Grayson Perry's Big American Road Trip (3 stars)

Grayson Perry

An entertaining perspective on America's in-fighting

In taking the temperature of the black and white world of American politics and social affairs, Grayson Perry's colourful outlook is a gust of fresh air. Aboard his 'psychedelic chopper', the self-proclaimed member of the liberal elite shoots around the States in three episodes, hanging out with a number of people who would typically tag him as the enemy. But on his ventures across America, Perry (like Louis Theroux before him) charms the locals with his open, non-judgemental manner and a cackle that would have Sid James grinning in his grave.

Taking in Atlanta, Washington and Wisconsin, Perry meets an assortment of people on different sides of the culture wars: some well-heeled Martha's Vineyard liberals, Georgia's 'black elite' (including a cast member of The Real Housewives Of Atlanta), and Bikers For Trump whose tirade against schools who put 'five-year-old boys in dresses' has our host visibly squirming.

Perry is an amiable frontman whose shouty summaries contain more sideways detours and grasps for profundity than a Russell Brand podcast intro, while you might find your finger hovering over the mute button given the propensity for the series editors to insert a Trump 'speech' over the action. As with Sue Perkins' recent TV visit to the US/Mexico border, Grayson Perry does offer an entertaining perspective on America's bloody in-fighting, but you might yearn for a John Pilger or a Michael Moore to dig a little deeper into that nation's heart of darkness.
Channel 4, Wednesday 23 September, 10pm.

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