Malls R Us, CBC TV Thursday Aug. 20th 2009 at 8 is not quite up to the usual high standards I associate with a CBC documentary but it is still a pretty decent show. Malls R Us explores the history, in part, of the shopping mall, its death in suburban America and its invasion of Asia and Arabic countries. Overall, Malls R Us is interesting but tries to do too much in too little time and sometimes even does too little.
There are many interesting aspects to this CBC documentary so overall it is quite interesting. It sort of covers the death of the 70s style suburban American shopping mall with its two or three anchor stores. Once the anchors failed, the mall pretty much dies. I wish there had been more about the process but as mentioned before, the documentary tries to do too much in too little time. This means there is nothing on the origins of the modern mall and not much on the consequences of a dead mall on the area and its residents.
Another segment of the documentary is on Lac Mirabel, a gigantic “ecological mall”, a new oxymoron if there ever was one. Promoted by the guy who created the West Edmonton mall, this is pretty much a pie in the sky idea so far.
Another section deals with the mall-ization of Dubai and other major cities in oil-rich countries. It seems mall developers have become urban planners as well. Aside from a general idea of what these malls look like and what the future plans are, not much else is presented.
Most interesting and frustrating as it only scratches the surface is the section of how India is being invaded by malls. In a country where a good percentage of the people have no access to drinking water, a giant mall with its fountains, etc is almost obscene. There have also been uprisings by small shopkeepers in protest to a mall being built and taking away the family business.
Malls R Us is decent enough though not particularly informative.
It will be followed by another CBC documentary, The Spies Who Came In From the Cold. This looks at German spies landing in Canada via U-boat during WW II. A review will be posted shortly.
Also scheduled is This Beat Goes On, Aug 27th and Sept 3rd at 9 P.M. This is a look at Canadian pop music in the 70s. A review will be posted shortly.
September 10th and 17th at 9 P.M. you will also be able to watch Rise Up, a look at Canadian pop music of the 80s.