British comedian Griff Rhys Jones visits six metropolises to find out what makes them arguably the greatest cities in the world. The selection includes London, Rome and Paris in the Old ... See full summary »
Griff is in the French capital, object of great chauvinistic pride and vanity. Although resulting in a mind-boggling traffic mayhem, its street grid largely results from some ambitious planning. It's...
Hong Kong, one the world's best natural ports, became one of its busiest and richest cities after the infamous colonial Opium War lead to its 99 years concession by the British, and remains so in the...
Griff starts his search for the greatest cities in the Big Apple. Some grand public - and private initiative buildings illustrate the city and its (especially super-rich) citizens' typical ambition, ...
British comedian Griff Rhys Jones visits six metropolises to find out what makes them arguably the greatest cities in the world. The selection includes London, Rome and Paris in the Old World plus New York, Sydney and Hong Kong in the New World. He looks into to oddities, traditions, even tries out some remarkable city - and private jobs for a day. Written by
One of the best most balanced overviews of great cities
Presented by Griff-Rhys Jones. This aired on telly here a few years ago, and when I saw it at the ABC (our BBC) shop I decided to get the 6-part series. I think it's one of the best doco series' on cities there is. Most documentaries on cities, I find, like the NG 'Megacities' series, either focus too much on one aspect and not on the city as a whole (e.g. the Megacity episode for London focused mostly on Heathrow, for HK on the port, I mean seriously?), on dry history or are travel docs, which are great. I find Lonely Planet has too many things on some avantgarde theater group, whereas I want to know about the CITY itself: the neighbourhoods, the vibe. It's great to hear individual stories, but I like broader overviews.
I think this series strikes a good balance between both. There are plenty of shots of the same famous landmarks, and aerial views of the city, but also interesting vignettes of city life/peculiarities. I think his social commentaries at least try to get beneath the surface of what life in the city is like and as a presenter he's pretty good. For the episode for Sydney, for instance, it didn't tend to focus on places OUTSIDE the actual city like the beaches, national parks (although of course included that too) like docs on Australian cities always tend to do. At least it talked about Sydney CITY itself.
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