The History Channel Blog

This is just a blog where we talk about the history thats supposed to be in History Channel and H2... it shouldn't take that long.

huh.

My Take On: D-Day in HD
Airing only a week after ‘World Wars’ ended, History Channel decided to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Normandy Invasion with a two part special honoring the ones who lived it. And,… It was good, Really good. I actually feel like this might have been better than all of ‘World Wars’. The reason for this is that it picked a specific event and decided to spend as much time as it needed to.  And it didn’t feel like it was in a rush. Remember, when I said that ‘World Wars’ could have easily been longer? Well this could very well be the best evidence I could have ever come up with. This special succeeds from the love that History Channel obviously has for todays remaining veterans. Both specials are meant to cover history, it just turns out that the smaller, softer, quieter special succeeds on the smaller scale while the larger special doesn’t succeed in any scale. Sometimes the tiny victories are better than nothing at all.
Stray observations:
This was good, I often feel that specials like this, are slowly being phased out in favor of the newer flashier miniseries. So when something like this comes out, I often find my self pleasantly surprised.
My Take On: ‘The World Wars’
Of all the reviews I’ve made thus far, this one could possibly be one of the toughest. This series could mean a lot of things to a lot of people. The newer fans who only watch History Channel for the miniseries might think this series is spot on, covering all of the basics and telling the stories of the people who shaped history. But the people like me who have been with History Channel from the very beginning might have expected something a little bit more in depth. However, there’s one complaint that seems universal to both parties. It should have been longer. The series uses 6 hours to talk about the most transformative years of the 20th century. The real question here is why? Everyone wants this series to be longer, even History Channel which has uploaded exclusive videos to youtube covering historical figures that weren’t covered in the series. If you need even more evidence, remember that one week ago H2 premiered the ‘More 2 Version’ of ‘The World Wars’ with more new footage. So its obvious that everyone (even HC) wanted this series to be longer. But unfortunately for World Wars, its not. Because if this, a lot of stories of pretty interesting figures were not told. Personally I would have liked to have heard more on Edmund Rommel’s campaign though Africa, or the life of Dwight D. Eisenhower, or any of the Japanese leaders and Generals. This might seem a bit specific, but seeing how HC has already covered the obvious let’s get on to the details.
'World Wars' truly shines when it isn't working against the clock or retreading old ground. I thought that it might be possible to tell some new insightful information on World War 2 that I haven't already seen on History Channel. And while we did get some new info (The stuff on Patton's early life was interesting), it still wasn't as much as I expected. Currently, I see this special as almost a wasted opportunity on HC's part. History Channel's always going to find away to cover WW2. But, I was hoping that this series would have been special/different. However as it stands 'World Wars' is just another war series in a sea of other war series previously covered on History Channel. I give this series the pretty OK grade of a 80% or a B-.
Favorite Moments:
The music sequence showing the destruction caused by the Night Of The Long Knives is very disturbing and History Channel doesn’t pull any punches when it shows the violence.
Similarly the montage showing Mussolini’s rise to power is equally stark and its matched with a nice operatic song.
Churchill, just all of him, maybe its because of the charisma of the man, but I kept hoping that there was more that the special would talk more about him.
Stray Observations:
Probably my biggest complaint is the lack of explanation for how World War 1 started. 
Sorry, I’ve been gone for the last month. I suppose you can blame that on being both busy and lazy if that makes sense. I seem to go on these hiatuses periodically every 6 months but I’ve come up with a plan for moving forward so this blog should be moving forward at least for the time being.
Seriously, I doubt that any one is going to remember this series one year from now, most of all History Channel who will probably find a way to cover the whole topic all over again.
I will give this series credit for not spending too much time on FDR and giving more time to other figures. 
I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on this miniseries! Please leave your own grade if you’d could.

