I recently had the opportunity to view the first four episodes of the new Showtime series, This American Life, based on the longtime NPR radio show hosted by Ira Glass. I've always enjoyed the show, which initially made me a bit hesitant toward the television series. Glass has a unique, slightly nasally and extremely soothing voice. Does this need to be translated into the television medium?

I'm happy to say, absolutely. This American Life is one of the most charming, interesting and unique shows that I've seen in some time. Glass still guides the show, occasionally through a dramatized or animated bumper and into a segment of varying length, but similar effect. Among the highlights of the episodes I screened:
  • The best argument against cloning and an examination into the concept of a soul.
  • How religious art can turn away an atheist in the most personal of ways.
  • That passion can maintain youth.
  • The art of video documentary can mend the most dysfunctional of families.
  • Can a prank lift and destroy one's passion?

The show isn't for everyone. I'd imagine that many people would find it dull or pretentious. Nevertheless, I found the series to be fascinating and dare I say, heartwarming, watching normal people learn, grow, and be inspired. In a society where reality television has become the
equivalent of watching a car crash or working the carnival circuit, This American Life takes place in a world in which I'm proud to be a part of.