17 votes

What are some good informative or educational shows?

I'm interested in anything that's basically non-fiction television that isn't news or news commentary. They don't have to be documentaries but certainly can be, and I'm open to stuff available on any streaming service.

17 comments

  1. [3]
    wikirobot
    Link
    Recently I have gone down a long rabbit hole of a series of BBC shows that catalogue a group of historians/archaeologists spending a year working on farms set during different time periods. There...

    Recently I have gone down a long rabbit hole of a series of BBC shows that catalogue a group of historians/archaeologists spending a year working on farms set during different time periods. There tend to be 12 episodes for each series and they are very relaxing and interesting. They are all available on youtube:

    1. Secrets of the Castle

    2. Tutor Farm

    3. Victorian Farm

    4. Edwardian Farm

    5. Wartime Farm

    I decided to link to the search page on youtube since there are a few different channels that offer playlists, the Absolute History channel seems to generally have the best quality, but there are some audio issues in a few of their series. From what I can tell the BBC has sold the licensing rights to a few different places that have put them up on youtube.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      mono
      Link Parent
      Yes! I'm not a history guy, but I love immersive history shows like these. Another good one in the BBC's "Back in Time For Dinner" series. They take a real family and simulate life of a family in...

      Yes! I'm not a history guy, but I love immersive history shows like these. Another good one in the BBC's "Back in Time For Dinner" series. They take a real family and simulate life of a family in past decades. Each episode is a decade, and each day is a year. It's centered around the food that they ate, but it touches on all sorts of other stuff.

      It does such a good job of providing historical context of the past century, focused on life for everyday people, rather than broad geopolitical events and notable historical figures. It's so fascinating to see how awful things were during the World Wars and just quickly everything started changing around the 60s-70s.

      It's available on Youtube, but it is blocked in U.S. and probably other countries.

      4 votes
      1. rish
        Link Parent
        Accessible in India.

        Accessible in India.

        1 vote
  2. Omnicrola
    Link
    Not a show, but a good documentary: My Octopus Teacher The guy went freediving every day for a year, following the life of this single octopus. He actually gets to the point where it recognizes...

    Not a show, but a good documentary: My Octopus Teacher

    A filmmaker forges an unusual friendship with an octopus living in a South African kelp forest, learning as the animal shares the mysteries of her world.

    The guy went freediving every day for a year, following the life of this single octopus. He actually gets to the point where it recognizes him and will interact with him. It was a really fascinating look at a creature that is both intelligent, and is infrequently in proximity humans so we don't hear about them like we do land animals.

    5 votes
  3. [3]
    suspended
    Link
    Baumgartner Restoration
    4 votes
    1. [2]
      cfabbro
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      @emdash and I gush over that channel on Discord every time he posts a new video. It's my absolute favorite thing to put on right before bed, since even though it's informative, it's also...

      @emdash and I gush over that channel on Discord every time he posts a new video. It's my absolute favorite thing to put on right before bed, since even though it's informative, it's also incredibly relaxing too. It's like if Bob Ross was an art conservationist instead of painter. Love it!

      2 votes
      1. emdash
        Link Parent
        Nailed it. There's something so aesthetically simple and pure about Julian's videos—his subject matter, his speech cadence and intonations, and how he deftly explains his process to the viewer....

        Nailed it. There's something so aesthetically simple and pure about Julian's videos—his subject matter, his speech cadence and intonations, and how he deftly explains his process to the viewer. It's also always pleasing how Julian sweats the small details, the things no one will ever see, yet still matter to him—his desire to strive for perfection appeals to me greatly.

        I'm not even that interested in art—but Julian captures my attention every time. I definitely now have a much greater appreciation for art and the appropriate stewardship of it.

        2 votes
  4. [2]
    Icarus
    Link
    I recently found this Youtube channel that covers recent journal articles in biology: Cell Press One of my more favorite recent discoveries! If anyone knows of similar channels, please let me...

