08 September 2020 06:30
Sue meets a massive bundle of Marijuana on new BBC One docu-series Sue Perkins: Along The US-Mexico Border (Picture: BBC) Sue Perkins carried a backpack made of pure Marijuana on the first episode of her fascinating docu-series Sue Perkins: Along The US-Mexico Border. The four-part show sees the TV personality travel over 2,000 km, crossing from one country to the other as she learns about life on one of the world's most famous (or should that be infamous) borders. 'Much of what we hear about the "wall" comes from America's perspective,' Sue explains via voice over. 'It's needed to "keep out the bad guys". So I've come to Pinal County [in Arizona] to meet Mark Lamb, the County Sheriff.' Although the Pinal County doesn't border Mexico, it's 'near enough to make all the difference', she adds, as the Sheriff explains: 'We're about 70 miles off the border and one of the major issues we have is human and drug trafficking.' Advertisement The Sheriff then shows Sue a storage facility of 'evidence'.
Sue struggles to pick up one of the 50lb bundles of the drug, which sometimes have hard drugs hidden inside (Picture: mailonline) Those who carry the bundles often have to walk 70 miles through desert heat (Picture: BBC) 'By evidence you mean weed?' asks Sue. The star meanwhile explains that demand for illegal drugs in the United States is 'met by Mexican cartels' and 'smuggled through the desert on foot.' Confronted by bundles of Marijuana, the former Great British Back Off host jokes: 'It's like walking back in time through my teenage years. And 20s, and 30s, and 40s and… I'm not going any further.' The Sheriff tells Sue one of the biggest issues his county faces is 'human and drug trafficking' (Picture: BBC) The Sheriff then explains: 'People that want to come here and make a better life for themselves, the cartel is charging them money to come across.' He added: 'And then, they might give them a discount if they carry a bundle of Marijuana,' before explaining that hard drugs such as heroin are sometimes hidden inside the 50lb bundles. Sue then struggles to pick one of the bundles up, as the Sheriff says: 'Imagine packing 60 or 70 miles with that.' 'It's already just really painful,' admits Sue. Sue Perkins: Along the US-Mexico Border continues September 14 at 9pm on BBC One. Got a Showbiz Story? If you've got a celebrity story, video or pictures get in touch with the Metro.co.uk entertainment team by emailing us [email protected], calling 020 3615 2145 or by visiting our Submit Stuff page – we'd love to hear from you. MORE: Bradley Walsh reunited with old friend and Star Wars actor on The Chase: 'Nice to see you again' MORE: EastEnders spoilers: Chantelle Atkins tries to escape from abuser Gray ahead of tragic death Sue Perkins: Along the US-Mexico Border, review: An awkward combination of travel programme and hard-hitting documentary Sue Perkins was at her best when hanging out with Mexicans in ordinary settings Sue Perkins made the point in this documentary that our view of Mexico is too often seen through a US lens.
We tend to focus, she lamented, on migration and the cartels who smuggle drugs across the border. Odd, then, that her programme, Sue Perkins: Along the US-Mexico Border, ended up taking a similar perspective. This two-parter follows a series Perkins presented on Japan last year. In both she seemed keen to strike away from her comedian roots, digging around for some kind of overarching social or political message in a country's tourist sites and national cuisines. i's TV newsletter: what you should watch next Email address is invalid Email address is invalid Thank you for subscribing! Sorry, there was a problem with your subscription. Here, the pursuit made more sense, as she critiqued harsh US border policies by meeting a mother whose son was shot by Border Patrol aged 16, and by speaking to Jose, living over in the States, who can only see his family through a wire fence. Perkins really came to life when hanging out with locals in more ordinary settings, trying out tequila and digging into traditional brunch dishes. In an unexpected twist, she also visited Americans who have emigrated to live in a retirement community on one of Mexico's beaches. Some were undocumented, and all could see the grim contrast between their easygoing lifestyle and the difficulties facing Mexicans looking to move to the US. The series felt like an awkward combination of a Mexican travelogue and a hard-hitting film on the issue of migration and the Mexican border (for which another presenter closer to the issues might have made a better fit). Perkins herself seemed a little unsure which story she wanted to be telling. Despite the confusing tone, though, her ineffable personality remained as watchable as ever.