Tired of being the dumbest one in your group of friends? Didn’t pay attention in school? Want to deliver condescending sneers after dropping knowledge bombs? Entirely uninteresting and need to become more worldly as quickly as possible? Unemployed and have way too much time? Yearn to become supremely intelligent as revenge? Are you an auditory learner? A visual learner? Or maybe…just maybe… you have a genuine interest in learning? Whatever your condition, documentaries are the medication, and Netflix has a seemingly endless supply of prescription pads. Being that there are an overwhelming amount to pick from, I will ease the process by walking you through 3 documentaries each week. You’re welcome.
1. HOW THE STATES GOT THEIR SHAPES
What it is: 2-season series from the History channel.
What it’s about: The history of how our states determined their borders, and explorations into their current local culture
The Lowdown: The personable Brian Unger hosts. He talks to us as he drives around, stopping along the way to interview experts and speak with the local. Each episode covers a different subject and relates it to states it applies to. It’s packed with information and several states are discussed per episode. The show’s most distinctive value is its ability to teach us not just the history of our states, but how those moments affect the land and its people now.
Party Fact: Key West is closer to Havana, Cuba than any US city. And, as all decent humans know, Florida is the worst. So, lets cut it off. Lets give it to Cuba. Feliz Navidad, Cuba.
Yay, Nay or May(be): May - While not entirely misleading, the show’s title originally gave me the impression we would be covering a state per episode - a much cleaner learning approach for my taste – versus the themed direction it took. That said, the show is too disorderly for me, but educational on several levels for anyone who enjoys the format.
2. WILDEST ISLANDS
What it is: 2-seasons series from the SBS Channel
What it’s about: The animals inhabiting Earth’s islands.
The Lowdown: Format-wise, it is made up solely of awe-inspiring animal footage. The earth: ravishing. The animals in it: super weird and super cute. What this documentary said about them: I could not tell you - this in thanks to the narrator’s subdued and overly gentle tone. Listen, the cover appeared so incredibly exotic and relaxing - like something a pretentious and fancy person would be super into – so I kept going back to it in hopes of having common tastes with the elite, but it was so fucking monotonous, I couldn’t take it. I gave up 10-minutes in after each attempt until finally making it through an episode on the 5th try.
Party Fact: Sri Lanka’s lowlands house over 2,000 wild elephants making it one of the larger populations of elephants in existence. (It took a lot of effort for me to get through this series in order to learn this tidbit so you better fucking memorize it.)
Yay, Nay or May(be): May – This will be fully enjoyable if put on mute and watched while classical music blasts in the background.
3. NOVA: MIND OF A RAMPAGE KILLER
What it is: An episode from PBS’ Nova series. (Season 40, Episode 12)
What it’s about: A scientific analysis of the mind and motivations of a mass murderer.
The Lowdown: This episode is all over the place in the best and most coordinated way possible. They touch on everything that shapes the mind of a killer, from chemical aspects to social influences. They also take a look into the lives of past killers and children who currently show signs of having the ability to become one. They don’t pander to the sensationalism of mass murders choosing instead to bring to light the murders committed every day that often go unmentioned by the media. The sole heart of this episode is to investigate what causes a person to commit murder, and to discover what we must do to prevent it from happening.
Party Fact: Babies who are held and comforted more as a babies grow up to be calmer adults. Those who have withdrawn caretakers have a larger amount of stress-hormone production as adults.
Yay, Nay or May(be): Yay. It’s a fascinating episode from start to finish. Jam-packed with information, there is zero fat on this production. This is the most earnest and logical approach to understanding the mind of serial killer that I’ve ever seen.