User Reviews (63)

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  • dlbaltz3 September 2018
    This show can be informative, and educational, but some episodes are clearly socially motivated and coercive. A documentary is made to educate, using scientific data and ethical, unbiased reporting. Some of these episodes however, rely on socially motivated testimony, anecdotal evidence, and pop-culture pseudoscience to convince the audience of one point of view or perspective. These episodes are much closer to a coercive essay or even propoganda, leading the audience to believe the opinion of the new-age narrative to be fact, rather than reporting on all perspectives and data leaving the conclusions to the audience. Be weary if you leave the show feeling convinced of something; documentaries should educate and inform an audience, using ethical reporting and unbiased opinions without presenting a conclusion so that the audience can reach conclusions or opinions of their own. A documentary or report should not, however, aim to convince an audience using coercive language, unethical reporting, and motivated testimony to support the conclusion drawn or thesis or presented to be true.
  • hjnszaknyelv1 September 2018
    No matter if you agree or disagree with the ideas of what they say, it is bad for a documentary if they only show one side of the idea. This really comes out at the P.C. one episode, where they start it out as a documentary, explaining the history. Then they explain why PC is good, but they fail to represent the counter argument for being PC. And this one is tagged as 'documentary'.
  • The concept of this show is something I've wanted for a very long time.

    It's basically a series of primers to introduce and entice you towards subjects and/or perspectives you may have otherwise overlooked. The production is solid, the format works well, and while the pacing can feel rushed and the focus drift, it always leaves you something to discuss afterwards.

    So... why only 2 stars? Well, the show seems pretty biased in places (particularly on social issues), and that's ok. Being introduced to conflicting viewpoints is afterall crucial to understanding these subjects, and a show that does such has value.

    But rather than presenting the facts neutrally and then explaining their viewpoint I feel as though they've done the reverse. It's as though the prosecution has planned the defence - passing up effective, prevalent and relevant cases/arguments to make one of the perspectives look inferior by constrast. Skewing the deck with a facade of factuality.

    There is nothing more essential for a documentary than the trust that what you are seeing is true or atleast sincere. Unfortunately for Explained, I find myself wondering more about what they've left out than what they've told me.
  • I feel like they leave you like they actually told you something but actually they didn't told you anything for 20 minutes straight. Just talking nothing interesting nothing to catch you it's just history and random ideas trough time many of the you already know
  • The first episode on music was fine. Immediately after that Vox takes a hard turn to the left. Like most leftist do they use top line numbers and generalities that do not derive what makes up the data set. Once you break down these numbers you realize this entire series is to manipulate you towards leftism. If you do watch this challenge the premise and go your research.
  • The idea of explaining issues of the current world is great. We need more people to understand how the world is. Unfortunately that's not what you would learn in this series. There's great deal of bias. Future predictions are bluntly stated as "going to happen". Ignoringb potentiality of future development of humans (which always paid great role in overcoming problems humanity meets along the way). Well, just watch one or two episodes and make your own mind. And for comparison you might like to read about some objective data, I can recommend Factfulness from Hans Rosling
  • Here you will find the scientific cardinal sin of arriving at a conclusion first, and then distort or cherrypick facts to support your conclusion. This series is one that explain according to Vox. For scientific consensus or objectivity you should look elsewhere. For a peek at ideological distortion, enjoy.
  • The "Cults" episode was really good and I enjoyed the "Weed" episode and a few others; however, the show presents way too many biased opinions as facts. It's frustrating and really annoying, but par-for-the-course with Vox. I've changed my viewpoint on a lot of things over the years (especially recently), but only after seeing actual facts and accurate data. It's a shame they had to present most of these topics in such a biased manner - it only turns people away. It had potential to be a great series. The show should be renamed to "Explained By Far Leftists".

    Please smarten up, Vox. Take a look in the mirror and instead of brushing all the criticism off as insignificant and assuming it's only coming from people on the right, actually stop to evaluate what you're doing and realize that you aren't perfect and your viewpoints also have the chance of being incorrect. You put so much effort into producing this show, only to ruin it with your extreme leftsplaining... that's an even better title for this show: "Leftsplained". At least give people a warning at the start of the episode that you're going to be super-biased throughout.
  • mule_us9 September 2018
    Unabashedly biased. Misleading title, this is more op-ed than "explaniation"
  • I really enjoy how the topics don't just run on. They are intriguing and straight to the point. You gain the understanding of the topic within 20 minutes or less, which makes it easy to keep your focus. Definitely excited to see how this show continues and developes!
  • This show is nothing but progressive propaganda devoid of any 2nd and 3rd level thinking.
  • Surprise! Turns out that condensing decades or even hundreds of years of history into 15-20 minute chunks with poppy editing is not exactly the best way to learn about a topic. This show is wonderfully entertaining and does what VOX does best, make short videos about topics that most people have heard of but don't exactly understand.

    When I watched the "K-Pop" episode along with others like "e-sport" or "the stock market" I was absolutely intrigued. They are fiercely interesting 20 minutes that seemingly gave me the gist of what the subject matter was. However, after watching the new episode on "Cricket" I realised that the other episodes I loved so much is to be taken with a huge grain of salt. Almost any cricket fan would watch the Cricket episode and be confused with how the episode focuses on India and Twenty20 cricket to the exclusion of almost everything else. Not even The Ashes, Bodyline, the evolution of batting gear, or any of the million interesting factoids about the games' chess-like gameplay are mentioned.

