As a show, I really enjoy this program. It has a lot of very interesting information, and a lot of the sort of history that you didn't learn in school. It doesn't gloss over the atrocities that are a part of American History, and I appreciate that. The range of experts that are featured are also varied and really interesting. A lot of the episodes focus in on a person or two, and their experiences, and relate back to that throughout the episode. It keeps a story like aspect to the program that I enjoy.
My issue with this series may not matter at all for some people, but I like to watch documentaries with the subtitles on, and they are truly awful for this program. It usually starts out okay, but as the episode goes on the subtitles get more and more ahead of the actual talking, and it becomes so distracting and hard to know what's going on that you have to turn them off. If you don't use subtitles than it's fine, but if you do then it's problamatic.
Personally, I would give it 5 stars. My 11 year old gave it 5 stars. My 9 year old gave it 2 stars. So we averaged the scores and gave it 4 stars. I watched it by myself before the children watched it. I found it addictive. My 11 year old liked the way things were presented as a sequence building up to the major events (e.g. the Wounded Knee Massacre). I think a large part of the reason my children were able to sit through the whole 13.5 hrs of documentary is that we traveled around large parts of the US for a year and paid attention to historic and cultural sites. We visited many sites, monuments and museums related to Lewis and Clarke, Lakota, Nez Perce and several other nations and tribes. So, when the children watched the documentary, they were able to relate it to places they'd visited. Otherwise, I don't think it would have held their attention so much. I watched it before my family and I traveled around the country on our long trip. It's been about 3 years since I watched...
First off I will be honest, I am coming from a biased view because I love history and I was willing to watch the whole series through (I am on my third watching, but with my daughter this time). If you do do not like documentaries or history or with detailed information that may disagree from the whitewashed version of history that I was taught in school, then this series is not for you. It may challenge what one knows and irritate at points, but if you go in with an open mind and just absorb what is shared, I believe you will like it on the whole. The cinematography is amazing in this series and it is stuffed full of the research and stories that has come to expect from Ken Burns and PBS. There is some criticism that it shows too much of the exploitations of varies people groups, but frankly, that is the story of America and I think it is well-balanced in that the put these things in context of the time, telling stories from both sides for a more well-balanced view of...
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