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Friday, September 15, 2017

Three TV 8 KUHT shows to air nationally in tandem with Ken Burn's THE VIETNAM WAR

The Ken Burn’s documentary series THE VIETNAM WAR premieres on Sunday, September 17 at 7pm on Houston Public Media TV 8 and PBS stations across the country

Lily Jang returns to TV for "Saigon Stories" to air on TV8 KUHT and nationally  

Last April, I wrote about attending a preview of the upcoming Ken Burns and Lynn Novick documentary THE VIETNAM WAR.

Here we are in September already and the series is debuting this Sunday at 7pm on Houston Public Media TV 8 KUHT and PBS stations across the country.

Episodes 1-5: Sun-Thu, Sept 17-22 @ 7 p.m.
Episodes 6-10: Sun-Thu, Sept 24-28 @ 7 p.m.

Trust me when I say this is going to be an unflinching look at a tumultuous time in our history. Very raw and emotional. What makes this docu-series different from the other films I've watched is the access to the North Vietnamese view of the war.

If you are a fan of Burn's work, then you know what you are getting. Just like any of his other covered topics, it will be a very comprehensive and passionate look at a wound in history Burns says we are still healing from as a country.

On a local note, Tran Ngoc Toan, a South Vietnamese soldier who now lives in Houston, is interviewed for the documentary.

Since so many Vietnamese families relocated to the Houston-area after the war, Houston Public Media has produced three accompanying shows that localize the complex history the series will cover.

And I just found out that PBS stations across the country have picked up the Houston produced shows and will be airing them as complimentary programming to the Ken Burns series. VIETV, the largest Vietnamese language TV network in the country, is airing all three as well.

The first show is one I covered on Facebook earlier this year while I was on my blogging break.

Former KHOU 11 anchor Lily Jang hosts and co-produces "Saigon Stories." Houston Public Media Executive Producer Don Geraci, and former KHOU colleague to Jang, approached the former morning anchor about working on the show with the station.

This show will be worth a watch. Not only is it great seeing Jang on television again, but this is a fantastic show from top to bottom. I called Jang after watching an advanced copy and told her submit this for the Lone Star EMMY awards.

Even though Houston is home to one of the largest Vietnamese communities, I don't know much about the Vietnam of today. Jang, Geraci, and crew travelled to Vietnam to provide a look at how Saigon has transformed after the war. She also gives us a glimpse of her personal story as she is originally from Saigon or as it is now known, Ho Chi Minh City.

The next KUHT produced show is “Getting Here: Journeys From Vietnam.”

This show features stories of Houstonians who were Vietnamese refugees. One name many will know is H-Town designer Chloe Dao and winner of Project Runway.

This show will either bring you to tears or make the hair on the back of your neck raise. Dao and others, like VIETV marketing director Jimmy Nguyen, talk about the harrowing experience of escaping their homeland and facing a high probability of death during their journey.

You'll also learn of their experience in coming to America.

There is a third show called “Peace Meals” which I honestly did not have time to preview at the time of this writing. But if it's anything like the other two shows, it will be a worthwhile watch.

Kudos to the entire Houston Public Media team for their excellent work. I know they have been working on these shows for much of 2017.

“Saigon Stories” with Lily Jang – Sept. 18 @ 8:30pm
“Getting Here: Journeys From Vietnam” – Sept. 24 @ 8:30pm
“Peace Meals” – Sept. 21 @ 8:30pm

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