KCET is producing more original content than ever before. This year we saw new seasons and formats for local favorites like "Artbound and "SoCal Connected," along with exciting premieres like "Tending Nature" and "SoCal Wanderer." Below are a few must-see highlights from the year in KCET Originals. All of these shows can be watched here on kcet.org and on the KCET apps and channels for Apple TV, Roku, YouTube and Amazon.
Artbound: That Far Corner — Frank Lloyd Wright in Los Angeles
This year "Artbound" presented eight documentaries on a wide range of topics, from the Desert X exhibitions in the Coachella valley to major artist Doug Aitken and the influential publication "La Raza." The season kicked off with this exploration of Frank Lloyd Wright's later-career turn in Los Angeles. Los Angeles' first Chief Design Officer Christopher Hawthorne takes viewers through Wright's L.A. homes to learn how events and encounters of Wright's life shaped a particular aesthetic.
Earth Focus: Sea Level Rising: Living with Water
"Earth Focus" took users across the globe from Sierra Leone to Madagascar and Morocco to learn how communities are adapting to heightened environmental challenges brought on by climate change and urbanization. "Sea Level Rising: Living with Water" visits Louisiana's Isle de Jean Charles, a community being pushed into painful relocation by rising seas.
California Coastal Trail: Restoring Coastal Access at Noyo Headlands Park
Anyone with an interest in the coast, hiking or camping needs to check out "California Coastal Trail." The landing page features a map that acts as a gateway to short videos on points along the trail, along with articles on the best camping and hiking the coast has to offer, from the Mexican border all the way to Del Norte County. In this video, Fort Bragg's lovers of the Mendocino Coast discuss how the site of an old Georgia-Pacific mill is being reclaimed and redeveloped into the $18 million Noyo Headlands Park.
SoCal Wanderer: Anacapa to Ojai
"SoCal Wanderer" is one of the most popular sections on kcet.org, and this year we made it into a show. Hosted by Rosey Alvero, the pilot episode crams quite a bit of activity into a single day. Rosey takes a ferry to Channel Islands National Park, visits Tony's Pizzaria in Ventura, rides her bike to Ojai, visits The Nest for dinner, and ends at an observatory, meeting friendly and informative people along the way.
Border Blaster: Parties and Parables
This year we made the sixth season of "Border Blaster" in collaboration with dublab, presenting the best contemporary music videos from around the world. The season's first run just completed with a great episode featuring videos from French disco group L'Impératrice, New York-based ensemble Okonkolo, Dutch-Iranian artist Sevdaliza, U.S. rapper/indie treasure Cuco, British R&B artist Tirzah and Spanish singer Rosalía, who's had a great year with her album "El Mal Querer." If you're looking for something new to hear or watch, explore any of the 39 hours of episodes. Also find extended "Border Blaster" playlists on Spotify.
Fine Cut: Kip
This year we celebrated the 19th season of "Fine Cut," KCET's festival of student film, with the best shorts from film schools around Southern California. Winner of the People's Choice award from votes taken here on the site, "Kip" is a documentary from Biola University students Nicholas Moyer and Nate Norell that tells the story of young artist Kip Henderson, who discovers his personal identity through exceptional artistic progress in the face of numerous physical disabilities and setbacks. Visit "Fine Cut" to see more short films, including documentary, drama, animation and more.
Lost LA: Beach Culture
One of California’s great international exports has been its beach culture. This episode of "Lost L.A."explores how surfers, bodybuilders, and acrobats taught Californians how to have fun and stay young at the beach — and how the 1966 documentary "The Endless Summer" shared the Southern California idea of the beach with the rest of the world. This third episode of the season is filled with a joy and love for the coast, surfing and filmmaking.
SoCal Connected: Out of Bounds
This year "SoCal Connected" updated its format from a news magazine to an in-depth documentary series covering stories that matter. By following the story of former high school football star Antonio Carrion, "Out of Bounds" takes a close look at the challenges of L.A.'s mental health system, homelessness and justice.
The Migrant Kitchen: Mister Jiu's Chinatown
"The Migrant Kitchen" now travels beyond L.A. to focus on food and food cultures from all over the state. This episode visits San Francisco's Chinatown, the oldest in the country, where chef Brandon Jew is reimagining new cuisine somewhere between his American upbringing, Italian specialization and Chinese heritage.
Tending Nature: Protecting the Coast with the Tolowa Dee-Ni'
"Tending Nature" shines a light on the environmental knowledge of indigenous peoples across California by exploring how they have actively shaped and tended the land for millennia. This episode journeys to the Smith River near the Oregon border to discover how the Tolowa Dee-ni' are reviving traditional harvesting of shellfish such as mussels, and in the process, working with state agencies to monitor toxicity levels and redefine the human role in managing marine protected areas.
City Rising: The Informal Economy
We finished out the year with a new "City Rising" focusing on the erosion of stable, formal labor and the expansion of a precarious gig economy. The documentary profiles individuals facing discrimination but fighting to change policy and improve upward mobility for their communities. The effects of these movements are far-reaching, and their voices will ultimately impact the social health of communities across the country and beyond. City Rising's a must-see overview of this critical issue.