What do you think of The History Channel?

There are some valid criticism of it[ul][li] All WWII All The Time-- not so true any more, which is a shame because I love WWII documentaries. No where near enough original programs–[/li]True. A lot of there regular programing is just old network news stuff and English docs reformated and presented as new. Watching how major events were reported at the time that they were happening is interesting. The problem I have with this is the “presented as new” part. [li]There own documentaries are generally shallow and pretty much suck.–[/li]It is shame that The History Channel, going on past experience, will never produce something like Ken Burn’s The Civil War or Shoah. Still, I’m gland there is a place to watch No Surrender: German and Japanese Kamikazes (as shallow and uninnovative as it may be.) [/ul]

Yes, all valid criticisms. But they’ve got Mail Call, R. Lee Ermey really floats my boat (yes, I am strange); History’s Mysteries-- a trivia lovers treasure trove and Modern Marvels.

I love The History Channel. What do you think of it?

I enjoy the History Channel, but I gotta admit I laughed out loud when someone in the Pit said something like, “The History Channel – remember, that big “H” stands for Hitler!” :smiley:

It’s something of a joke in my household. We get digital cable so we have History and History International. Each time I channel surf, if History doesn’t have something involving Hitler, I say, “oh man, it’s all up to the International now!” 9 times out of 10, I’m not disappointed. I mean, it’s not even necessarily WWII programs either, they manage to squeeze Hitler in everywhere. I was watching a program on the Autobahn and they filled 15 minutes of the show with Nazi stuff (which is connected, I know, but a lot of the time was spent showing Nazi rallies and Hitler speeches, so c’mon…).

I wish they’d show more history. There’s more than the 20th Century and WWII. Even History International doesn’t seem to do more, which is a shame.

Don’t forget Conquest!

Love my Hitler Channel. As Homer Simpson once said, “Ah… the Luftwaffe. The Washington Generals of the History Channel.”

It’s mostly educational, it’s stuff you’ll never see anywhere else, and sometimes it’s even accurate!

I think what bothers me is the the programs on the History channel (and TV generally) often seem to be lead by the available material. Coverage of any historical period or subject seems to be proportional to the amount of (preferably copyrite free) film material available; rather than historical importance.

I appreciate that it can be expensive to make programmes any other way - if dramatic impact is essential. I wish the channel would have the courage to make programmes featuring ‘talking heads’ taking advantage of the best available speakers and lecturers available.

I liked the Playboy documentary they had on the other night.

Modern Marvels. Looove that show. The Empire State Building Boston’s Big Dig Transatlantic Cable Alaska Highway SF/Oakland Bay Bridge Landfills Eiffel Tower Interstate Highway System Chrysler Building Golden Gate Bridge…ooooh sorry I just came in my pants. :slight_smile:

They seem to be running out of ideas though. Last month Modern Marvels did a show on THE PYRAMIDS, for cripe’s sake! How modern is that??? And don’t get me started on the show about THE WHEEL…

I have to agree that it’s “History Lite” but they need to appeal to the widest possible audience. Since most Americans are not historians they are satisfied by a lighter touch. They might find in-depth analysis of a historical subject “boring.” They must walk a very thin line between trying to satisfy true history buffs and the average American who has at best a casual interest.

What I found most offensive was when they used to have an hour block of * In Search Of. * It always made me scream at the television: “Big Foot is not history, dammit!”

The History Channel has also aired–a number of times–a “documentary” that quite convincingly proved that the Corsican Mob (or some such European Syndicate) were responsible for the JFK assassination.

(Once you ignore all the evidence, and make up your own.)

I agree completely Lissa. I wasn’t being facitious when I said I’m glad there is a place for documentaries like the Kamikaze one. I, for one, didn’t know that there were kamikaze boats and bombs.

They could sneak in some indie documentaries or perhaps produce one or two that would engross the masses, yet show some depth. I believe their parent company is A&E, which produced wonderful period peices like Horatio Hornblower, so it’s not totally out of their grasp. History lite isn’t so much a bad thing. I think the problem is more that it’s history on the cheap.

My son and I call it “The War Channel.”

Did you, er, did you see him eat the worm?

Pretty tough guy.

I like the History channel. Too much Hitler stuff for Mrs. Plant, though.

My SO and I have a running debate about the validity of “The Bunker” being featured on Modern Marvels. I say there’s nothing modern or marvelous about a hole in the ground. He, obviously, differs.

But anyway, I love the History Chanel. History’s Mysteries Challenge was totally sweet. You don’t see experiemental archaeology on TV every day of the week!

I do like the History Channel, but is there some Federal law mandating any mention of the Luftwaffe must be accompanied with “Ride of the Valkyries”?

Conquest is great!

Yes. Richard Wagner is claimed by the Nazi Encyclopedia as the precursor of Nazism. I lost as arguement over it.

And then if they could afford producers who knew more than Wagner=Nazis, they’d be on A&E. :slight_smile:

I also love the History Channel. I watch mostlt Modern Marvels and History’s Mysteries. I also love anything they do that has to do with archelogy or anthropology, although that is primarily the job of the Civilization Channel. That Mail Call guy scares me. After seeing a commercial for the show, d_redguy said “Apparently I am an idiot, and he knows stuff.” That struck me as funny.:smiley:

Sigh. Mostly. My typos make me sad.:frowning:

Eh. I’m not into military history, so most of what I’ve seen leaves me cold. My background is in soft and squidgy social history, which is utterly fascinating, but doesn’t–I think–make for particularly great documentaries. At least not the kind that most people would want to watch.

As an illustrative example, would you mention something of socially historical importance involving, perhaps, Queen Victoria?

We were discussing this at work yesterday. Somebody said, “It’s great, the Nazis always lose.”