Monday, August 12, 2002

Television-Impaired III
Two recent TV shows of note:

10 p.m., Friday, HBO: The Wire Bill Taylor's most recent favorite program, the Wire is set in West Baltimore and follows the day-to-day adventures of a police team that's tapped the pay phones used by drug dealers and other criminals. This episode (episode 9, "Game Day") didn't strike me as overly interesting, but the concept is solid -- and the setting is worthwhile. The producers spend equal time on the side of the law and the people on the street, making this another Law & Order-like show. Well done, but I'm not sure it's worth returning to every week.

11:30 a.m., Saturday, WGBX: Under Quabbin Even though TV Guide said this started at noon, I was able to catch the show only 15 minutes into its actual airing. In the late '30s, a handful of cities -- and thousands of people -- were displaced so the area could be flooded to create Quabbin Reservoir, the source of most of Boston's water supply. University of Massachusetts Amherst biologist Ed Klekowski leads a diving team to explore the underwater -- and above-ground -- remains of those flooded communities. It's a fascinating look at the beauty of lost infrastructure, the personal pain associated with losing one's home, and the impact urban planning can have on people's lives, as well as the physical landscape of our world. The program won't be aired outside of New England, so you might want to track down a copy of the video (which, sadly, isn't available via WGBH, PBS, or Amazon). Also of note is Michael Tougias's new book Quabbin: A History and Explorers Guide. Next stop, Dog Town in Gloucester!

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