“Filthy Cities”

Paleo Retiree writes:


I recently enjoyed (if with some reservations) the three-part BBC documentary series “Filthy Cities,” which recently became available on Netflix Instant. Medieval London, revolutionary Paris and industrial-age New York City are the filthy cities covered by the show, which asks the question: What did old cities do with the animal shit, human waste and workplace effluents that they produced in huge quantities?

The history itself is BBC-progressive and conventional, and I sometimes found the re-enactments (done in the style of shakeycam torture porn) so stomach-turning that I had to take breaks from watching. It’s not hard imagining the filmmakers amusing themselves figuring out historically responsible ways to gross their viewers out. But it’s a great topic, and the story and information are presented with the kind of gusto, cleverness, confidence and flair that has so often made me wonder: How did England manage to develop such a distinctive and stylish brand of documentary television?


About Paleo Retiree

Onetime media flunky and movie buff and very glad to have left that mess behind. Formerly Michael Blowhard of the cultureblog 2Blowhards.com. Now a rootless parasite and bon vivant on a quest to find the perfectly-crafted artisanal cocktail.
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