January 22, 2012

One Good Reason to Watch PBS Monday Night

Photo via Flickr
Sometimes, it pays to be able to Netflix a documentary before it comes out.

 Awhile ago, I had decided to check out Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune on DVD - admittedly, I had read about his music via another blog (and I can't remember who - shame on me!), and decided that, at the very least, I should check out something about his work, if only to help me decide whether or not seeking out his recorded work would be worth it.

Thankfully, it is - and this film is the kickoff to the latest season of PBS' American Masters. It's on Monday night at 10:00 pm EST (and in Chicago, it's on WTTW HD at 9 pm CST). It's quite enjoyable, and honestly - you really need to see this.

In an age where protests and ideology can often devolve into sniping (look at the recent SOPA debates), There But For Fortune is a great example of how a person attempted to live up to his own ideals....and where that led him creatively. This could have easily turned into a Behind the Music-style arrangement of cliches: although the documentary does not shy away from Ochs' political and psychic turmoil; however, this is one of the better portraits of an artist, his art, and his time....and how all three impacted upon him.

When you read critics like, say, David Bianculli of TV Worth Watching praise this documentary (and he is one of my favorite critics), it's easy to dismiss. As a regular guy with a blog, this is definitely appointment television.

Check your local listings. Tomorrow night, catch this documentary.

At the very least, you'll enjoy the soundtrack.

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