Watching Edens Lost & Found was undisputedly the most worthwhile two hours of television-watching I have ever spent. What an inspiring and positive outlook on our urban areas! I was brought to tears to see how people from all age groups and walks of life have joined together to care for and revitalize the devastation, neglect and blight or our inner cities. As the Lord's prayer says "...thy kingdom come thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Thank you for showing us that maybe we are a little closer to heaven after all!!
Carol Hartmann Rabbitt, RI
I consider myself someone who enjoys environmental docs and the message, but is bothered by pat statements, maudlin scenarios, and one-sided hero/villain narratives where the environmental hero inevitably brings in mysticism. I always fight the sentimental side of these shows because too often that sentimentality relies on the viewer being an environmental type already, a viewer who's very ready to shed a tear about what's gone and will never come back.
As the EDENS unfold and each new character is introduced, I kept thinking, "oh, I see what's coming here..." And yet the depth of the characters inevitably came out, and they were REALLY people who put in years of unflagging effort, who didn't see any successes right away, and even their eventual successes had to be looked at in awe only because you, as the viewer, had some comprehension of how bad things had been.
I applaud your effort to change two or three generation's worth of thinking about environmental issues. I believe your look at long-term successes in some of "the worst" of places is INSPIRING in itself, because it is going to change a lot of minds and rejuvenate and inspire "on the ground" efforts in cities that have been going on for a while and are just being recognized.
Beverly Baroff has really pulled a lot of material together well, and navigated that fine line of rock solid content and emotional pull without getting maudlin. As I said, I fight the sentimental side when watching these shows, but I couldn't help appreciating the people you profiled. Really great stuff.
More than anything, I hope non-environmentalists and non-collegiate people in the cities will watch these programs. Environmentalism needs them, and PBS needs them!
Likewise, these wide-ranging, enormous groups need to know that environmental issues(and ecology) don't matter just to college-educated "white folks" ... per the great quote in the Chicago episode.
And that PBS does deal in REAL LIFE ISSUES and significant real-life stories more than any commercial or cable network "reality" series ever could hope to. I hope a huge non-standard PBS audience finds these shows; they will get their minds changed about PBS too.
R. Szuter, NJ