Something about the millennium makes documentarians wax nostalgic. ABC is no exception. With the rollover of the year, decade, and century, summations are in order. The Century: America's Time is one such wrap-up, albeit a mighty ambitious one. Peter Jennings narrates this look back at the last 100 years. From a strictly American point of view, the video starts at the turn of the century, with the birth of the common man, and moves all the way to present-day technology, with the computer leading the way. The presentation is divided onto six tapes. Each program tramples through a dense history with Jennings providing the transitions. Beginning with the great melting pot, a timeline of occurrences highlights each video: the invention of the automobile, the suffrage movement, both world wars, and Vietnam. The video covers the "hippie" movement, the Red Scare, and the undeniable AIDS epidemic. At times, the stories are told by American icons, including Oliver Stone and Eudora Welty. Other moments are described by photographs alone. This collection is an exercise in textbook description with little analysis assigned to the events. However, for the history buff, The Century: America's Time is a gold mine. In Century: America's Time, Vol. 6, unexpected changes dot the landscape of the Reagan era. The end of the Cold War and the emergence of the nouveau riche dominate the '80s. This wrap-up focuses on the pivotal moments of the '90s -- from the Oklahoma Bombing to the Persian Gulf War. The creation of a media-hungry culture is apparent. The program ends with a look to the future. Episodes included are: Century: America's Time - 1981-1989: A New World and Century: America's Time - The '90s and Beyond: Then and Now.
~ Sarah Ing, Rovi