My Take On: ‘The World Wars’

Of all the reviews I’ve made thus far, this one could possibly be one of the toughest. This series could mean a lot of things to a lot of people. The newer fans who only watch History Channel for the miniseries might think this series is spot on, covering all of the basics and telling the stories of the people who shaped history. But the people like me who have been with History Channel from the very beginning might have expected something a little bit more in depth. However, there’s one complaint that seems universal to both parties. It should have been longer. The series uses 6 hours to talk about the most transformative years of the 20th century. The real question here is why? Everyone wants this series to be longer, even History Channel which has uploaded exclusive videos to youtube covering historical figures that weren’t covered in the series. If you need even more evidence, remember that one week ago H2 premiered the ‘More 2 Version’ of ‘The World Wars’ with more new footage. So its obvious that everyone (even HC) wanted this series to be longer. But unfortunately for World Wars, its not. Because if this, a lot of stories of pretty interesting figures were not told. Personally I would have liked to have heard more on Edmund Rommel’s campaign though Africa, or the life of Dwight D. Eisenhower, or any of the Japanese leaders and Generals. This might seem a bit specific, but seeing how HC has already covered the obvious let’s get on to the details.

'World Wars' truly shines when it isn't working against the clock or retreading old ground. I thought that it might be possible to tell some new insightful information on World War 2 that I haven't already seen on History Channel. And while we did get some new info (The stuff on Patton's early life was interesting), it still wasn't as much as I expected. Currently, I see this special as almost a wasted opportunity on HC's part. History Channel's always going to find away to cover WW2. But, I was hoping that this series would have been special/different. However as it stands 'World Wars' is just another war series in a sea of other war series previously covered on History Channel. I give this series the pretty OK grade of a 80% or a B-.

Favorite Moments:

  • The music sequence showing the destruction caused by the Night Of The Long Knives is very disturbing and History Channel doesn’t pull any punches when it shows the violence.
  • Similarly the montage showing Mussolini’s rise to power is equally stark and its matched with a nice operatic song.
  • Churchill, just all of him, maybe its because of the charisma of the man, but I kept hoping that there was more that the special would talk more about him.

Stray Observations:

  • Probably my biggest complaint is the lack of explanation for how World War 1 started. 
  • Sorry, I’ve been gone for the last month. I suppose you can blame that on being both busy and lazy if that makes sense. I seem to go on these hiatuses periodically every 6 months but I’ve come up with a plan for moving forward so this blog should be moving forward at least for the time being.
  • Seriously, I doubt that any one is going to remember this series one year from now, most of all History Channel who will probably find a way to cover the whole topic all over again.
  • I will give this series credit for not spending too much time on FDR and giving more time to other figures. 
  • I’m really interested to hear your thoughts on this miniseries! Please leave your own grade if you’d could.

So, for all of you that haven’t seen it yet, this is the trailer for the new upcoming series ‘Houdini’ Starring Adrien Brody and premiering this Labor Day.

(Source: youtube.com)

D-Day In HD

Just a heads up for the new special entitled D-Day in HD, that airs tonight at 9/8 central. I will try to get a review as soon as possible, right after I make my post on The World Wars.

