A new week, some new documentaries/documentary style shows to talk about. First we have Making North America. This is a 3 part show from PBS/Nova that I found really fascinating. It discusses so many different things that shaped North America. Whether it was people, the environment, the weather, food, nature, politics, or global changes, everything had an effect on how the continent was shaped. You see how something like the discovery of gold in California created a huge population shift and developed cities like San Francisco. Same for crops like tobacco. You see how landmarks like the Grand Canyon and The Rockies were created over time. Being a PBS/Nova program, production value is through the roof and the 3 parts look fantastic. They use CGI animation to show what happened, old animals and dinosaurs and camels (yeah camels!) that once lived here and migration patterns. It’s really interesting stuff. I watch a lot of these things and I’m a big history buff so I really liked this.
Next we have The American Invasion. This is the story of the US Air Force arriving in Britain to help in World War II. What’s really fascinating about this one is all the first hand interviews. They talk to surviving US soldiers and locals about the event and that’s just amazing to me. Any time you can talk to people who were there and witnessed it, that just adds to the authentic feeling of the show. These men were barely men when they were sent overseas yet they drastically shaped the war effort. History buffs will love the interviews and stories because I certainly did. Another PBS program, the show looks great and has great production value as expected.
Last we have Take Me to the River. This musical documentary is hosted by Terence Howard and discusses the music of Memphis and how it’s influenced many, many musicians and future musicians. I liked this because it’s a good mix of old and new musicians. When I think of Memphis I think of the blues and that Southern sound, but this showed me there’s much more to it. There’s all kinds of musicians who came together to put together this album/project. Musicians of all ethnicities and ages. I think that’s what you learn the most about Memphis music, it crosses all kinds of racial groups and sounds. If you like the Memphis sound or even just music in general, check this one out.