be a comedy show - it was billed as a documentary and appeared in a documentary strand after all. I think you've mistaken opinion with fact. The Guardian hated it this morning. Many other papers liked it. Is one right and the others wrong? Or are they all opinions? I feel like you're disappointed because you think it failed - but it was never trying to be the thing you wanted. Sorry. I'm not suggesting that you're wrong and the other people who've commented are right. But it's obvious that a lot of people enjoyed it. Did they see something that you didn't or vice versa? Maybe you were looking for something that wasn't there. You can't please anyone. But I find your absolutist I-didn't-like-it-therefore-it-is-bad-fact approach a tad unreasonable.

@Hayleyyy: Ta. I agree that our view of America is very narrow. There are 300,000,000 of them after all.

@Stuart/TCB: There's more about Moab in the book. But that's the thing - you obviously already know about Moab so you want more of it. But actually, I think it makes more sense to have more of what you don't know.

@Simmo: because I'd drive out of shot and then wait for Andy to come running up to me. I can see how it might be distracting but I also think it's useful to see the car in the landscape to appreciate the scale. The thing I hate most is when someone rings a door-bell and there's a shot from within the hallway while the two parties pretend it's the first time they've met and there was none of that stuff.

@R J Macrae: Ta. Kansans were ridiculously nice, helpful and friendly. The trip was actually made in 2006. We ended in December. We could have mentioned the environmental impact of the chains but then we could have mentioned the economic impact too and we didn't. I wanted the politics - such as they are - to be on the coat tails of the story and not to be the main thrust. I don't want to tell you what to think. I'm happy if it made anyone think at all. It just tells the story of what happens and doesn't try to answer any questions or explain any of the bigger issues. That's clearly frustrated some. But I think that's about expectations again. How dare someone make a documentary that doesn't tell me how it is?

andy leeks said...

Wow Dave, a late night, I seriously admire your commitment in communicating to your fans/critics. Top Stuff. I watched another documentary last night. It was one that Stuart McGurk had said was fantastic (The Madness of Dancing Daniel) and it was nowhere near yours. While it had feeling, endeavor and hope, it just didn't have a dead cat and an army veteran that eletrocutes himself. I can't help feeling that it was filmed solely to get some "Good Telly" capturing a young man struggling with a mental illness on film. As you have said, people obviously build your doc up to something they think it is going to be, rather than waiting to form an opinion at the end.

Keep it up Dave

Anonymous said...

Isn't the whole ethos of not giving to 'the man' a bit lost when you bring out a corporate backed DVD and book about the subject?

I enjoyed Googlewhack and My Name is..., but this doc was just dull and missed out on some great opportunities. The characters that you met should have had more tv time.. eg. The scene where you had Thanksgiving with a family was overdubbed with a joke regarding your tattoo. The majority of the programme was you talking about the petrol level and shots of the petrol gauge (yawn) - you KNOW you could have bought and filled Jerry cans, but you "forgot" to fill them up - Sorry, I don't believe you buddy - wouldn't have made good telly now would it and you wouldn't have been able to sell your little idea to the Channel 4 TV corporation.

This was nothing more than a poor mans Top Gear Special.

Anonymous said...

Just a quick response to the anonymous poster above. From what I know this film was never originally meant to be a film, it was something that Dave wanted to do and then other people got involved. From what I understand the likes of Channel 4 came to Dave. not vice versa.
It's fair enough that you didn't enjoy it, but it seems the people that didn't enjoy this documentary are looking for the kind of laughs found in googlewhack and My name is...
To me this was Dave doing what he spoke about in Googlewhack, this was Dave growing up, he wasn't able to write the Novel to be taken seriously, so he has made a Documentary (Correct me if I'm wrong Dave). And it seems the people who did not like it don't want to take Mr Gorman seriously at all.
As for forgetting to fill Jerry Cans, I only saw that happen once in the whole documentary, and to do that once is highly probable in my opinion. And then even if he had Jerry Cans with Gas in them, if he didn't come across an Unchained Petrol Station before they ran out, he could easily of utilised them and still had problems.
I think if Dave had wanted to make "Good" telly he would have sent researchers ahead of himself, to find the most interesting stories. Where as it seems obvious to me Dave went on a Journey he wanted to do, and just saw what happened. It was not the rollercoaster that his Googlewhack adventure was, but I don't think it was ever intended to be that way.
I think this was far better than a Top Gear special, because it contained substance and made you think...without shoving the creators own political views down you throat. It was also one man taking a risk, with very little backing, and I personally found incredibly inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Is the DVD thats out on monday a bare bones release, or does it have lots of featues, commentary's, photos of the people places you meet, music videos, deleted scenes, trailers, interactive journey maps e.t.c
Or does it not add anything from my dvd recording from More4.

tinpanally said...

Robandrew - I completely agree. I enjoyed the documentary for what it was, and indeed, found it enormously refreshing. I don’t believe anything was "staged" or added for effect. The end result was a wonderfully honest piece of film that has obviously made many people think and take the time to log on to Dave's website in order to leave a note to say how they were affected by it. I would be very proud if a piece of my work produced this much reaction.

Dave Gorman said...

@ anonymous: the film doesn't preach or dictate that nobody should ever give another dime to The Man. It just tells a story and hopefully raises a few questions. If I thought I could live the rest of my life without ever crossing a chain-store's threshold I'd be wrong. I don't and I'm not expecting other people to do so either. But maybe it's good to think about the choices you have. The petrol we bought from independent stores still came from multinationals somewhere down the line... does that invalidate the whole experience? Only if you've pre-ordained what it's supposed to be...

As to the jerry-cans. The truth is that jerry-cans and station wagons aren't a good mix. There's no separate trunk/boot to stow things in, you're sharing the space with your luggage and the fumes that it gives off. Besides, there's no point asking a question if you know the answer... and if you allow yourself to carry unlimited fuel, you know the answer.

I knew before it was broadcast that it wasn't going to be everybody's cup of tea. That's fine with me. But the truth is that lots of people have clearly taken something from it that you haven't. I'm sorry that we failed to communicate to you that which we succeeded in communicating to others... but regardless of your opinion of it, there was clearly something to it. Maybe it was subtle. Maybe you were too busy looking for something else that wasn't coming. Maybe it's just not your cup of tea. All of which are fine.

@simon: it's the bare bones.

rothsay said...

I have to say I really enjoyed the show but have been disappointed with a lot of people's comments on this and other message boards. It seems that some people have decided for themselves what the purpose of the documentary was and what it should have achieved. And then didn't like it when it wasn't what they thought it should have been. In my view it wasn't some sort of political anti-capitalist statement about how large corporations are bad and how it's possible to live without them. Using a non-corporate mobile phone? Should he have only used roads laid by family run tarmac companies or worn home made clothes? How far do you want to take this?

As with most of the projects I've come across of Dave's this was a number of things. Firstly it was a celebration of the traditional family run businesses not a criticism of corporations. Secondly it was about a journey across America with highs, lows, funny moments, touching moments and everything else. Thirdly and most importantly it was about people. Somehow Dave makes the simple act of meeting ordinary people fascinating and highlights the goodness in them as apposed to most of the media that constantly tries to show the bad.

Then again i might be wrong as well.

I do have a criticism though. Why are there no extras on the DVD? Surely there must have been an awful lot of footage that didn't make the documentary and a DVD would be the ideal place to show this. As I taped it off the T.V I've no reason to buy the DVD now but I would have if there'd been some extras.