Life-changing decisions are not easy, especially when consequences mean one's disassociation from one's culture. The 10-episode documentary "Amish: Out of Order" follows those who have chosen to leave their familiar life for more freedom and opportunity -- despite the decision to live among "the English" preventing them from further contact with the community. The series spotlights Mose Gingerich and his efforts to help former followers of the faith. At 22, Gingerich himself left and moved to Columbia, Mo., where his new life centers on welcoming and guiding others who share his experience.
Patrolling America's largest state is the job of roughly 400 troopers in one of the toughest law enforcement agencies in the nation. Essentially, these cops say, nearly every Alaskan resident is armed and they know how to use their weapons, which makes any scenario a trooper encounters a potentially fatal one. Follow along as the "blue shirt" Alaskan State Troopers police the towns and villages, and the "brown shirt" Alaska Wildlife Troopers enforce regulations covering both commercial and sport fishing and hunting activities.
As one of the lead designers for nine seasons on ABC's Emmy-winning "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," Paul DiMeo encountered his share of next-to-impossible construction projects. So building wilderness retreats is a walk in the park by comparison, right? Not so fast. Paulie, as he is known, and master fabricator Pat "Tuffy" Bakaitis are partners in a cabin design and construction business called Cabin Kings, and in "Building Wild," the duo create unbelievable rustic getaways, transforming discarded materials into eye-catching contraptions and overcoming outrageous building challenges along the way. In each episode, Paulie and Tuffy provide the big ideas and construction know-how to a client looking to build a backwoods paradise on a challenging property. To keep costs low, the landowners supply some materials, bring together a workforce of friends and family and agree to do the entire build in one week.
Cameras follow the action along Arizona's Sonoran Desert, one of the busiest border crossings in the country, as officers and agents of U.S. Customs and Border Protection fight terrorism, apprehend drug smugglers and intercept people entering the United States illegally. The series also embeds with Customs and Border Protection, and with local law enforcement, as units patrol near and on the border in South Texas.
Actor Kal Penn is producer/host of a series that attempts to explain how things like money, sex, food, sports and crime influence daily lives. The consequences are shown by analyzing data maps, and episodes investigate different themes through data mapping, creative visualization of information and in-depth personal stories involving fascinating characters. As well, documentary vignettes tell stories that personalize the number crunching, introducing real people who live and work at key intersections of each theme being explored. Penn serves as guide, making the information relatable to viewers.
The old Dolly Parton hit "9 to 5" isn't a tune worth humming for the blue-collar pioneers featured in "Filthy Riches." The series spotlights ingenious Americans who skirt a conventional workplace in favor of making a living in the deep rivers, soggy mud flats and wild backwoods of the U.S. Ray Turner, for example, has been catching eels in Delaware for 30 years. He uses a self-made smokehouse in the woods to cook the critters and sell them. Billy Taylor and his sons hunt for prized ginseng root in the Appalachians. Taylor, a fully licensed wild ginseng dealer, promotes sustainability by planting its berries. In Maine, Jim Campbell and Andy Johns make the coastal mud flats their office, as they dig for valuable bloodworms to sell to fishermen. And Greg Dahl and Albert DeSilva are burl hunters. A burl is a hard, unwieldy outgrowth on a tree, usually at the trunk. Burls have value because of the spectacular patterns found in them when cut open.
Julia Child melded TV and food 50 or so years ago. Now with scads of celebrity chefs, cooking shows, and networks devoted to it, cuisine is even more popular. National Geographic Channel's six-hour miniseries salutes its history, science and culture. Each episode tackles a central theme: revolutionaries, meat, sugar, seafood, junk food, and grains -- with stories and reflections by a smorgasbord of chefs, authors, scientists, etc. Interviewees include Padma Lakshmi, Nigella Lawson, Simon Majumdar, Rachael Ray, Marcus Samuelsson, Anna Boiardi and Graham Elliot.
Featuring pop-ups with fun facts and insights into the fishermen's thoughts.