“30 For 30,” “Honest Liar,” and “Finding Vivian Maier” by Andy Langager
“30 for 30”: This documentary series produced by ESPN features a variety of sports-related topics by a variety of directors with their own style. It’s hard to go wrong with any of their titles, but some can’t-miss episodes are:
“Jordan Rides the Bus,” about Michael Jordan’s stint in minor league baseball.
“You Don’t Know Bo,” examining the legend of Bo Jackson.
“This Magic Moment,” reliving the talented Orlando Magic of the early 90s
“The Two Escobars,” a tragic story about a soccer star and drug lord, both coincidentally with the last name Escobar.
“June 17th, 1994,” about the eventful summer of 1994, including the OJ Simpson Bronco chase, World Cup Soccer, NBA Finals, Stanley Cup, and more.
“An Honest Liar” (2014): This documentary is about renowned magician and skeptic James “The Amazing” Randi. Randi has debunked celebrity psychics, faith healers, and con-artists.
Randi began his career as an escape artist — one of his more impressive feats was escaping from a straight jacket over Niagara falls.
But Randi became uneasy with performers who claimed to have real powers. He began to offer large sums of money to people who could prove they had psychic powers. He also actively went after some of those he felt were cheating the public.
Watching Uri Geller trying fruitlessly to bend a spoon on The Tonight Show is highly entertaining.
However, as the story goes on, we learn there is more to Randi’s story than meets the eye…
“Finding Vivian Maier” (2013):
In 2007, a young man named John Maloof bought tens of thousands of film negatives for less than $400 at auction. It turns out they were made by a woman who worked most of her life as a nanny. Her name was Vivian Maier. She died in 2009, but since then has become a worldwide sensation for her photographic vision.
She primarily worked in the genre street photography: Capturing candid moments on the streets of Chicago, New York, and Minneapolis. But no one saw her work until Maloof scanned it and put it online.
This Oscar-nominated documentary examines the mystery surrounding her life and work.
“Sherlock” and “Doctor Who” by Ryan Burger
As a child of the 80s, I mostly watch older shows, documentaries, and movies and you don’t need to hear a ton on all of those, but there are a couple that I’m really into that aren’t watchable through normal means on the streaming services when in the current season.
“Sherlock” – I love this series where Benedict Cumberbatch made his first major impact on our smaller screens at home (as compared with his big screen movie work). This show is just amazing, and has gotten me into the whole lore of that famous detective from 221B Baker Street in London. Cumberbatch is an absolutely amazing sociopath, who connects deep details to solve mysteries that no one else can. Really to understand you need to watch at least the first episode, A Study In Pink from 2010. If that episode doesn’t hook you, nothing will.
“Doctor Who” – The other show also airs similarly on the BBC for new episodes with past shows airing on various services at different times and is “Doctor Who.” I found this show thanks to friends and my kids and absolutely love it. There has been 50 years of “Doctor Who,” but really the last 8-10 years is where it got interesting and where you should check in. It tells the story of a time lord who travels through time and space to fix things and change history. In that way, is similar to “Quantum Leap” from 1989 – 1993 who fixed things “that once went wrong.”
To watch these shows I either have to wait until they come on Netflix after the season has ended, find them on PBS or wait for the DVDs at the DMACC library.