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This American Life

Season 2 2008

  • 2008-05-05T02:30:00Z on Showtime
  • 30 mins
  • 3 hours, 6 mins (6 episodes)
  • United States
  • English
  • Documentary

Compelling stories are explored every day on "This American Life," the nearly 15-year-old, award-winning Chicago Public Radio show that boasts a devoted weekly listening audience of 1.7 million, and is heard on more than 500 stations nationally. The series, created in 1995 by host and executive producer Ira Glass, pioneered a unique way of telling stories on the radio. Its first-person telling of these revealing stories makes the radio series a great fit for television.

6 episodes

2x01 Escape

  • Season Premiere

    2008-05-05T02:30:00Z — 28 mins

Two teenage boys in Philadelphia look for ways to impress girls; and a young man fights for his independence from his mother.

2x02 Two Wars

  • 2008-05-12T02:30:00Z — 27 mins

An Iraqi comes to America after leaving his war-torn country and sets out on a trip across America and lets the U.S. citizens ask questions about any subject; a Bulgarian man decides that an argument with his wife, about lawn upkeep, goes back more than 20 years.

2x03 Going Down in History

  • 2008-05-19T02:30:00Z — 28 mins

Stories of people trying to make — and remake — history, while others go down in history in ways they never intended. Two Wisconsin convicts gain local fame for almost escaping prison using dental floss. High school students pose for smiley yearbook snapshots, which capture nothing of the dramas in their lives. And a man with a 30-year obsession with one particular bird unveils the grainy, Big Foot-style video evidence that he saw it.

2x04 Underdogs

  • 2008-05-26T02:30:00Z — 25 mins

A group of teenage boys, in New York City, learn how to fight back against bullies in an old fashioned way; two boxers from Tennessee who have known each other, since they were kids, must face each other in a fight that they can't lose.

2x05 Every Marriage Is a Courthouse

  • 2008-06-02T02:30:00Z — 28 mins

Cartoonist Chris Ware animates a true story that demonstrates that every marriage—even the happiest—is a courtroom. But most of the episode is devoted to the slow-motion disintegration of one couple's marriage. The husband's obsession with a legal battle forces the most basic marital questions into the open: what do I need? And what can I put up with?

2x06 John Smith

  • 2008-06-09T02:30:00Z — 50 mins

The story of one life, told through the lives of people from all over the country, all named John Smith. Baby John Smith is 11 weeks old, in South Carolina, and his parents are still reeling from the sonograms that all predicted he would be a girl. By the time he's 23, John Smith in Laramie, Wyoming, has made some mistakes and is appearing in front of a judge. At 46, he's in Texas, welcoming his oldest son back from Iraq. In-depth portraits of people growing up, growing old, and figuring out how to be fathers, husbands, and men in America today.