Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Gangland" on the History Channel

"Gangland" is a new series on the History Channel. It began airing last November and its most recent episode features California's Nuestra Familia.

I have not seen an episode yet--but I am suspicious. With all of the sensational portrayals of urban/drug/gang life already out there I've got to wonder how legit the documentary could be, History Channel sponsorship notwithstanding.

So I went to the website, searching, like any good historian, for their primary sources--who were the directors, producers, expert advisors, even stage crew for each episode? Who were they talking to? Where did they find them and what did they have to gain, or lose, by talking t a television crew.

Nothing to be found.


And on a quick Google search (I admit, it was quick), I couldn't find many news items about the show. Although I did find a list of past episodes on wikipedia.


But I still haven't actually seen an episode.

So instead of passing judgement, I toss it out to the brooding public.

What the heck is this Gangland series? Is it credible? Is it sensational? Should I bother even tuning in? Is it useful for undergraduates?

(Perhaps someone smarter than me like Louis Pagan or Brownfemipower might know?)

In the meantime, here's four seasons of the Wire in four minutes (courtesy: Fader)

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