So it is with Ken Burns' addendums to his landmark "Baseball" documentary series. "The Tenth Inning," which premieres Tuesday and Wednesday on PBS stations around the country, is an exceptional piece of historical film-making that documents the last 20 years in baseball superbly.
Alas, the two-part "Tenth Inning" doesn't quite resonate with viewers the way the original nine-part, 18 1/2-hour masterwork did, for a variety of reasons.
Some of those reasons are beyond the control of Burns, his co-director Lynn Novick and David McMahon, who wrote the screenplay with Burns and Novick.
It's not their fault that the period covered in "The Tenth Inning" -- from the 1992 playoffs through last season -- is a largely joyless, soulless time marked by the increasing intrusions of big-money players and franchises and performance-enhancing drugs.
Indeed, Burns exhaustively covers the re-emergence of the Yankee dynasty, the ascent of the Red Sox to the top of the baseball mountain after a nearly 90-year wait and the scourge of steroids.
It's the latter topic that is explored throughout the four hours through the persona of Barry Bonds. The first two-hour session, which airs Tuesday, and is dubbed "Top of the Tenth," begins with Bonds' failure to throw out Sid Bream in Game 7 of the National League Championship Series in Atlanta in 1992.
Bonds is examined at the outset through the prism of his father, Bobby, himself an All-Star outfielder, and initially comes across sympathetically. However, by the time the "Bottom of the Tenth" ends Wednesday, Barry Bonds is held up as the face of the Steroid Era.
And while Burns as a filmmaker is entitled to present his views, the fact that Roger Clemens, or, for that matter, Mark McGwire, Sammy Sosa and Rafael Palmeiro are given relative glancing blows, is a sizable flaw.
The kid gloves treatment for Clemens is particularly questionable. If, as historian John Thorn claims, Clemens is the greatest pitcher of all time, then his fall from grace deserves as much detail as Bonds does, or at least substantially more than it gets.
The project also isn't served by its near-fanboy treatment of the Yankees and Red Sox. The teams and their success take up an inordinate amount of the four hours, to the exclusion and expansion of other topics Burns raises, but doesn't really explore -- say, the increased presence of Hispanic players or the impact of smaller stadiums on the game.
Still, Burns gets much more right than he doesn't in "The Tenth Inning." There may not be as many emotionally grabbing moments as in the original series, but the ones that are there resonate deeply.
For instance, when Sacramento Bee writer Marcos Breton chokes up when recalling the pride he felt as a man of Hispanic heritage when Roberto Clemente spoke to his parents in Spanish on television following his performance in the 1971 World Series, you can't help but empathize.
Likewise, Boston-based writer Mike Barnicle's tale of how his brother left a scorecard of the Red Sox' 2004 World Series clinching game on the headstone of their mother's grave is the stuff of excellent storytelling, which "The Tenth Inning" is.
Note -- Author Milton Kent will be participating in a Tweetup of "The Tenth Inning," in conjunction with Maryland Public Television Tuesday and Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET. Follow Milton Kent's tweets at @mkfanhouse and join in the Tweetup at #10thinningonMPT.