Skip to main content


Filter by

Select Air Date


Select Segment Types

Segment Types

124 Segments




Two Contrasting Historical Programs on Television.

Television critic David Bianculli checks out two programs, NBC's six-hour mini-series about Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, titled "A Woman Named Jackie;" and a Showtime documentary called "Hearts of Darkness," about the making of the movie "Apocalypse Now."


History as the Inspiration for Primetime.

Television critic David Bianculli reviews two new historical shows, one on PBS and the other on ABC. One is a documentary series, "Columbus and the Age of Discovery," and the other a docudrama about the Gulf War, "Heroes of Persian Gulf."


A New Life in the United States after "Thanh's War"

Vietnamesse-American Pham Thanh and American filmmaker Elizabeth Farnsworth. As a child, Thanh was seriously injured when the Americans bombed his village. He eventually was brought to America and raised by foster parents. Farnsworth has made a documentary about Thanh's life, and the legacy of the Vietnam war on that country's children. It's called "Thanh's War," and it's being shown this week on PBS.


"The Divine Garbo" Is Far from Divine

Television critic David Bianculli reviews the new documentary about Greta Garbo. He says it fails to capture her allure. But he's willing to forgive the misstep --- TNT will also broadcast 11 of Garbo's classic films.


Public Television is on a Roll with "Nixon"

Television critic David Bianculli reviews the new three-hour profile of the rise and fall of Richard Nixon, presented on the American Experience show. The documentary comes on the heels of Ken Burns' Civil War series, and continues PBS' streak of excellent programming.


"The Civil War" Is Both History and Poetry

Ken Burns' 11-hour documentary took five years to make, and features period music, readings of soldiers' letters, and moving shots of battlefield sites. TV critic David Bianculli says it's a show to watch and treasure.


Documenting the Destruction of the Amazon Rain Forest

Filmmaker and writer Adrian Cowell spent much of the 1980s filming all the stakeholders affected by the deforestation of the Amazon -- including homesteaders, indigenous people, and government-supported ranchers. He's made a series of television documentaries and a new book about the experience, both called the Decade of Destruction.


The Debut of a New, Visually-Focused Documentary Series

Television critic David Bianculli reviews American Chronicles, a new documentary series produced by Mark Frost and David Lynch--the same team responsible for Twin Peaks. The show will focus on the history of notable places and people, and retains some of the weirdness of co-creators' supernatural drama.


"American Masters" Returns for a Fifth Season

The first episode of the PBS documentary series' new season, about playwright Preston Sturges, has TV critic David Bianculli excited for forthcoming profiles of other cultural figures. He says the program isn't just engaging -- it inspires him to further explore the work of each American master.


A Rock Documentary.

Television critic David Bianculli reviews a documentary on musician Paul Simon. It's called "Paul Simon: Solo" and it airs this Sunday on the Disney Channel.


The Civil Rights Struggle in the North.

Documentary Producer Henry Hampton. In 1987 he produced the prize-winning documentary series on PBS, "Eyes on the Prize." The series documented the civil rights movement from 1954 to 1965. The New York Times' Walter Goodman called the series, "a moving documentary" in which "the nobility of America's civil-rights struggle comes through with the directness and strength of a spiritual." It's sequel, "Eyes on the Prize II," is now being broadcast and covers the movement from 1965 to the 1980s.


Did you know you can create a shareable playlist?


There are more than 22,000 Fresh Air segments.

Let us help you find exactly what you want to hear.
Just play me something
Your Queue

Would you like to make a playlist based on your queue?

Generate & Share View/Edit Your Queue