DVD Selections: As Seen on PBS | Mechanics' Institute

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DVD Selections: As Seen on PBS

Mechanics’ Library staff members are among those who value programming the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) has provided for our local public television stations. As a reminder of the quality programming that has enriched our lives, we have a display on the 2nd floor of our favorites available on DVD from our collection.

Joel recommends:

California's Gold #144, Farallon Islands – Huell Howser. What a guy. His enthusiasm was remarkable. In this episode we get to watch him venture out to the Farallon Islands, and very excitedly explore the islands and its wildlife. A classic episode. R.I.P. Huell!

Hoop Dreams directed by Steve James – Funded by PBS and the National Endowment for the Arts this documentary was originally planned as a 30 minutes PBS short. It ended up turning into a 3-hour theatrical film, and (in my opinion) one of the best documentaries ever made.

The National Parks: America's Best Idea a film by Ken Burns – I agree!  No other country boasts the diversity and beauty of our landscapes, and the fact that we've decided to protect and preserve them is something we should not take for granted and must remain diligent about continuing. Watch this wonderful 12-hour documentary to learn about the history and evolution of our national parks...and then go visit some of them!

Sou loves watching The Great British Baking Show and is a fan of cooking shows and musicals that are shown on PBS. Sou recommends Broadway, the American Musical.

Kristin says "Rick Steves taught me how to travel like a queen within my budget and Cook's Country how to cook like a pro! Without PBS I would not have access to these shows and my life would be less enriched."

Rhonda says “I grew up on PBS, such a wealth of thought-provoking programming, amazing specials, Nova, and all the great comedy series like  Are You Being Served".

Taryn recommends:

The Cultivated Life: Thomas Jefferson and Wine - A fascinating look at the multi-talented Thomas Jefferson and his efforts to cultivate wine!

And Frederick Law Olmsted : Designing America - America's finest park designer and early environmental warrior.

Deb recommends: Downton AbbeyFoyle's WarInspector LewisThe Inspector Lynley MysteriesInspector Morse and Nova.

Heather says “Whether indulging in a mystery solved by the soigné Hercule Poirot, traveling off the beaten path with Rick Steves, understanding the world via the reportage of the inimitable Gwen Ifill (1955 – 2016) on PBS NewsHour, or taking a deep dive into history Ken-Burns-style, I am a bit of a fangirl of the Public Broadcasting Service. I have a long list of favorites produced or distributed by PBS. Here are a few in our collection: Art:21The Central Park FiveTypefaceJazzThe Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, and  No Direction Home: Bob Dylan.”

Lia recommends The French Chef  “I absolutely love Julia Child.  I love her down-to-earth attitude and her sense of humor.  Watching her shows has inspired me to cook things I never thought I could make on my own.  One time she was making a flourless chocolate roulade with Jacques Pepin – a dessert I was utterly afraid of baking.  She treated it as if it were no big fuss, and she was right.  I followed her recipe and mine came out perfectly!”

Myles says “I love Keeping Up Appearances because it reminds me of my grandmother – it was her favorite show. PBS has been a great source for British comedies like the recent Vicious where Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi play an older gay couple. I am a nut for American Experience documentaries - I recommend Ric Burns’ The Donner Party  and the heartwarming My Life as a Turkey.


Posted on Apr. 10, 2017 by Myles Cooper