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cover: This American Life: 1st Season

This American Life: 1st Season


Theatrical Release: 2007

Cast: Ira Glass

Genre(s): TV, Documentary, culture, religion, biography, Showtime, Dean's List

Countries: USA

Location in store: Television

(1 / 1)
Ant Rating
Running Time: 168m.

With This American Life, Ira Glass brings his popular NPR radio series to the small screen, providing a unique a forum for Americans of all backgrounds and lifestyles to tell their stories. Allowing the individuals to recount their varied and compelling tales in the first person, Glass interjects each segment with his own narrative to help create a rich picture for each unrepeatable experience that's recounted. The stories told are sometimes heart breaking and sometimes humorous but most frequently, they're both.

Reality Check - This episode of This American Life offers three different stories about people who tried to bring their dreams to reality but found that the road to their lofty goals was a rocky one. In the first story, a young boy confronts a simple childhood problem with no simple answer. In the next segment, a farmer goes to extreme ends to save a pet but is torn with what he gets as a result. In the last portion, a team of performers conspire to give an obscure rock band their greatest show ever, but the band feels a tumult of emotion when it's revealed that the whole evening was planned. (

Growth Spurt - This episode of This American Life offers three different stories about the joys and perils of moving forward into the next stage in your life. A 13 year old girl, a widow, and a young screenwriter all share their experiences with pushing onward into the next phase, sometimes meeting with success and sometimes finding that the journey is more complicated than they anticipated. (

The Cameraman - This episode of This American Life offers two different stories about what life looks like through the viewfinder of a camera. In one, a cartoonist named Chris Ware talks about how dangerous it can be to hide behind the camera lens while real life plays out before you. In another, a young filmmaker sets out to his alcoholic stepfather's vices on film, but ends up finding a both sympathetic and sad picture of his family. (

God's Close-Up - This episode of This American Life offers different stories about how the lives of the religious and the not-so-religious intersect. In one, a spot in the Mojave dessert is the gathering spot for hundreds of faithful, each toting Polaroid cameras, hoping to get a snapshot of God. In another, things get interesting when an artist who creates religious images gets into a discussion about the Last Supper with his Jesus model, the model's girlfriend (who is an atheist) and the girlfriend's father (who is religious). (

My Way - This episode of This American Life offers four different stories about the consequences of being unwilling to change. In one, a marriage suffers when a man refuses to deal with his wife's issues. In the second vignette, a teenage boy swears not to fall in love, and in the third, a politician tries the novel idea of running an entire campaign without lying. In the last story, a man continues to work in the midst of an emergency. (

Pandora's Box - This episode of This American Life offers three different stories about the unforeseen consequences of trying something new and different. In one, scientists inadvertently discover a way to erase memories from the brain, only to find that people are actually interested in paying for this service. In another, researchers working with pigs inadvertently create disasters with every new improvement they make, and in the last story, two hot dog vendors take on a new business strategy that ends up having a huge effect on people's pent-up emotions. (