At on PBS the six-part series “The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” wraps up with its final episode. Tonight the Henry Louis Gates documentary explores the tumultuous years between 1968 and 2013. Many people assume that racism is a thing of the past, but Gates’ argues that we still have a long way to go for racial equality in America.
“The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross” has been an eye opener in that it presents the African American experience through the eyes of a renowned black scholar.
Henry Louis Gates chose to inject himself within the narrative of “Many Rivers to Cross,” a fact that is both refreshing and questionable.
It is understandable that Gates chose to be in the series rather than limit his participation to the editing room. But presenting history while walking and chatting with other scholars dulls the history lesson with such an informal approach. In the end the series’ success will depend on how the viewer feels about Gates rather than the quality of the historical perspective he has assembled.
The newest “unscripted” reality show “Marshall Law:
Just like most reality shows, there’s a lot of contrived drama before each commercial break followed by the inevitable and unnecessary recap. The effort to stretch each story line is so obvious it is almost embarrassing to watch. The only thing more annoying is the “action flick” sound track that pounds away in the background.
“Marshall Law: Texas” would work a lot better if it were a half hour show, but as it stands the show is annoying at best. Take a pass on this one.
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