Man oh man do I watch me some History Channel. I’ve been tuning in since the days when it was nothing but archival footage and was known as the “Hitler” channel. These days though there are so many shows and mini-specials that tap into so many different topics. They’re pulling in more dough and shoving it into quality program faster than we can TiVo it all. Gangland has to be one of the few that I make sure to catch whenever it’s on. From the History Channel website:
“The Gangland series tells the insider story of some of America’s most notorious street gangs. We learn how they’ve shaped their times and affected the neighborhoods that they controlled. From the destruction wrought by the heroin kingpins in Harlem of the 1970s to today’s most dangerous gang MS-13, which has spread out from the inner city to infect unexpected turf —suburban communities—gangs have a rich yet deadly history. They usually start out as a form of protection for their members and community but then grow predatory as they feed on the very people that they purport to defend. With exclusive interviews and rarely seen footage, this is a raw look at life inside these gangs—from those who live it and the agencies that are working to stop them.”
I don’t know what it is about the show that really gets me. It’s a good exhibition of the sociology of disenfranchised youth that turn to violence. You see that same formula, absence of strong parental figures and some desperate poverty and you get a gang. The really interesting part is how different the gangs that form are. As cultures it’s interesting to get what would normally be insider information. Overall the show has some damn good researches and has a production quality better than most documentary-series.
There you go, that’s my recommendation for this week. Go check it out minions. If you need some links, comment and someone will deliver.