"This is the kind of place where even toilets have their own zip code". So began a very funny and quirky look at an American gated community was a little bit like one of Louis Theroux’s weird weekends, except Charlie Le Duff, the host, is less smug and much funnier. He just ambles along, asking simple questions before pouncing Columbo-like with a killer last line. "Oh look, there’s a Mexican over there….gardening." "People ask me what Canyon Lake is like. It’s fine. It’s the people who are crazy."
At the heart of it all was a question that BBC4 had been trailing for the past few weeks – ‘Are gated communities the new segregation?" On the basis of this show, probably yes, but it’s a segregation some of the inmates are eager to break out of. One 18 year old kid was all set to join the Marines just to get out of there. Unfortunately the Marines wouldn’t have him, so he had to go back.
Of course, with all these kinds of gated communities, there is the
classic Agatha Christie scenario of what happens when an insider turns
out evil. Apparently this happened a few years ago when one of the
members killed his ex-girlfriend and burnt the house to the ground.
And there are apparently 6 registered sex offenders living in the small
community, so News of the World readers shouldn’t be selling up their
houses just yet.
If they turned all this into an episode of Desperate Housewives, you
wouldn’t believe it. But it was all quite hilariously true, and
Charlie Le Duff should be on British screens more.