Just a friendly roadside warning (Photo: Andrew Rothschild)
A Broad Abroad with Paula Froelich is one of my favorite new shows of the season. A Broad Abroad is a roller coaster of vicarious, informative thrills from some of the most fascinating places on the planet. The noteworthy photography, by Andrew Rothschild, makes lush use of the natural light with quick bite-size cuts that make one want to take some time off and see the world. Further, Paula is an incredible interviewer, asking all the right questions, like why exactly the shark spotter guide doesn't surf ("because I know too much," he replied.). I don't travel nearly as much as Paula, so watching her is something of a vicarious thrill. Paula, formerly of Page Six and Newsweek, is at her finest travelling to some of the most interesting place in the world and explaining the compelling ways that people live, and their local customs.
The most recent episode of A Broad Abroad features Froelich, the Editor in Chief of Yahoo! Travel, in South Africa. There is the Shark Spotters episode, which combines Paula's love of danger and travel. Paula is also a big fan of wildlife, most importantly her dog Karl.
My favorite of the short South Africa episodes is "Drinking the Strongest Brew in South Africa with a Shebeen Queen." "Back in the day," intones Paula, "some Shebeens served alcohol made with battery acid, contributing the reputation of serving some of the deadliest brew on earth." See, that's the sort of interesting tidbit you probably will not find on the more staid Travel Channel. Then, Paula proceeds to gulp some Special leopard beer -- twice as strong as most American beers -- out of what appears like a metal stein. After finding it worthy, she takes a second drink. This, clearly, is a woman after my own heart.
I highly recommend A Broad Abroad. Next up: Myanmar.