NO CGI SHARKS AND STILL COMPELLING VIEWING: SHARK WEEK 2015: NIGHT ONE

SHARK WEEK 2015: Night One – Shark Trek, Island of the Mega Shark, and Monster Mako Pros:  Factual information and a large amount of amazing footage Cons:  Nature documentaries are “dry,” right? Now in its 28th year of existence, Shark Week, Discovery Channel’s annual block of television shows devoted to the ocean’s most captivating predators, began on Sunday, July

THE AWARD-WINNING WORLD AT WAR IS STILL MUST-SEE TV 40 YEARS AFTER ITS FIRST BROADCAST

The World at War (2010 Blu-ray Set) Pros:  Better video quality, subtitles for deaf/hearing impaired viewers Cons: The restored version was reformatted for widescreen TVs. In 1971, a young British television producer named Jeremy Isaacs and a team of writers, directors, editors, and other production staff began work on  The World at War a 26-part documentary

OK, IT’S AMAZING, BUT IT’S ALSO PHONIER THAN A THREE-DOLLAR BILL: T. REX AUTOPSY

T. REX AUTOPSY on National Geographic Channel Pros: Anatomically-correct “body” is jaw-dropping; good information Cons: Someone out there now believes that T.rex specimens exist With the new Jurassic Park movie right around the corner, the National Geographic Channel cashed in renewed public interest in all things dinosaur with a new, attention-grabbing two-hour special. Premiering on June 7,

UNDENIABLY DRY BUT INFORMATIVE EXPLORATION OF FORBIDDEN HISTORY

FORBIDDEN HISTORY on American Heroes Channel Pros: Choice of topics; straight-forward presentation Cons: Seems dry when compared to most similar programs Premiering on British television in 2013 and picked up for broadcast on the (ahem) American Heroes Channel in the years since, documentary series Forbidden History follows the adventures and investigations of journalist Jamie Theakston

CONTAMINATION OF THE REDNECK ZOMBIES: I WAS BITTEN – THE WALKER COUNTY INCIDENT

I WAS BITTEN: THE WALKER COUNTY INCIDENT on Animal Planet Pros: Not bad as a sketchy found-footage film Cons: …it’s getting to be that you can’t trust nothing on the “educational” channels… After several days of redundant River Monsters specials and some decent legitimate documentaries relating to , , , and , Animal Planet’s Monster

GETTV: SONY’S POST-COLUMBIAN RENAISSANCE

getTV Network Pros: Free-TV – Broadcasting vintage Columbia films via digital sub-channel.  Columbia Pictures produced a quantity of quality entertainment in their glory days. Cons: Repetitive showings.  Mid-scene commercial placement.  Columbia Pictures includes a few forgettable films in the schedule rotation. The age of 21st century broadcasting has given birth to the digital sub-channel.  By government decree, your local station has

HERE WE GO AGAIN…TRUE SUPERNATURAL

TRUE SUPERNATURAL on Destination America Channel Pros: Interesting subject matter Cons: …oh, it’s another one of shows… Midway through a third season of Mountain Monsters that’s proven to be the most absurd yet, the Destination America channel has unleashed a mostly straight-faced program dealing with mysteries and monsters that provides an alternate to watching supposed investigator “Wild Bill”

A NICELY-COMPOSED PORTRAIT OF NASCAR ROYALTY: I AM DALE EARNHARDT

I AM DALE EARNHARDT Pros: Well-selected archival materials; provides exactly what one would want in a documentary about “the Intimidator” Cons: Nothing major – though this clearly was produced for and by NASCAR Roughly 75 minutes in length, the 2015 Spike TV documentary I Am Dale Earnhardt chronicles the life and career of the iconic stock car

DECODING SATELLITE IMAGERY ON SCIENCE CHANNEL’S WHAT ON EARTH?

WHAT ON EARTH? on Science Channel Pros: More science and evidence than is common for this type of speculative documentary; fine presentation Cons: Recycling of topics from other shows; no real answers provided Filling the void left when shows such as America Declassified (which hasn’t returned following its first season in 2013-14) and The Unexplained Files aren’t delivering new