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This American Life

2 Seasons

Available on Prime
Season 1
Available on Prime
4.4 out of 5 stars (698) IMDb 8.5/10

Based on the wildly popular public radio show, This American Life explores a theme - fiascos, do-gooders, conventions, the job that takes over your life - and transforms the stories into something funny or poignant, enlightening or bizarre.

Starring:
Ira Glass

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Season 1
1. Reality Check

Three stories of people who hatched plans in the hopes of making their dreams come true, but were snapped back to reality by unpleasant outcomes.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 28 minutes Release date: March 22, 2007
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2. Growth Spurt

What do you do if you're unhappy with where you are in life? Some people simply will themselves to the next stage.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 28 minutes Release date: April 19, 2007
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3. The Cameraman

An animated short from cartoonist Chris Ware about the perils of watching life explode from behind the safe distance of a camera lens.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 28 minutes Release date: April 12, 2007
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4. God's Close Up

Stories where the faithful and the not-so-faithful cross paths, and where unexpected things happen when people try to get closer to God through pictures.

TV-PG CC Runtime: 28 minutes Release date: April 5, 2007
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5. My Way

Four segments that explore the cost of stubbornness, including a man who refuses to acknowledge some important events in his wife's life; a politician who attempts to win an election without ever lying.

TV-14 CC Runtime: 27 minutes Release date: March 29, 2007
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6. Pandora's Box

Three stories of the unexpected consequences of trying new things including scientists that accidentally discover a way to erase memories and later get surprising requests from people who want their own minds wiped clean.

TV-MA CC Runtime: 28 minutes Release date: April 26, 2007
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Product Details

Genres Documentary
Starring Ira Glass
Season year 2007
Network Showtime
Purchase rights Stream instantly Details
Format Amazon Video (streaming online video)

Other Formats

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
Ira Glass and company have been producing the lovable radio show "This American Life" for years now. Fans of the radio show will undoubtedly be interested in the television show.

The show is masterfully photographed, and very well produced. I thought at first that if the television show was to be as effective as the radio show, it would be nearly impossible to produce, but apparently not so! Content-wise, it's very similar to the radio show. Every story follows a common narrative arc, but each story also features the unique setting that the radio show is known for. There's really little more to be said, especially if you are already a fan of the radio show. This is real American journalism focused on uncommon people who every day pass for common. Ira Glass and his show bring us these people's stories and do so with great artistry.

Often humorous, sometimes sad, but always interesting, "This American Life" is groundbreaking television!
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Format: DVD
I'm continually impressed with Ira Glass as an editor, interviewer and now with his new Showtime programme, This American Life, TV host. I honestly can't believe how good this series is. I've watched every episode back to back twice and I'm still reeling.

Quite simply, this is reality television or what reality television should have been before it got commandeered by posers in constructed atmospheres. Have you ever thought about why it's called "Reality TV" when there isn't anything real about it? A bunch of people who would never meet up in real life are thrown together in a completely artificial situation-a house, an island-to compete for something equally artificial-a modeling contract, a million dollars. That's not real. This American Life is a hundred percent human, real, and down to earth all the time. The stories are forthright, touching, amazing.

It's a testament to Ira's skill as an interviewer that he somehow manages to find people and tell their stories without artifice-there isn't an ounce of cheese or a single turn of spin in any one of these stories. You don't hear Ira or his staff ask a lot of questions on camera, but he must be amazing at his job because he brings out the best in people. Also the camera shots in this series are outstanding. In one interview a 13 year old boy rallies against love while his red headed classmate floats dreamily though a field of grass. In another interview the viewers get to see Chance the Bull through the kitchen window of it's owner. It's beautiful. All of it. It's simply amazing. My husband and I were both teary eyed after several of these stories.
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Format: DVD
.... was a question I'm sure many people asked when hearing that the most innovative, wonderful NPR radio program "This American Life" was going on television. It seemed almost impossible to believe that they would be taking their winning format and trying it out in a totally different medium. Would the intimacy that radio provides be possible on TV? Would seeing ruin the visuals the stories build in your heads? Rest assured, the show was in good, good hands and the result is a winning combination.

Host Ira Glass, with his nasally calm voice, introduces each week a theme, and spins stories on that theme from a wide pancea of possibilities, each a complete story within it's own, each adding to the examination of the question without ever directly answering it. The television show picks up the same concept, albeit in a shorter, half-hour version. More about this later.

The opening episode tells about reality, and two disparate stories (and one of the funniest introduction stories I ever heard) that you can possibly imagine. One about a tame bull named Chance and his unlikely offspring, and the other about a radical improv group in New York City. That's the beauty of Glass' radio show: taking these two stories, that literally happen in different worlds in our own country, and putting them together to make beautiful poetry. That's Glass' and the show's genius.

I found the show's visual aspects to not be a detractor, but to enhance the storytelling of the show. One segment in the second episode tells about a group of dastardly senior citizens deciding they were going to make a movie for Sundance. The story was definitely enhanced by seeing the woman who was selected playing the robber, a plastic mask covering her face, her hand shaking.
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Format: Amazon Video Verified Purchase
The concept of the series is good. But the way it is being written is sort of like taking a very shallow superficial view of life and characters. It's as if they just want to make one point and one point only. "Oh did you think this at first---well this is how it turns out?" It is not cerebral enough to engage me. It does not delve into real conflict more fully, showing all angles of a perplexing situation with all its complexities, and then showing how life often interferes and presents a never before considered solution. Now that is what I expected to see but didn't.
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