Review: This American Life

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This American Life is a weekly 1-hour show hosted by Ira Glass. Each week, the show features a central theme around which several stories are presented. The format is much like an audiobook, where guests will provide a narrative about an event in their life. The topics are very broad, ranging from stories of survival to family disputes. This variety is fantastic, but is does mean that the entertainment value for an individual may fluctuate depending on their level of interest on a particular topic. Generally there is at least one story per episode that you will find entertaining, but there definitely are a few turkeys in the bunch.

On the other hand, when the topic is good, and the stories well told, This American Life can be hands down the most powerful and touching podcast out there. Give it time, and don’t judge it on your first listen.

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Ratings for This American Life
7.5/10 Entertainment value
When it’s good, it’s really good, but it can be hit and miss.
9/10 Quality of content
Always polished and well researched.
10/10 Production quality
An outstanding example of modern radio.
8.5 /10 Overall
On a good week, This American Life could easily score a 10 out of 10 in all aspects, but on a bad week it could go as low as 5. Even so, it’s those good episodes, those episodes that are so powerful and thought provoking you want to give the MP3 to everyone you know, that keep you coming back.
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  1. […] Moth could be compared to This American LIfe, a podcast I reviewed last year. Both shows feature raw stories from everyday people, and both can be incredibly powerful at times. […]

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