My Take On: Hidden History In Your House
When I first mentioned “Hidden History In Your House” I stated that I expected it to have a lot in common with ‘The Extraordinary History Of Everyday Things’, When in truth I can say it has a lot more in common with ‘How The States Got Their Shapes’. The host Kevin O’ Connor is right in his element as he jumps all around the country, describing all sections of the house from the garage to the bathroom without lingering on one area for too long. The last time I can remember a show of this type was covered on History Channel it was by the early seasons of ‘Modern Marvels’. But it was often covered in chunks covering only one room at a time. One room, per episode this concept could get tired. However, HHIYH succeeds from being neither too long nor too short. 
Stray Observations:
If you enjoyed this special, I suggest you check out Kevin O Connor’s other series ‘This Old House’ on PBS.
I was mostly surprised by the little things I didn’t know, for instance I  found it interesting that the first Kingsford grill was made from a buoy.
Yes, I will be reviewing ‘The World Wars’… sorry I’ve been so quiet about that.
Final Thoughts On: Vikings Season 2
When ‘Vikings’ re-premired earlier this year, the TV-historical-miniseries genre had become much more crowded. In the year and a half since ‘Hatfields And McCoys’, many shows had come into fill history channels shadow. History Channel was in competition, and in large scale too. History Channel faced upcoming competition from Discoveries Channel’s new miniseries ‘Klondike’ and AMC’s new series ‘Turn’. It didn’t help either when ‘Game Of Thrones’ premiered only a couple weeks after ‘Vikings’. It had become clear that there was money to be made in miniseries and the networks had began their cash in. 
And yet, ‘Vikings’ held its own. I have mentioned before how worried I was that ‘Vikings’ would hit something of a sophomore slump. As for the season itself, I can only speak good things. The ratings held strong and the storyline was just as interesting as last season. For most of the season the story lines revolved around the colonization of Wessex. That was until the the takeover of Kattegat by Jarl Borg. Unfortunately, I feel that the series hit its peak around ‘Blood Eagle’ and never fully recuperated. Still this season had several twists and turns that I didn’t expect and was truly shocked by. I give this season a 92% or an A-.
Favorite Moments:
Ragnar’s coping with Glyda’s death
Ragnar and Aslaug deciding not to kill Ivar the Boneless or leave him in the woods to die. -This scene alone made ‘Boneless’ worthwhile.
The death of Jarl Borg, just the whole thing was so perfect, and much more dramatic than the death of King Horrik.
The quiet reunion between Ragnar and Bjorn.
Lastly, the wedding between Floki and Helga, It was one of the few times where Floki seemed genuinely happy.
Stray Observations:
Vikings will rule! … in 2015.

Final Thoughts On: Vikings Season 2

When ‘Vikings’ re-premired earlier this year, the TV-historical-miniseries genre had become much more crowded. In the year and a half since ‘Hatfields And McCoys’, many shows had come into fill history channels shadow. History Channel was in competition, and in large scale too. History Channel faced upcoming competition from Discoveries Channel’s new miniseries ‘Klondike’ and AMC’s new series ‘Turn’. It didn’t help either when ‘Game Of Thrones’ premiered only a couple weeks after ‘Vikings’. It had become clear that there was money to be made in miniseries and the networks had began their cash in. 

And yet, ‘Vikings’ held its own. I have mentioned before how worried I was that ‘Vikings’ would hit something of a sophomore slump. As for the season itself, I can only speak good things. The ratings held strong and the storyline was just as interesting as last season. For most of the season the story lines revolved around the colonization of Wessex. That was until the the takeover of Kattegat by Jarl Borg. Unfortunately, I feel that the series hit its peak around ‘Blood Eagle’ and never fully recuperated. Still this season had several twists and turns that I didn’t expect and was truly shocked by. I give this season a 92% or an A-.

Favorite Moments:

  • Ragnar’s coping with Glyda’s death
  • Ragnar and Aslaug deciding not to kill Ivar the Boneless or leave him in the woods to die. -This scene alone made ‘Boneless’ worthwhile.
  • The death of Jarl Borg, just the whole thing was so perfect, and much more dramatic than the death of King Horrik.
  • The quiet reunion between Ragnar and Bjorn.
  • Lastly, the wedding between Floki and Helga, It was one of the few times where Floki seemed genuinely happy.

Stray Observations:

  • Vikings will rule! … in 2015.
My Take On: Vikings ‘The Lords Prayer’
As the last episode of the season, ‘The Lords Prayer’ had to answer a lot of questions posed by the previous episodes. It largely did this while focusing inwards. While many of the other episodes dealt with bigger problems involving land dealings and possible settlements, it is surprising that Vikings would choose to have a finale at home. Think of the last years finale which left Ragnar in a strange new environment. Meanwhile this years ending is one much more somber and quiet. Most noticeably, Floki is put on the forefront as we continue to wonder if due to his wild nature, he might just try to betray Ragnar. This definitely worked well as we all believed that Floki may be the most unhinged character. It was also a wise decision to spend more time on Floki than Siggy (who was also not as charismatic). It’s nice to have more of Gustaf Skarsgard, and this is him at his best.  But there’s a problem. King Horrik just isn’t very interesting as a villain. I really miss how he was back in at the beginning of the season as a sort of mentor to Ragnar. He’s just was lacking the same evil spark that Jarl Borg did. The suspense from the final scene roughly comes from the dynamic of Siggy, Ragnar, Lagertha, and  Floki, rather than the Ragnar-Horrik conflict. I was certain that Horrik was going to die after everyone revealed they were still on Ragnars side. I found myself just waiting for his death. Yet it was all worth it just to see Ragnar in his kings garb signifying at long last that he is the king. I give this episode a 93% or an A-.
Stray Observations:
I kept waiting for Porunn to get more interesting. But I guess I will have to wait until next season. 
My favorite line of this episode was “You have betrayed the gods” “No I have only betrayed you”

My Take On: Vikings ‘The Lords Prayer’

As the last episode of the season, ‘The Lords Prayer’ had to answer a lot of questions posed by the previous episodes. It largely did this while focusing inwards. While many of the other episodes dealt with bigger problems involving land dealings and possible settlements, it is surprising that Vikings would choose to have a finale at home. Think of the last years finale which left Ragnar in a strange new environment. Meanwhile this years ending is one much more somber and quiet. Most noticeably, Floki is put on the forefront as we continue to wonder if due to his wild nature, he might just try to betray Ragnar. This definitely worked well as we all believed that Floki may be the most unhinged character. It was also a wise decision to spend more time on Floki than Siggy (who was also not as charismatic). It’s nice to have more of Gustaf Skarsgard, and this is him at his best.  But there’s a problem. King Horrik just isn’t very interesting as a villain. I really miss how he was back in at the beginning of the season as a sort of mentor to Ragnar. He’s just was lacking the same evil spark that Jarl Borg did. The suspense from the final scene roughly comes from the dynamic of Siggy, Ragnar, Lagertha, and  Floki, rather than the Ragnar-Horrik conflict. I was certain that Horrik was going to die after everyone revealed they were still on Ragnars side. I found myself just waiting for his death. Yet it was all worth it just to see Ragnar in his kings garb signifying at long last that he is the king. I give this episode a 93% or an A-.

Stray Observations:

  • I kept waiting for Porunn to get more interesting. But I guess I will have to wait until next season. 
  • My favorite line of this episode was “You have betrayed the gods” “No I have only betrayed you”
thisoldhouse:

Friendly reminder;) Tune in on thehistorychannelblog's H2 network RIGHT NOW to watch Kevin O'Connor in “Hidden History in Your House”
Tweeting the premiere? Use #More2History!

thisoldhouse:

Friendly reminder;) Tune in on thehistorychannelblog's H2 network RIGHT NOW to watch Kevin O'Connor in “Hidden History in Your House”

Tweeting the premiere? Use #More2History!

thisoldapt:

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM KEVIN O’CONNOR:
“We’ve been all over the country filming for the past few months, and now I can finally tell you why! I’m very excited to announce our brand-new special on thehistorychannelblog/ H2: “Hidden History In Your House,” premiering May 22nd at 9 PM!
From driving a 1912 Model T, to cutting ice in northern Maine, it’s been a fun and wild ride making this show and I can’t wait for you all to see it. So set your DVRs: HIDDEN HISTORY IN YOUR HOUSE, Monday, May 22nd at 9 PM EST. on H2!” See schedule.

Neat! So, this the latest History Special premiering this Thursday at 8/9c. It seems interesting and definitely has vibes reminiscent of “Epic History Of Everyday Things”. As soon as I catch up on my ‘Vikings’ reviews, I will make post on this.

thisoldapt:

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT FROM KEVIN O’CONNOR:

We’ve been all over the country filming for the past few months, and now I can finally tell you why! I’m very excited to announce our brand-new special on thehistorychannelblogH2: “Hidden History In Your House,” premiering May 22nd at 9 PM!


From driving a 1912 Model T, to cutting ice in northern Maine, it’s been a fun and wild ride making this show and I can’t wait for you all to see it. So set your DVRs: HIDDEN HISTORY IN YOUR HOUSE, Monday, May 22nd at 9 PM EST. on H2!” See schedule.

Neat! So, this the latest History Special premiering this Thursday at 8/9c. It seems interesting and definitely has vibes reminiscent of “Epic History Of Everyday Things”. As soon as I catch up on my ‘Vikings’ reviews, I will make post on this.