Our new favourite …


What’s it called?


What’s it about?

The utter decrepitude of America’s built environment – specifically its hundreds of thousands of acres of abandoned shopping malls, schools, factories, cinemas and amusement parks. The series even tours a missile silo and a power plant, and among the cities visited are Cleveland, Detroit, New Orleans and St Louis, each one with its own post-apocalyptic pleasures to explore.

Who’s in it?

The presenter is Rick McCrank, who tours these now-unloved and rotting remains in the company of locals who have connections to the places – and who know how to get in and out safely, which is almost as important.

Fun fact …

As well as being an amiable and entertaining host, McCrank is also a legend among skateboarders. Born in Canada, he skated professionally for Tony Hawks’s Birdhouse team and Plan B Skateboards and now runs his own skate shop and company in Vancouver. So of course he takes the opportunity to skate in whichever site he finds himself – making sure he sweeps up all the broken glass and discarded syringes first.

Best bits so far?

In Rolling Acres, a massive abandoned shopping mall in Ohio, McCrank spots what looks very like a human scalp floating in a pool of water. He prods it with a stick and decides it’s probably a dead animal. Probably.

Where can I find it?

Although made by and for Viceland, the film and TV offshoot of Vice Media overseen by Oscar-nominated director Spike Jonze, Abandoned is now available to view for free in the boxset section of Channel 4’s on-demand platform All 4.

For fans of ...

Top Gear, urban blight, zombie movies set in abandoned shopping malls.

Anything else I need to know?

It really did look like a human scalp.