Sunday, May 24, 2015

Cambodian Son--or why I still love television

I mean, yeah, we all love television. But I think increasingly, we love the television that we already know we love, or are steered to through Netflix or DVR lists or whatever. I love all that stuff too. But what I still think is great about flicking through the dial is that we find stuff we never knew to love. The scenario for me is usually this--I look at the programming guide on the screen and find that there's "nothing on". Of course I have all my backlist "must watch" shows, or DVDs or what have you, but sometimes I will just have a little look around before going to the play list, and often, I will find that there is something that I hadn't considered. Usually, I have a little resistance. I think, sure I love American Masters, but ballet? (That was last week. And yeah, it was great.)

Tonight I happened on a series called America Reframed and tonight's show was about young men who as even younger men, or really teens, have commited felonies, and because they are not naturalized citizens yet, are "repatriated" upon release to countries they may not even remember. It follows in particular the trajectory of a poet, Kosal Khiev, who has lived many lives in one, first as a Cambodian refugee, then as a Riverside, California resident and then in a long stint in prison. When released, he is sent to Cambodia. The story doesn't end there, but I'll let you watch it for yourself, because, for the next week or so, you can watch it free online at the PBS website. Take a look if you possibly can at "Cambodian Son"--it weaves together an amazing number of American themes, largely in the life of one person.


  1. Hmm, it may be worth my while to look at this thing called television once in a while.

  2. I know it can be a great time waster, but I do like finding things randomly that I never would have searched out on my own. I was glad enough not to have television for a lot of my early adulthood, but I find I do get a lot out of it, all in all.

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