How The States Got Their Shapes

 (228)8.12012TV-PG
The U.S. is like a giant jigsaw puzzle, where every line on the map tells a different story.
Genres
DocumentarySpecial Interest
Subtitles
English [CC]
Audio languages
English

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  1. 1. Red State vs. Blue State
    September 28, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    It's a rivalry that tears us apart every four years. How did our nation divide into red states versus blue states? And what happens to the states caught in the middle?
  2. 2. White Collar vs. Blue Collar
    September 28, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Deep in the Rust Belt, the white collar and blue collar divide has shaped our cities and our states. How did this rivalry change the way we all bring home the bacon?
  3. 3. Hillbilly vs. Redneck
    October 5, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Two underdogs of American culture go head to head to prove how hillbillies and rednecks have shaped our states.
  4. 4. Hatfields vs. McCoys
    October 5, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    America's most iconic rivalry was more than just a feud between families. The fight between the Hatfields and McCoys nearly launched a war between two states.
  5. 5. North vs. South
    October 12, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    It's America's original rivalry - a divide that was so wide it took a war to close the gap. But have we really reunited, or are we still fighting a culture war?
  6. 6. Bigfoot vs. Aliens
    October 12, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    America is a nation under siege by unexplained phenomena. Whether you're afraid of Bigfoot or an alien invasion might depend on which state you call home.
  7. 7. Great Lakes, Big Stakes
    October 19, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Battles over access to lakefront property have made the Great Lakes region the most contested land on the entire map, and even pushed the states to a border war.
  8. 8. Battle Of The Bible Belt
    October 19, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    With 85% of Americans affiliated with an organized religion, we're a nation of believers. But have we always practiced what we preached?
  9. 9. Vice vs. Virtue
    October 26, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Americans have a lot of vices, and they don't just stay in Vegas. From drugs to gambling, the state you live in may shape how bad you can be.
  10. 10. Midwest vs. the Rest
    October 26, 2012
    22min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    It's the glue that holds our map together and feeds America, but the Midwest is more than just state fairs and flyover country.
  11. 11. Is West Best?
    November 2, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Americans have been racing to tame the West since they first set foot on the continent, but now that the West has been won, what's next? Is the West still the best?
  12. 12. City vs. Country
    November 2, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Is there something about the country that city slickers are missing? How has the move from rural to urban changed the shapes of our states and cities?
  13. 13. East vs. West
    November 9, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The squabble between East Coast and West Coast leaves the rest of the country stuck in the middle. Is there any common ground in this continental tug-of-war?
  14. 14. Rebels & Outlaws
    November 16, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    We may be a law-abiding nation, but we also admire the outlaw, and the clash between rebels and the rules has shaped our states. Which states like to make their own rules, and which do the heat have on lockdown?
  15. 15. Mess with Texas
    November 23, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Everything is bigger in Texas, but has it grown too big for its britches? We'll mess with Texas to settle this ten-gallon rivalry.
  16. 16. State vs. State
    December 7, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Nearly every state has pulled a power play that gamed the system and changed the map. How much can you get away with when it's state versus state?
  17. 17. Rich vs. Poor
    December 7, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Money makes the world go 'round, and in America, the pursuit of riches has shaped our states. In the race to grab all resources, which states came out on top?
  18. 18. Big vs. Small
    December 14, 2012
    21min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Does size matter when you're a state? While the giants like to throw their weight around, there are some scrappy underdogs that have made their mark on the map.
  19. 19. The United Shapes of America
    December 21, 2012
    43min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    Travel from coast to coast as host Brian Unger reveals how the U.S. map shaped us just as we shaped it.

Bonus (1)

  1. Bonus: How the States Got Their Shapes: Season 2 - Sneak Peek
    September 16, 2012
    2min
    TV-14
    Subtitles
    English [CC]
    Audio languages
    English
    The new season of How The States Got Their Shapes premieres on Saturday, September 29 at 8/7c, but a special sneak peek is available now!