    I recently found this Youtube channel that covers recent journal articles in biology:

    Cell Press

    One of my more favorite recent discoveries! If anyone knows of similar channels, please let me know. I try to subscribe to as many educational YouTube channels as possible. I really enjoy the channels that don't cater to the average person, but instead give no frills info on topics.

    4 votes
    1. Icarus
      Link Parent
      To add, one of my favorite shows to have on in the background is How It's Made. The other being Modern Marvels (some available on Youtube, otherwise history.com has these if you have a cable...

      To add, one of my favorite shows to have on in the background is How It's Made. The other being Modern Marvels (some available on Youtube, otherwise history.com has these if you have a cable provider).

      1 vote
  5. joplin
    Link
    Connections - A British series that ran on PBS in the US in the 70s. It shows the historical connections between various scientific discovers and how they relate to our world today. On that same...

    Connections - A British series that ran on PBS in the US in the 70s. It shows the historical connections between various scientific discovers and how they relate to our world today.

    On that same YouTube page is another series by James Burke called "The Day the Universe Changed." It is also good. (If you've played the video game "The Witness" there's a clip from the show in there.)

    Not as good as either of the above, but Connected on Netflix is decent. It's hosted by Latif Nasser who you may have heard on the RadioLab podcasts (and maybe a few others from NPR).

    4 votes
  6. UniquelyGeneric
    Link
    The original Cosmos by Carl Sagan is one of my favorites. The current remake is an okay homage to the original, but feels like it gets caught up in its own visual effects and gets a little full of...

    The original Cosmos by Carl Sagan is one of my favorites. The current remake is an okay homage to the original, but feels like it gets caught up in its own visual effects and gets a little full of itself. The way Carl Sagan deftly ties together the microscopic to the macroscopic through history with relatable examples is enjoyable for its own sake. While it's 40 years old at this point, it doesn't feel too dated, and Sagan's humbling words of caution towards the future of the planet could not feel more relevant today.

    3 votes
  7. UntouchedWagons
    Link
    I quite like the Great Railway Journeys series on the BBC starring Michael Portillo. There's currently eight different shows. In each episode Michael visits a town by train and visits noteworthy...

    I quite like the Great Railway Journeys series on the BBC starring Michael Portillo. There's currently eight different shows. In each episode Michael visits a town by train and visits noteworthy areas and learns about the city's history and how the railroads shaped the area.

    There's also American Greed which focuses on corporate and white collar greed in the United States.

    Mayday is a documentary series primarily about airplane crashes. There are a couple episodes that feature railroads.

    Cold Case Files is a crime documentary about unsolved crimes.

    2 votes
  8. petrichor
    Link
    I find Look Around You from the BBC to be engaging, intelligent, and informative.

    I find Look Around You from the BBC to be engaging, intelligent, and informative.

    4 votes
  9. [2]
    gco
    (edited )
    Link
    Last year BBC released a documentary series called "The Planets". I just love all space related documentaries and this is the best one that I've watched in a while, it's also a good way to catch...

    Last year BBC released a documentary series called "The Planets". I just love all space related documentaries and this is the best one that I've watched in a while, it's also a good way to catch up on the (almost) latest on planetary discoveries.

    The music is great, visuals are awesome (though they re-use them quite a bit) and I enjoy the narration by Brian Cox since I already listen to "The Infinite Monkey Cage" podcast.

    Edit: Brian, not Ryan :x

    1 vote
    1. blitz
      Link Parent
      Brian* :) I also love TIMC!

      Ryan Cox

      Brian* :) I also love TIMC!

      1 vote
  10. tomf
    Link
    If you can find it, episodes of Modern Marvels are pretty great.

    If you can find it, episodes of Modern Marvels are pretty great.

    1 vote
  11. Staross
    Link
    Youtube channels are fine ?

    Youtube channels are fine ?

    1 vote