Monday, October 12, 2009

Ken Burns Blows It

The other DrC and I love the National Parks of the U.S. We have visited at least 36 of them over the years. When we heard Ken Burns was doing a program about them, calling them America's best idea, we thought "wow." It turns out we got it two-thirds right, we should have thought "ow."

Burns managed to take something intrinsically interesting and make it boring. We weren't the only ones who felt this way, see this article in Politics Daily which takes the same view. Burns has chronicled the politics of the parks, the battles between local ranchers and the environmentalists, in other words, "ho hum." This was stuff I already knew.

As the article says, he spends too much time focused on talking heads spouting environmentalist piety and new age gush. When he could have shown beautiful scenery, and had naturalists talk about the geology and animal and plant life, he didn't.

Perhaps he knows his PBS audience better than we do. Time will tell.