More details

Season year
2012
Network
History
Purchase rights
Stream instantly Details
Format
Prime Video (streaming online video)
Devices
Available to watch on supported devices

Other formats

Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

228 global ratings

  1. 79% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 10% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 7% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 2% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 2% of reviews have 1 stars

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Top reviews from the United States

K. R.Reviewed in the United States on August 25, 2013
3.0 out of 5 starsDisappointed
Verified purchase
I loved the first season DVD set of this show, so I per-ordered the second season sight unseen as soon as it showed up on Amazon. Unfortunately that lead me to being a bit disappointed with this second season set. My disappointment stems from the fact that they changed up the format of the show. Now it's based around a faux game show style format. That and they cut the episodes down to 20 minutes (+/-) from the 40 minutes (+/-) they were in the first season. There is one extended episode "The United Shapes of America" which is 43 minutes, but it's mainly made up of bits and pieces from this second seasons shows and some of the ones from the first season. I really feel this second season was a big let down compared to the original. I say skip buying it and wait for it to come out on Amazon Instant videos or Netflix. One nice thing - the episodes have English subtitles.

List of episodes per disc: Each around 20 minutes (+/-)

Disc One:
* Red State vs. Blue State
* White Collar vs. Blue Collar
* Hatfields vs. McCoys
* Hillbilly vs. Redneck
* Bigfoot vs. Aliens
* Battle of the Bible Belt
* North vs South
* Great Lakes, Big Stakes

Disc Two:
* City vs. Country
* Midwest vs. The Rest
* Vice vs. Virtue
* Is West Best?
* East vs. West
* Rebels vs Outlaws
* Mess with Texas
* State vs State

Disc Three:
* Rich vs. Poor
* Big vs. Small
* The United Shapes of America (extended episode - 43 minutes)

Bonus Footage (disc three): Each around 2 minutes (+/-) in length
* How California Got Its Shape
* How Florida Got Its Shape
* How Illinois Got Its Shape
* How Maine Got Its Shape
* How Montana Got Its Shape
* How Nevada Got Its Shape
* How Texas Got Its Shape
* How Utah Got Its Shape
* How Washington Got Its Shape
* How West Virginia Got Its Shape
47 people found this helpful
David S.Reviewed in the United States on March 14, 2019
3.0 out of 5 starsNot as good as season 1
Verified purchase
The format for season 2, as others have pointed out, is very different from season 1. The "game show" format is certainly entertaining and there are still interesting facts, but it just isn't as good as season 1.
7 people found this helpful
G-dawgReviewed in the United States on October 22, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsEntertaining learning...EXCELLENT!
Verified purchase
Not quite as good as season 1, BUT... again, an excellent series! Filmed well and Brian Unger is pleasant enough without being sappy. A likeable host, interesting locations, and quality presentation. Very entertaining and I've learned some fascinating things about our states.
2 people found this helpful
Simon MagusReviewed in the United States on June 2, 2020
4.0 out of 5 starsGood historical episodes
Verified purchase
This was a great show. I love learning about what seems like an obscure topic on the surface but actually proves to be fascinating and poignant every time. I wish they would have released it all as a single set, though.
teacherReviewed in the United States on April 27, 2019
5.0 out of 5 starsTeacher
Verified purchase
Excellent DVD to use to teach history, geometry, and geography. Divided into 30 min segments, a great tool for questions and answers as discussions will follow.
One person found this helpful
ReesaReviewed in the United States on September 19, 2017
5.0 out of 5 starsGreat job.
Verified purchase
Really enjoyed this series. Light hearted; fun. You learn little tidbits of true American history along the way -- not politically correct tainted history. All the people used in the series were treated with respect.
2 people found this helpful
Aaron J. WestReviewed in the United States on December 5, 2016
5.0 out of 5 starsyou might like it, but if you already read about these ...
Verified purchase
We watched this with our kids, ages 9, 7, and 4, and it kept the whole family entertained and informed. If you are not already an American history buss, you might like it, but if you already read about these kids of things or do not like shows with a bunch of interviews, you might get bored. The host is pretty clever.
3 people found this helpful
Clayton E. CramerReviewed in the United States on February 28, 2021
5.0 out of 5 starsFun, cute, educational
Verified purchase
Cute and funny while also geographically and historically interesting. Have your K-12 kids watch it while we are still one nation.
See all reviews