    Vox dishonestly portrays test cricket as a thing of the past, when in every cricket nation (including India) it is still the most prestigious form of the game. But because T20 is flashier, Vox focuses almost exclusively on it, cheekily implying that T20 is what the majority of the fans are fixated on, which is the exact opposite from the truth. It's frustrating that any laymen interested in learning about cricket is instead going to have 5 minutes of the rules explained to them, and then 10 minutes of a narrative pushed on them that is so over simplified and in the end has more to do with business and marketing than it does the actual sport. In a game that is as universally adored as football, VOX focuses almost entirely on the most narrow of stories. It's not about the subject, it's about a fluffed up narrative that covers less than 1% of the actual narrative. It would be as if VOX released a documentary about football that entirely neglected to mention the EPL or the World Cup.

    So I've watched the show and found it fun and interesting. However, I am not going to take it as anything more than a superficial look at subjects Vox themselves only have a passing knowledge of. There are a million other documentaries on Netflix you can watch that are more in-depth, honest and intelligent. I admire their attempts to branch out, but until Vox stops caring about visuals over facts, they should stick to their short youtube videos, which is where their best work has been done, the best episodes of this show are just normal Vox videos with a bit of filler in them to get them to the 15-20 minute mark.
  • Apart from weird choice of topics. Trying to condense them topics into 20 minutes. Biased opinions. Not working. Mediocre.
  • loveannbea1 August 2018
    Warning: Spoilers
    A SIGNIFICANT portion of information is missing in the very first Episode titled "Tattoo"

    Africa is the birthplace of all civilization; however, the tattoo/scarification traditions to distinguish tribes wasn't mentioned within the first 15-20min. I fast-forwarded to see that the only pigmented male in episode 1 discussed his choice of tattoos while imprisoned.

    Definitely now wasting anytime watching any more episodes. The information is readily available elsewhere. No thanks.
  • Joe Posner and Ezra Klein are the writers/producers of this series. Ha! Biased much? Don't believe me check out their twitter and social media pages. The first 2 episodes weren't terrible. After the 3rd and 4th episodes I had to stop watching. Too many one sided political plugs & opinions. No thanks.
  • Should you choose to watch this series, please do so with an open mind (but not so open that your brain falls out). This is one of the most biased one-sided ducumentary series made in the last 10 years. Scientific studies are non existent; 3/4 of the points are simply 'belief systems' and there is almost NO DATA to back up any of the ridiculous claims made. In my humble opinion, the entire planet would be better off without this series. I would be ashamed if any future life forms or civilisations look at these series and take them for actual reality... which it is certainly NOT! There's more available concrete evindence for Area 51 than presented in this 'docu-series'
  • pineau22 October 2018
    Not very factual in 60% of the "opinions". Clearly uber-left in many cases. The hard science episodes are good, but the Hillery one and the racial one are tripe. Maria Bello should be ashamed of it. I thought better of her.
  • Doesn't present the most checked point of view but it's information that is useful one way or another.

    Information may not always be the most accurate, for instance in the episode about Political Correctness, no, the Chinese do not have separate terms for a married and unmarried woman. Women do not even take their husbands' last names.

    It's anecdotal but there are more instances of quick facts like that that aren't true. Maybe better fact-checking?
  • "A documentary series that looks to explore the big questions of today."

    More like a propaganda piece that seeks to paint the world with their own bias. Its your typical "right bad, left good" trash cobbled together by left wing media in order to push their agenda.

    At least Soros payed them well.
  • wade-jeffords6 December 2018
    Not much here. The first episode about music was interesting but the following episodes deteriorated from there. Once I discovered that the show was a Vox creation it all made sense. Just more of what our one tracked mind media is putting out. Not much room for other opinions.
  • Non-bipartisan opinionated leftest propaganda for the most part.
  • The show is very biased to left wing ideas which isn't necessarily a bad thing if that's your preferred view on the world but it can be obviously omitting details and sides to the argument that wouldn't be consistent in their narrative. Regardless the show does educate on both important and just interesting issues and topics with good production and some scientific backing. Worth a watch if you don't mind it not being 100% objective.
  • I've been following the series for a while now and every episode is interesting and exciting while providing some quite in depth data. It seems to me that just because it's a show that exposes some of the problems in the world it's automatically tagged as "biases", "leftist" (is there anything even wrong with being leftists or rightist?), or that it doesn't provide the other point of view. Does it actually lie or mislead? NO and I have yet to find one thing that's incorrect. To me it would seem that every time there's a show that shows some evidence against certain more corrupt politicians/institutions/countries or against certain broken systems said actors profit from, it's automatically labelled as "leftwing propaganda" and biased (without any actual arguments / evidence).

    I don't even usually post reviews but I sometimes read them and reading the ones here made me nauseous over how aggressive they are. I sure hope most sane people don't think like this.
  • alwynng17 October 2018
    Being available on Netflix, i had a feeling this was going to be another cringy documentary. Watched the exclamation point episode thinking this couldn't go political. They still managed to find a way to talk about how women are seen as b**** if they don't soften their writing with exclamation points... pathetic!!!
  • 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.
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