Growing up I was vaguely aware of a recurring documentary in England that tracked 14 kids/people every 7 years.
The Up series (7 Up, 14 Up, 21 Up etc.) began in 1963 with a bunch of 7 year olds from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.
Every 7 years the Director (Michael Apted) tracks down the 14 'specimens', and catches up with their lives, covering the bases such as aspirations, regrets, relationships, kids, death, and the central tenet of the show, which is that our lives may be utterly predictable by the time we are 7 (Give me a child until he is 7, and I'll show you the man).
Part uplifting, part tragic, we're glued to this show. We've watched 7 thru' 35 in the past week. Thanks to Netflix we'll hopefully get thru' 42 and 49 this week.
56 Up is due to be made in 2011/12.