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This American Life

Where to Watch This American Life

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.

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John Smith
A look at the large number of people named John Smith, including an 11-week old baby who was supposed to be a boy, and a 23 year old man in Wyoming who is in trouble with the law. Lastly, a 46 year old who is awaiting the return of his son from the war in Iraq.

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Every Marriage is a Courtroom
Comic book artist Chris Ware animates a true story that reveals how all marriages, good or bad, are in essence courtrooms. Ware's animation brings to life the tragic tale of one couple's failed attempt at matrimony.

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A focus on two different boxers from Tennessee who battle each other in a match which means a lot to both men. Also, a group of New York youths learn how to challenge their bullies by using humor instead of fists.

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Going Down In History
A common medicine cabinet item was used in the escape attempt of two Wisconsin convicts. Plus, a man's with a 30-year obsession with a flying critter.

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Two Wars
A young Iraqi man takes questions from American citizens about his homeland. A Rhode Island man from Bulgaria discusses a long time argument he has had with his American wife.

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In Philadelphia, young boys use a mode of transportation which has been obsolete since the 19th century to impress girls and break free of the confines of their home. Also, specialized circumstances makes a young man's breakaway for independence and from his mother a bit tougher.

Watch This American Life Season 2 Episode 1 Now

This American Life is a uniquely compelling television series that successfully transitioned from its roots in public radio. Originally aired on Showtime from 2007 to 2012, it was created and hosted by the much-lauded Ira Glass, whose distinct storytelling style and passion for everyday human experiences laid the groundwork for the show. The series blended elements of documentary, storytelling, and investigative journalism, enveloping viewers in contemporary American life in a way few shows had done before. Ira Glass, known for his thoughtful and engaging manner, won over viewers with his keen ability to draw meaningful insights from ordinary circumstances. In each half-hour episode, stories unfolded that were at once mundane and yet deeply fascinating. Storytelling in This American Life was segmented into acts, reflecting the radio show's structure, and exploring different facets of the episode's theme. Just like its radio predecessor, the television series was built around a theme – one story or several smaller ones, all centered on that main idea. Contributors to This American Life were a mixture of regulars from the radio show and newcomers who brought their own unique perspectives to the narrative table. The result was a compelling collage of storytelling that ran the gamut from heart-rending to hilarious to thought-provoking. Contributors ranged from well-known journalists to everyday people, and their stories were told through a mix of formats including personal narratives, investigative journalism pieces, and short fiction. Shot in high definition, the visual component of the series brought a new layer of depth to the stories, effectively capturing the intimacy and subtlety of life's rich tapestry. It took viewers on-location from their living rooms, immersing them in a range of settings from big city streets to small-town diners and families' backyards. The empathetic and unflinchingly honest storytellers on This American Life dug into the core of human experience, navigating themes of love and loss, triumph and tragedy, family and friendship, and more. The stoical theme of the show was to make the ordinary extraordinary, to make the viewer realize that every life has a story worth telling. What set This American Life apart was its deft approach to slice-of-life storytelling, the wonderfully absurd humor that could be found in the trivial minutiae of everyday life, and painstakingly researched investigative pieces. And at the heart of it all was Ira Glass, whose unassuming yet profound narrative style endeared him to listeners and viewers alike. The series was honored with several awards throughout its run, including a prestigious Peabody Award. While it may no longer be on air, its legacy remains. It continues to captivate audiences who can revisit old episodes on streaming platforms and further testament to its enduring popularity is the continued success of the radio show that spawned it. This American Life is not merely a television series; it's an exploration into the human experience unlike any other, giving voice to the voiceless and painting vivid pictures of the triumphs, tragedies, and the plethora of small yet significant moments in between that make up life in America. It is a narrative journey that champions empathy, celebrates individuality, and furthers our understanding of the world around us. By doing so, This American Life doesn't just tell us stories; it shows us the world through a multifaceted lens, changing its viewers’ perspectives one story at a time. In summary, This American Life serves as a testament to the beauty of everyday lives, celebrating the diversity, eccentricities, and shared human experience that make up the American tapestry. The television series, much like the radio show it is based upon, is a thing of subtle beauty – as thought-provoking as it is entertaining, as insightful as it is delightful, and as timeless as the tales it tells. A must-watch for those who love a good story.

This American Life is a series categorized as a canceled. Spanning 2 seasons with a total of 13 episodes, the show debuted on 2007. The series has earned a mostly positive reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 8.4.

Ira Glass
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