19 September 2018 | cgraves04
'Explained' is an introduction different subjects, but the onus to learn more is on YOU
I love this show because it touches upon issues I either didn't know about or have never seriously thought about. I enjoyed seeing how K-pop came into being, and I had no idea that water scarcity is such a growing concern for our planet. As a black woman, I felt a bit vindicated seeing the racial wealth gap and the gender pay gap discussed seriously on TV, and I sincerely hoped that other viewers would look into those subjects more. I wasn't interested in cricket, and as a person with an English degree, I've heard quite enough about explanation points, so I yawned through those episodes. But that's the beauty of 'Explained'--each subject is different, and there is something for everyone. Some of them are fascinating and will grab your attention and have you clicking through a Google vortex for the rest of the night. Some of them will bore you, but the episodes are so short that you won't feel like you wasted your time (and you'll still probably learn a little something). Whether it's good or bad, you won't be able to wait to see what they cover next week.
I've seen a lot of other reviewers complain that this show a) is too biased, and b) attempts to condense too much information into 20 minutes, thereby making the information it shares too incomplete to be meaningful.
'Explained' is not a book or a full-length documentary. It's meant to provoke your interest in the subjects it covers, to give you a summary explanation of them, and to prompt you to become more engaged with your world and go out and learn more about it, not to magically give you years' worth of knowledge through televised osmosis. If you actually think that can be accomplished in 20 minutes, then the problem isn't the show; it's you. 'Explained' offers a brief perspective based on the statistics and facts available. Could its interpretations be seen as biased? Sure. But, again, I'm not sure what else you expect to gain from 20 minutes. They pick an angle, and they run with it. If you don't agree with that angle, at least you've been exposed to it. And what's more--you'll be introduced to something completely different next week, anyway! Hopefully, either way, you'll be motivated to learn more about these issues on your own time.
Watch 'Explained' to get a crash course in a variety of subjects, some of which you've likely never thought about before. Take the show with a grain of salt. And most importantly, don't expect it to replace the work of doing research for yourself.