No longer just re-runs of ‘Sesame Street’ and ‘Masterpiece Theater,’ The Public Broadcasting Service has expanded the scope and direction of its programming to some impressive results. First it was the Beat Making Lab series, which features two hip-hop educators on a globetrotting mission to bring beats, rhymes and life to communities lacking in resources and outlets.
Then, there was the widely publicized and debated “Latino Americans,” a six part documentary that actually validates and acknowledges our imprint on this nation. Though many of cultural subtleties were overlooked, the fact such a comprehensive history was documented and presented to the American public, is in itself, a victory.
The latest addition in the re-imagining of public broadcast programming is the inclusion of Jimi Hendrix in the American Masters Series, aptly titled ‘Hear My Train Comin’ after the guitar god’s classic cut.
While we’ve all heard the albums, read the books and watched the performances, but never has such a well compiled piece regarding the late Hendrix been produced for a wide audience. The documentary comes complete with interviews, never-before-seen performance footage and rock history all condensed into a two hour retelling of a story nostalgic rock dads know so well.
Despite the brevity and overall difficulty of condensing the Hendrix saga into a mere two hours, the doc is sure to please both casual and diehard fans alike. It will be interesting to see what PBS unveils next, after detailing such an iconic figure.