Picks and Pans Review: Making Sense of the Sixties

updated 01/21/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/21/1991 AT 01:00 AM EST

PBS (Mon., Jan. 21, 9 P.M. ET)

B+

Oh, wow, man, what a heavy trip. That brazen decade, with all its turbulent contradictions, is examined in this six-part documentary, airing over three consecutive nights. Upheaval, idealism, experimentation, rebellion, excess—like, the '60s had it all, man.

The video flashback starts with the roots of change in the Eisenhower era and moves through the civil rights movement, student activism, the counterculture, Vietnam, urban riots, Nixon and women's issues.

Thoughtful, thorough and a tad sluggish, the series employs great archival footage and interview snippets with survivors of that time, including film director Oliver Stone and rock critic Greil Marcus.

The most interesting part is seeing former hippies, now looking amazingly like establishment types, reflecting on their groovy dayz. As one buttoned-down administrative assistant says, "We meant to be intolerable." Right on, baby.

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