Netflix and Vox Team Up for Documentary Series ‘Explained,’ Explained

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

Explained Netflix

Vox started in 2014 as a website with an expressed goal in providing in-depth explanations of the biggest news stories of the day. One of the key features of Vox are their explainers, comprised of detailed rundowns of news stories point by point. That concept of explaining news stories and exploring why they matter and how they affect people is the central idea behind Explained, a new documentary series from Vox in conjunction with Netflix. Over the four episodes available for review, Explained establishes itself as a fascinating series that explores a variety of topics. Each episode of Explained runs around 20 minutes, meaning that the series works as a primer to its selected topics although it’s suprisingly in-depth for its running time.

The four episodes of Explained that I was able to view tackled quite a range of topics – K-pop, designer DNA, monogamy, and the racial wealth gap. The episodes utilize archival footage, interviews with experts, and plenty of charts and graphs to back up whatever points are being asserted by either the narrator or interview subjects.

Explained doesn’t just look at its given issues from its modern context. The series is heavily invested in illustrating how events of the past shape the modern debates and analysis of its chosen topic. Therein lies some of the more fascinating aspects that arise in Explained – just how did these matters come into being. How did a cultural phenomenon arise from a rigid, government-controlled culture? How did humans betray natural instinct to promote monogamous relationships? How does generations of institutional racism lead to a wage gap that persists today? How did the mapping of the human genome create a set of incredible possibilities and a set of ethical dilemmas?

The biggest praise I can put upon Explained that I was captivated by the content of each episode I viewed and feel that I have a better grasp of the issues presented thanks to the brief, informative nature of the show. By no means is the information daunting to casual viewers and it’s presented in a lively manner that remains entertaining while being informative.

The biggest problem facing Explained is a problem that is plaguing media on all levels – that’s the hyper-partisan nature of modern politics. The episode on the racial wealth gap looks at an issue that doesn’t get much play in the media, but those who need to be swayed on the topic are the ones likely to simply ignore or write off the information conveyed because it’s politically inconvenient. I do believe that maybe some of Explained can get around that by its willingness to explore a diverse range of topics, so maybe somebody interested in designer DNA and genetic editing might happen upon a topic that they’re unexpectedly swayed on.

Just because a group of people might not be willing to accept the well-researched, well-sourced information of Explained doesn’t mean that its existence is not vital. Netflix and the other streaming services have a documentary problem. In their constant search for content, Netflix and its competitors have scooped up a number of dubious documentaries and perpetuated the spread of misleading and outright false information. Explained won’t mitigate the damage caused by the proliferation of these unscrupulous pieces of documentary filmmaking, but it’s certainly a step in the right direction. The power of factual information has taken a hit in recent years. Ideologically slanted media (mainly on the conservative side but liberals are just as susceptible) has made it easy for people to remain in echo chambers, safely insulated from uncomfortable information. Not every issue is binary – it’s not simply left/right or right/wrong. There’s complexity to the origins of every issue. There are shades to morality, and political thinking on every topic aims to make anything black and white. Explained will never be a substitute for in-depth reading and reporting, but it’s a densely informative documentary series with the ability to disrupt the echo chambers that dominate the discourse.

Explained debuts exclusively on Netflix on Wednesday, May 23rd.

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Tingler
Scream for Joy and Scream for Your Life! ‘The Tingler’ is on Blu-ray!

If there’s one oft-repeated phrase about movies I just can’t stand,...

The Ranger
‘The Ranger’ Delivers on its Promise of a Punk Rock Slasher Flick

Chelsea (Chloe Levine) is a punk. Clad in leather and with...

It’s the Thanksgiving From Hell in the Teaser for Ike Barinholtz’s Contentious Comedy ‘The Oath’

We’ve all been there. Thanksgiving surrounded by immediate family and then...

Event News Event Reviews
Transformers: The Movie Theatrical Debut
32 Years Ago Today, Was The Transformers: The Movie Theatrical Debut

On this day, 32 years ago, the world was graced with The...

Blizzard SDCC 2018
Blizzard SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment Brings Massive Lineup to SDCC

Blizzard in SDCC 2018 – Blizzard Entertainment brings Overwatch, StarCraft, and...

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018
Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR and Stern Pinball

Nuclear Blast SDCC 2018 – Nuclear Blast Teams Up with JSR...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Ghostbusters World
Strap On Your Jumpsuits and Proton Packs – Ghostbusters World First Look

Ghostbusters World First Look at SDCC2018 – When someone asks you if...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

black torch
Black Torch – New Supernatural, Action Manga from Viz Media

VIZ Media releases a new, supernatural story with the release of...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Chuck Billy of Testament Talks About His Signature Vaporizer

Chuck Billy of Testament talks about, “The Chief” his signature vaporizer,...

anime pls
Anime Pls by Bioworld – Exclusive Interview

Bioworld Merchandising is a pop culture product expert. The company is considered...

heaven's feel
Fate/stay night [Heaven’s Feel] THE MOVIE I. presage flower Blu-ray Release

TLDR Aniplex of America announced that box office hit, Fate/stay night ...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
WOW Announces New TV Taping Schedule

Women of Wrestling (WOW) will be hosting two nights of TV...

Catching up with Collegiate Take Down King Joe Gonzales at OCG

What can be said about Joe Gonzales? Well, everything really. Gonzales...

NJPW G1 Special from San Francisco Results

New Japan Pro Wrestling (NJPW) the King of Sports returns to...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics #3

The defense against the dark arts temps start rolling in...

Fantoy Comics by Michael Colbert

Another slice of daily Hogwarts life as told with Funko Pops...

Fantoy Comics by Michael Colbert

A new comic strip focusing on the regular old days at...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming. Related

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...

Rising Country Music Artist Kaylin Roberson Talks About her work with St. Jude

Kaylin Roberson is a singer, songwriter and pianist from Raleigh, North...

MTV Unveils Performers for ‘TRL Live’ on October 3rd at 3 p.m. E.T.

NEW YORK, NY (September 26, 2017) – MTV today announced that...

%d bloggers like this: