Let me be clear. I began this film 2006. So what is The Vietnam War about? Well, it’s about mass demonstration taking place all across the country against the administration. It’s about a White House obsessed with leaks and in disarray; it’s about a president who is certain that the press is lying and making up stories about him; it’s about huge document drops of stolen, classified material that has made it into the public sphere; it’s about asymmetrical warfare; and it’s about accusations that a political campaign reached out to a foreign power at the time of a national election to help influence that election.
Though I’m a late-arriving fan of “The Jinx” and an long-time admirer of “Planet Earth,” I’ve got to single out Ken Burns’ excellent, stunningly comprehensive 1994 docu-series “Baseball.” Divided into nine parts, or nine “innings,” each episode chronicles a different era of America’s pastime. Burns connects meaningful developments in the game to what was going on in the world and doesn’t shy away from racial and business issues surrounding a sport beloved for its perceived simplicity. (That “Baseball” aired before the steroids scandal was exposed turns the limited series into an all-encompassing time capsule of what the game was like before it was corrupted, though Burns did examine the Steroid Era via the two-part 2010 film, “The Tenth Inning.”) How Burns split each “inning” of his series into a “top” and a “bottom” proved charming to my younger self, watching on the floor of the living room with the rest of the Travers family; the prolific documentarian recreated the very experience of the sport he chronicled for a little boy who just wanted to sit with his folks and watch a ball game.