This American Life

Showtime (ended 2008)





This American Life Fan Reviews (2)

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out of 10
53 votes
  • Great show

    I've been a fan of the radio show on NPR for years... sometimes funny, sometimes touching, always entertaining... when I heard that a TV show was in the works, I had mixed feelings... its such a unique experience, its hard to image how it would translate to another medium... Since the show premiered, I've only had a chance to see the first two episodes...
    It captures the radio show perfectly... in fact I believe most of the segments on the tv show, are from episodes of the radio program...
    I just hope they let some of the bigger contributers to the radio, have pieces on the show... Sarah Vowell, John Hodgman, David Sedaris being three of my faves...
  • mildly interesting

    Listeners who love the public radio show from which This American Life harvests its DNA tend to lurrrve their program with its funky junkyard collection of real-life stories. They love the themes that tie each week's assemblage together — maybe the costs of stubbornness, or the consequences of trying new things. And they especially love their Ira Glass, the series' singular creator and host, whose earnestly deadpan delivery suggests that all of America resides within the zip code of Ghost World.

    Loyalists may reasonably fret that the translation from radio to TV dilutes the intimacy of the purely aural: Watching a story about a rancher who clones a beloved pet bull only to get attacked by the replacement isn't nearly as marvelously disorienting as hearing the tale, however dreamy and Gus Van Sant-y the imagery. (It so happens this slice of life first ran on the radio some time ago, and I could imagine the gorer and the gored.) Still, this handsomely produced experimental series ought to please flexible fans — as well as so many more who are new to the notion of an artful grab-bag documentary series about real people describing little realities. Besides, the onscreen Glass turns out to be the perfect 3-D representation of voice-only Glass. He's a white-shirt-and-necktie hipster nerd in owlish glasses who opens each show sitting behind a desk with an old mic, in the middle of the open air somewhere, channeling John Cleese when he promised, ''And now for something completely different.'
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