One of the most star-studded events of the 2013-2014 television season went completely under the radar. This past week Showtime just finished airing a miniseries produced by James Cameron that featured the likes of Harrison Ford, Matt Damon and Jessica Alba to name a few. Years of Living Dangerously had so much star power behind it that it deserved its event series billing. Yet no one is talking about this series and no one watched it while it was airing (where it struggled to maintain an abysmal 0.1 in the ratings) either. While this is a very muddled series its heart is in the right place and can be very informative when it wants to be so it’s a shame that this series didn’t receive a larger audience.
Years of Living Dangerously is a nine-part miniseries that follows celebrities and journalists as they correspond on how global warming has an effect on different parts of the globe. James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger are the big producing powers behind this docu-series (with the later getting a lot more involved than your typical producer would).
With Years of Living Dangerously there is clearly the intent to convince people to get away from the anti-global warming brigade. In that regard it fails as the constant intrusion of celebrities is not going to help in that regard. In fact, the only celebrity appearances that seem worthwhile are Harrison Ford (just because his journey into Indonesia is so entertaining) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (because he literally goes into the line of fire for his segment on how there is a correlation between global warming and the increase of wild fires in the country). Additionally, these celebrity segments are so poorly edited together as some episodes will focus on just one celebrity while others follow two or three with one of those being continued in the next episode.
However, for those who see global warming as a fact, this is quite an intriguing documentary. Most of the series is quite informative and convincing. The series also does a great job of laying out what can be done to improve our predicament as a society and what the possible outcomes will be if we fail to do so. It can be quite disturbing at times but this series is never overbearingly so.
Years of Living Dangerously is quite ambitious but it reveals just how difficult it is to cater to two sides of a hotly contested debate.