My boyfriend and I watched an episode of the History Channel's Big History (narrated by Bryan Cranston!) this morning. While I really like the concept, I think it's a little too superficial/focused on explaining why BIG HISTORY is so important. For example, we watched the episode on salt, and I feel like they could have taken one of the many times that they said "Big History takes a closer look!" or "As we've seen, animals and humans NEED SALT TO SURVIVE and that explains ALL OF CIVILIZATION" to explain in a bit more depth *why* salt is so critical.
BUT! It reminded me of a wonderful series that we used to watch in my high school history class on special "watch TV so the teacher doesn't have to teach today" days. Connections is a bit outdated now (it aired in 1978), but it is one of the most fun history shows I have ever seen, and takes the coolest paths to get from one (seemingly) unrelated topic or event or innovation to another. I highly recommend checking it out if you've never seen it before. And it looks like they're all on Youtube!