Takaisin

PIONEERS OF TELEVISION

    

For Hicksflicks.com, May 23, 2014

The PBS series "Pioneers of Television" is an entertaining look at the groundbreaking talent that paved the way for modern TV series, interviewing witty celebrities and exploring — though not too deeply — what made these early shows click.

And "Season 4," now on DVD,  every bit as engaging as past seasons, this time with episodes focusing on two specific genres and the programs that broke down barriers.

Comedy gets the biggest chunk of time, with the first episode dedicated to stand-up comedians who went from "Stand-up to Sitcom" and the fourth episode, titled "Acting Funny," about comic actors.

Jerry Seinfeld, Bill Cosby, Ray Romano, Roseanne Barr, Tim Allen and Bob Newhart are among those interviewed in Episode 1 as they discuss their respective iconic series, "Seinfeld," "Cosby," "Everybody Loves Raymond," "Roseanne," "Home Improvement" and, in the case of Newhart, two shows: "The Bob Newhart Show" in the 1970s and "Newhart" in the 1980s.

The fourth episode features such actors as Robin Williams, Jonathan Winters and Tina Fey, discussing their comedy chops.

           

            Diahann Carroll broke ground with her 1968 sitcom "Julia."

Episode 2 is "Doctors and Nurses," focusing on medical shows ranging from "Dr. Kildare" to "ER," and Episode 3 is "Breaking Barriers," focusing primarily on race, with examples including Desi Arnaz on "I Love Lucy," Diahann Carroll's "Julia," Bill Cosby in "I Spy," Edward James Olmos on "Miami Vice" and George Takei on "Star Trek."

It's not very deep but if you have remember these old shows as well as I do, you'll find each episode to be a most enjoyable hour.

"Pioneers of Television: Season 4" is now available in a two-DVD set.