‘The Boomer List’: Big Names, Great Stories

American Masters: The Boomer List, sponsored by AARP and airing from 9 to 10:30 p.m. ET on PBS Tuesday, is a light-hearted look at the Baby Boom generation through the eyes of 19 icons representing each year from 1946 to 1964. Directed by photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, whose other works include The Black List, The Latino List and The Out List, the film focuses on individuals whose experiences touch all the important movements and moments of the boomer generation, from Vietnam and racism to the sexual …

IPod + Alzheimer’s = Miracle! (Plus More New Documentaries)

  Alive Inside (Theaters, July 18) Can music do more to help Alzheimer’s patients than any medication? Dan Cohen, founder of the nonprofit Music & Memory, makes his case for the affirmative in this deeply moving film in which  patients-some of them unresponsive for years-flicker to life (and sometimes explode into song) the moment they hear music from their past. You’ll rush from the theater to buy an iPod for someone you know.     Life Itself (Theaters, July 4) …

Tom Bergeron Hosts PBS July Fourth Show

Tom Bergeron loves hosting live TV shows. No surprise, then, to hear him rhapsodize about his upcoming emcee duties for A Capitol Fourth on PBS; it’s a super-sized version of his thrill of choice. “To walk out on that stage on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, in front of hundreds of thousands of people on the National Mall – and knowing you’re being beamed to millions more around the world – is one of the highlights of my …

Grace Lee Boggs: Still a Revolutionary at Age 99

At 99, Grace Lee Boggs is rather matter-of-fact when you ask her about aging:  “It’s like preparing for disability,” she deadpans. “You have a lot of time to think and a lot to think about. I have reflected more on particular episodes of my life than I ever thought I would.” Boggs has had quite a life to reflect on. The story of the erudite daughter of Chinese immigrants who morphed into a civil rights and black power activist in …

Death Becomes Downton: It’s Still Great

Who needs Matthew Crawley? That may be the question lingering in the minds of Downton Abbey fans after Sunday’s dishy two-hour season premiere on PBS stations.  The opening episode of Season Four was a welcome return to form – that being high class soap opera – and it reversed most of the sluggishness that accompanied the final episodes of Season Three. Picking up six months after Downton heir and resident hunk Matthew Crawley’s (Dan Stevens) stunning death-by-automobile-crash in the finale of …

Stiff Upper Lips Rejoice: ‘Downton Abbey’ Returns

The holidays are over, but to an awful lot of TV viewers Downton Abbey creator/writer Julian Fellowes is Santa Claus and this weekend’s season premiere is their most anticipated Christmas present of the year. Of course, Fellowes did leave fans with a rather unpleasant lump of coal at the end of last year’s finale.  We’d all been tipped that a major character was going to go to that great Afternoon Tea in the Sky, but virtually no one was prepared …