What to expect from the new SBS 2 series Unplanned America, premiering May 12th at 9:30pm

  • Chris Singh
  • May 9, 2014
  • Comments Off on What to expect from the new SBS 2 series Unplanned America, premiering May 12th at 9:30pm

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Premiering Monday 12 on SBS 2, a new six-part Australian series will follow three friends – Gonzo, Nick, and Parv – on the road less travelled in the expansive United States of America. Unplanned America is about the in-depth exploration that evolved from a lack of travel books, an aversion of backpacker guides, and seemingly no clear sense of direction. The trio drive approximately 35,000km across more than 35 states and often fall into the most unlikely of scenarios.

The complete immersion in worlds far removed from their own opened up their minds in ways they never expected. Speaking to one of the three – Parv – I got a real sense of the wondrous journey their trip evolved into, as he concludes that being more open-minded is the primary life skill that came out of the trip. ”I can’t believe the three of us were in some of those situations; most of them are so far from what you would usually get into in day to day life.”, Parv told me, “now I catch myself before I judge people”.

Parv is hoping the series has a similar effect for those who will tune into the series. It’s in-depth travel series’ like these that are important to society, challenging the preconceptions many people have: ”You can get really depressed at the state of the world, I think it’s nice to remind people every now and then that there is awesome stuff out there as well…a little bit of hope.“.

Over the six episodes, the trio find themselves exploring the LA porn scene; rolling with Chicago’s up and coming underground rappers; living with drifters in the Californian dessert; going on night patrol with real-life superheroes in Seattle; uncovering New York’s gay underground ballroom scene; visiting the crumbling metropolis of Detroit; changing the ice on a cryogenically frozen corpse in a Colorado mountain; and more. The diversity in their experiences over this series is a comprehensive look at some of the less understood subcultures which many have heard of, but never actually had any experience with.

Indeed, Unplanned America is not your everyday travel series. The boys packed their bags and cameras, and headed off on a shoestring budget, funded by themselves. As the journey progressed the finance was stretched and the team turned to crowd-funding website Pozible to raise money to complete the production. From 125 personal investors the team raised $9,000 just in time to have their car engine replaced and continued filming the series.

It all kicks off on Monday 12 May at 9:30pm on SBS 2. Watch the trailer below and tune in to watch this fascinating, disorganised journey unfold.

In conjunction with the launch of the series on TV, SBS Online have commissioned a shareable, highly addictive, hilarious and nostalgic side-scrolling online video game adapted from the boys’ adventures in the series. The three-level retro platform game was developed by Bitrave and is available HERE.
SBS Chief Digital Officer Marshall Heald said:

“SBS Online has a strong track record of creating and commissioning unique, shareable, and engaging online content. I’m thrilled that we have been able to develop Unplanned America into a truly multiplatform experience that we know the core SBS 2 audience of 16-39 year olds will interact with. This game is classically retro, innovative and perfectly ties in to the sub-cultures explored in the series.”

Episode One – Monday May 12, 9.30pm on SBS 2

Gonzo, Nick and Parv make their way to Seattle where they go on street patrol with Phoenix Jones and his rag-tag crew of real life crime fighters, known as the Rain City Superheroes, to learn the motivations behind the masked vigilantes’ much ridiculed actions. Later the guys pay a visit to the Real Doll factory in Southern California, where frighteningly life-like sex dolls are made to order for discerning customers.

Episode Two – Monday May 12, 10pm on SBS 2

Gonzo, Nick and Parv head to Southern Illinois to attend the lawless Gathering of the Juggalos a music festival for fans of horror-core hip-hop group Insane Clown Posse. The fans, known as Juggalos and classified as a gang by the FBI, wear clown make-up, dress in horror-themed outfits, carry weapons and trade prescription drugs, but the crew realise that there’s much more than meets the eye when it comes to the “Juggalo Family”. From the Gathering the boys head east to New York City to dive headfirst into the gay, African-American/Latina underground ballroom dance scene. These intense dance battles and Zoolander-esque “walk-offs” are like nothing they have ever witnessed. They quickly learn that these aren’t your regular dance crews, but more surrogate families for ostracised youth.

Follow @SBS2 and join in the conversation on Twitter #UnplannedAmerica


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Chris Singh

Chris Singh is an Editor-At-Large at the AU review, loves writing about travel and hospitality, and is partial to a perfectly textured octopus. You can reach him on Instagram: @chrisdsingh.