Tag Archives: The History Channel

Flashback Friday-The Men Who Built America (2012)

American history is built on ingenuity, independence and the willingness to believe in the impossible.

In 2012, the miniseries The Men Who Built America aired on the History Channel. It told the story of five American titans of business who through their individual contributions, changed the way the people of this country lived.

I have mixed feelings about this particular miniseries. It’s educational for sure, but not as good as other miniseries that have aired on this channel. I would have also appreciated to see a greater diversity of stories other than five Caucasian males.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

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Throwback Thursday-Life After People (2008-2010)

In the history of the Earth, there are only two species that have been at the top of the animal food chain: humans and the dinosaurs. Science has told us how and when the dinosaurs disappeared. But what happens when humanity disappears?

Between 2008 and 2010, the Life After People aired on the History Channel. Asking the hypothetical question of what if people no longer existed, the series told the story of the world we would have left behind and how it would change.

I think this series is both interesting and eye-opening. I hate to say it, we humans think that we rule Mother Nature. The reality is the other way around. The world we have built is as fallible as a house of cards. Until we are able to admit that, we will never completely understand our place in the world.

I recommend it.

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Flashback Friday-Ancient Aliens (2009-Present)

Since the beginning of humanity, there have been questions of if there is life beyond Earth.

Ancient Aliens has been part of The History Channel lineup since 2009. The premise of the show is that aliens have been visiting Earth since the time of the dinosaurs. Using historical facts, archaeology and legends, the show tries to prove that we have been visited by aliens for millions of years.

I don’t watch this show often, but I get the feeling that the science is not exactly legit. If you watch this show for entertainment purposes, it’s fine to watch. But if one watches it wanting proof that Earth has been visited by aliens for several millennia, I don’t know the proof provided is enough to legitimatize the claims being made.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Throwback Thursday-American Pickers (2010-Present)

History has a way to occurring in the most ordinary of places. The objects that mark as a reminder of these events sometimes have a way to making themselves known not in a museum, but in a private setting.

American Pickers (2010-Present), has been a staple of the History Channel schedule for nearly a decade. The show follows a team of antique collectors who travel across the country looking for hidden historical gems to fill either their personal collections or to sell to waiting customers.

Though American Pickers is labelled as a reality show, it’s not what one thinks of when one thinks of a typical reality show. That being said, I find this show rather boring. I understand the unique concept of the program, but it has never hooked me as other shows have.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Flashback Friday: America: The Story of Us (2010)

History has always been a fascinating topic. But sometimes, it must be couched or presented in a way that is exciting.

America: The Story of Us premiered in 2010 on the History Channel. Airing every 4th of July, this 12 part, 9 hour long documentary tells the story of 400 years of American history. Combining interviews, computer recreations and dramatic re-tellings of the events that shaped America’s history, this show is an academic history book brought to life.

As a history nerd, I find this program fascinating, even after multiple viewings. The history of our country comes alive, as if the viewer is experiencing it first hand. I especially appreciate how the changing technology is woven into the narrative, used an example of the American ideal of thinking out of the box to achieve our goals.

I recommend it.

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Throwback Thursday-Pawn Stars (2009-Present)

Pawn shops don’t always have the best reputation. But sometimes, it’s the only option when one needs money fast.

The History Channel show, Pawn Stars, premiered in 2009 and has yet to leave the air. Set in the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop in Las Vegas, the show follows Rick Harrison, his father Richard “Old Man” Harrison, his son Corey “Big Hoss” Harrison and employee Austin “Chumlee” Russell as they go about their job working at the pawn shop. Every episode, a customer will bring in something to sell or pawn. There is usually some haggling and if needed, bringing in an expert to confirm the price of the object. At this point, a deal is made or the customer walks out still carrying what they came in with.

Yes, Pawn Stars is a reality show. But, Pawn Stars is different. Not only does the viewer learn something about the object in question, but they also don’t feel brain dead by the end of the episode.

I recommend it.


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Houdini Review

Harry Houdini is a g-d among magicians. From the street magician doing simple card tricks to the glitziest magician on the biggest stage on the Vegas strip, he is among the immortals. But he was also a human being.

Born Ehrich Weiss in Hungary in 1874, he emigrated with his family to America as a child. Taking the stage name of Harry Houdini, he became world famous during his lifetime and since his death in 1926, he has become a legend.

The History Channel two part series, Houdini , stars Adrian Brody as the legendary magician as Kristen Connolly as his wife, Bess. I watched the first part last night. It is a well made series, the production values are excellent. What I enjoyed was the time travelling aspect of the screen play, going back to Harry’s childhood and then returning to his adult self.  Harry and Bess, despite their fame and status are normal people with the same problems that we all face. Their marriage is not all butterflies and roses, as any marriage is. What I am enjoying about the program is seeing the the real people under the legend.

The first part aired last night at 9 PM EST, the second part airs tonight at 9 PM EST. I recommend it.

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