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This American Life 2 Seasons 2009

Available on Prime
Season 2
Available on Prime
4.6 out of 5 stars (201) IMDb 8.5/10

This American Life returns with a second season of incredibly moving, sometimes funny and always dramatic stories culled from around the country.

Starring:
Ira Glass

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Season 2
1. Escape

Teenage boys find ways to impress girls using a mode of transport obsolete since the 19th century; a young man's fight for independence from his mother would be normal for most kids, except for some special circumstances.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 28 minutes Release date: May 4, 2008
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2. Two Wars

Two foreigners in the U.S., in the aftermath of two very different wars, try to make sense of life here.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 27 minutes Release date: May 11, 2008
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3. Going Down In History

A pair of convicts almost escape prison using dental floss; high school students pose for yearbook snapshots, which capture nothing of the drama in their lives; a man with a 30-year obsession with one particular bird.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 29 minutes Release date: May 18, 2008
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4. Underdogs

Two boxers in Tennessee who've known each other all their lives face off in a match that neither can afford to lose.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 25 minutes Release date: May 25, 2008
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5. Every Marriage Is A Courtroom

Tales of troubled marriages include an animated true story by cartoonist Chris Ware; and a real-life look at a husband whose legal obsession causes serious trouble with his spouse.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 29 minutes Release date: June 1, 2008
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6. John Smith

The true life stories of several Americans with the name John Smith, from an 11-week-old boy whose parents expected a girl, to a 46-year-old Texan, welcoming his son home from Iraq.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 50 minutes Release date: June 8, 2008
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7. No Respect

A bonus second-season edition comprised of material produced for the This American Life web site, a look at comedians and their audiences includes segments about unknown comics performing for a rowdy crowd at a club in the middle of nowhere, and a piece about Mike Birbiglia, a standup with a scathing routine about his worst gig ever.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 28 minutes Release date: May 28, 2009
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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Starring Ira Glass
Season year 2009
Network Showtime
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. S. Sevakis on January 28, 2009
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This American Life is easily the best show on the radio, and with season 2 it can safely be said that its television adaptation joins the ranks of the best on that medium as well. While Season 1 faltered slightly, constrained too much by the differences in format and perhaps a bit too indulgent in stories that weren't as interesting as the producers thought, Season 2 is nothing short of astonishing. It's funny, it's deeply moving, and introspective about what makes us all human. The final, longer episode, "John Smith", reduces me to a sobbing mess every time I watch it. It's simply one of my favorite pieces of film ever made, ever, and I've spent the better part of my life sifting through eclectic movies and television.

Unfortunately somebody at CBS DVD made the bone-headed decision to stuff all six episodes onto a single disc, which is a shame. With almost five hours worth of video including the extras, it's very over-compressed and some of the gorgeous cinematography really suffers. I would kill for a Blu-Ray of this series. Or even the exact same thing on a two-disc set.

With that limitation in mind, you simply need to see this show. Skip season one and head straight for this extremely low-priced disc. You will not regret it.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This American Life was the first radio shows with which I became absolutely enthralled, revolving my Saturday morning schedule around its airing until other means of listening came along. So I was happy about Showtime picking at up, and not at all skeptical that a TV version would disappoint.

And it didn't, at first. Season one of the television show did not disappoint, and neither, truthfully, did season two. If I were to judge season two by nixing any preconceived notions about This American Life (either in radio format or the format laid out by season one of the TV show).

Something in season two was lacking for me right off the bat. It remained pure speculation as to why season two did not strike the same chord with me. I finally figured out that it was lack of Ira Glass's narrative. You see, the DVD has a live presentation as a bonus feature. And in it I see Chris Wilcha (co-director of the TV version) and Ira Glass discussing how they chose in season two to have Ira Glass be involved as little as possible(!).

This was the profound difference between season one and two. Chris Wilcha and Showtime mistakenly believed that it was wise to relegate Ira Glass to the background as much as possible, instead of letting him narrate the show as he had done in season one. From what I gathered, those whom had misgivings about a TV version agree that episode one of first season soothed those fears. The show was still lovable. No matter how many moving pictures were added, it was definitely still This American Life. Believing that Ira Glass wouldn't surrender so much creative control, I had none of these misgivings and the TV show did not disappoint-- in season one. That was season one though.
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Format: DVD
I still remember when I first came across the radio show for This American Life. My wife and I were first dating, and, coming back from a movie, we sat in the car from 11pm to midnight, listening to the story that so captivated. In the 12 years since, I have never missed an radio show.

Ira Glass has taken his ear for story and married it to a beautiful eye. Each episode this season is lovingly filmed, the themes running through each episode are familiar, yet meaningful, and the stories will stay with you for most of your life.

From the first episode in the series, "Escape", which chronicles the life of an young man striving to be on his own but constrained by a disease that leaves him physically helpless, to the last episode in the series, "Meet John Smith", which chronicles a year in the life of 7 men named John Smith at different ages, this is what you Edward R. Murrow must have hoped TV would become.

Not a wasteland of reality TV shows and laugh tracks, but a respectful and deep record of the dignity and challenges surrounding everyday life.

I got this season on iTunes, but I would highly recommend that you pre-order this season. You will not be disappointed.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
Have you ever driven through a neighborhood and wondered about the lives of the people living there? While each residence may look "normal", the inhabitant's stories are usually anything but. This program brings some of those stories to the viewer and they are fascinating! The show starts with a theme and then up to 3 stories are shared which deal with that theme. One might learn about an unconventional marriage and the twists it takes over time. A story about making history with dental floss will have viewers shaking their heads. Some stories are simply interesting while others are profound and thought provoking. Some left me feeling optimistic while others saddened me. I LOVE the series and can't wait for future seasons!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Why can't TV shows be made for adults? Why can't TV shows trust the audience to be intelligent and curious? This American Life is one of the rare shows on TV that aspires to bring something more to the medium.

Subtle, easy-paced, and ultimately, enjoyable.
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