THE SERIES "Mankind: The Story of All of Us"

WHEN | WHERE Tuesday at 9 p.m. on History

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WHAT IT'S ABOUT Twelve hours covering the history of humankind, from the beginning, with an emphasis on how basic inventions (farming, discovery of iron) changed pretty much everything.

MY SAY "Mankind" yokes sixth-grade history to the power of TV -- not to mention CGI -- and the result is impressive. You may giggle at some of the "expert" celebrity commentators, but this is really all about what's on the screen; an enormous amount of that early and basic invention -- money -- has been poured into the project, and it was not all squandered, especially on the battle scenes. But 12 hours can't quite do justice to the entire scope of human history, and the result here is a rushed, once-over-lightly approach.

BOTTOM LINE It aims for epic, and sometimes hits epic -- but it's a bit shallow.