I’m a big fan of watching travel shows like Rick Steves Europe and Rudy Maxa when I catch them on television. Both guys tend to pick a city (or region) and just show you the sights, talk a little about the culture and history, show the food, and try to give the audience a general feel for the place. Like a lot of Americans, I have a fascination with (and a love of) European travel so these shows help fill a little void where you can see these places from the comfort of your home.
Do other countries make these types of shows about the US? Is there some show in China that is showing the sights of Seattle? Does Germany have a show that takes you through Philadelphia? Or is there so much media exported by the US that they already have a good feel for the place? Just curious.
There were some travel shows in Soviet Russia in 1978-1979 (which is when I was there) that did the circuit of United States - from NY to LA and SF, with a lot of stuff in between. It was heavily slanted (showing a lot of Chicago garbage alleys, for example, which is not the most appealing side of the city), but enough stuff was there to make it interesting and educational (and counter-productive to the propaganda dept that put it on).
You have to also remember that US movies are shown all over the world, very often completely crowding out the local productions. And although showing off US is definitely not the purpose of the movies, enough peeks through to make the world populace much more knowledgeable about the United States, in general, than we are of them.
I remember watching “Fun with Dick and Jane” in Leningrad around 1979. You know - the movie where a middle class couple, when faced with hardships such as their lawn being rolled up and confiscated for debts, attempts bank robbery? I remember people walking out of the theater after the movie, sighing “I wish I had their problems”
Off course the US gets covered in Travel shows. There probably isn’t any show focused on the US exclusively, but it is one of the most popular (big) travel destinations for Europeans. They will usually focus on a specific city, area or trail (best things on route 66/New England, etc). btw Most of my experiences are with Dutch shows, but I’ve seen them in other counntries as well. For all you QI fans, Stephen Fry did a tour in the US not too long ago.
I’m not aware of any that concentrate exclusively on the USA, no. There are similar destination guide shows covering cities all over the place. In a slightly different vein, there are a few travelogue documentaries specifically about the USA. Currently on ITV in the UK is Billy Connolly’s journey along Route 66, and recently there was Stephen Fry’s America (BBC), in which he visited every state, in a London taxi cab.
Our local travel shows will usually feature American holidays along with every other kind of holidays. There are other shows that are part-travelogue, part-state of the nation, especially around election time.
Globe Trekker is a series of shows and travel guides made by a UK company, and they have done “treks” of America.
I have long wanted to start a thread about Globe Trekker, but never gotten around to it.
I have been watching the show for the past few years, and wondered if any other Dopers were also GT viewers.
The OP mentioned food as well, so you might be interested in Jamie’s American Roadtrip, a travelogue/cookery show that covered LA, Wyoming, NY, Louisiana, Georgia and Arizona.
There was a Chinese TV series called “Dashan’s Adventures in Canada”, although it was also intended to teach English. (Dashan is the stage name of a Canadian who became a popular entertainer in China.)
German regular travel shows usually show a worldwide selection with a mixture of popular destinations (e.g. Italy etc. are well represented) and more exotic/expensive ones (e.g. Mongolia).
One example (that I picked for convenience because the web page had all weekly programms from May 2010 to Sep 2011). By my cursory count: 77 weekly programmes on the web page as of today, of which 3 on an US destination.
In Japan, a few years ago, I saw two episodes of a travel show-- one going to Ireland and another visiting Chicago I think it was.
It was interesting because it was shot in first person.
Thanks for the answers, everyone. It’s funny, I have actually seen the Stephen Fry show and it hadn’t even occurred to me!
I live in China. I have (illegal?) satellite television from (I think) the Philippines. The travel shows and food shows and other shows that could possibly show Filipinos anything at all about the United States are the same shows that I’ve seen in the United States.
Also TIL that Tagalog has a lot of Spanish words, but Filipino TV is mostly in English so it doesn’t matter anyway.