PBS Frontline’s Country Boys: Riveting Film or…

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OK, I lied. Allow me to be just a tad snarky . . . at least for a minute or two.

After watching opening day in the Senate confirmation hearings on President Bush’s choice to replace Sandra Day O’Connor on the U.S. Supreme Court – an allegedly “poor” judge from New Jersey named Sam Alito – and after updating the headlines on the news page from today’s wires, I plopped down in the Stratolounger and began to channel surf.

What I saw on Alabama Public Television gave me such a queasy feeling that a trip to the Yuengling cooler was required. Surely this new reality show is a sick joke, I thought, someone’s idea of bringing some conservative, Christian balance to the so-called “liberal” media.

The PBS FRONTLINE series called “Country Boys” is the story of Chris and Cody, according to the show’s Web site, “two boys growing up in a hard land, determined to beat the odds against them, and struggling with who they are – and who they can become.”

Perhaps the promo should be re-written, however, to say the show is “for everyone who remembers what it was like to grow up poor, dumb, white and Christian in the American South.”

We doubt anyone else will watch, although the funny or scary thing is, I could not bring myself to change the channel. David Sutherland’s film about these poor teenagers in “Appalachia” was riveting for reasons I cannot explain.

Has anyone else had the same experience with it? Or is it just someone’s idea of bringing Christian conservative balance to the so-called “liberal” media?

© 2006, Glynn Wilson. All rights reserved.

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