?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
20 September 2012 @ 12:23 pm
How Booze Built America  


Did anyone else catch the premiere episode of Mike Rowe's latest TV series last night? I almost never manage to catch TV "as it happens" because I don't have cable, but to make sure I didn't miss the start of this show I stayed at my parents' house all evening.

The simple premise is that the backbone of America was, is and (probably) always will be alcohol. Sweet, sweet, booze. It inspired the Pilgrims to land at Plymouth (no beer left on board the Mayflower to drink) and infuriated the Founding Fathers so much (Molasses tax, or should we say the Rum tax) that it led to the American Revolution. It was one of America's earliest exports and remains critical to the economy.

Oh, and did I mention Mike Rowe's the narrator/star/generally awesome man that is Mike Rowe? I mean, he could be reading out loud from the phonebook and I would still be glued to the TV. But, if instead of that he's reading off a list of Ben Franklin's favorite euphemisms for drunkenness, so much the better!

It was a fun documentary, all the more so because it breaks the fourth wall again and again AND AGAIN. A reenactment of the Battle of Lexington and Concord is interrupted by Mike Rowe, dressed in blue jeans and baseball cap, comes sauntering through to discuss history, occasionally shouting out to his crew (as he is wont to do on Dirty Jobs). Or he'll be sitting in a smoky tavern, telling the viewers about how such dark, moody bars were the perfect places for men to meet and talk of revolution - only to add, casually, that since one can no longer smoke inside a bar that the murky atmosphere has been graciously provided by a smoke machine. Cue the cameraman flashing briefly to a tech guy working the equipment on the floor.

I read online that it's a three-part series; I'm very excited to see the rest of it!