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My Top Seven Favorite This American Life Episodes

November 27, 2011


As I’m want to do occasionally I have gotten obsessed with This American Life like TED Talks before it. Such an amazing show, but like so many great things there isn’t too much original to say about it. Ira Glass and his companions are great storytellers who have done a stellar job educating listeners on everything from life, loss, religion, and the financial crisis. Their engaging tales and ability to find the humanity in everyone’s story is one of the finest things about them.

#339: Break Up—For anyone who’s every fallen in love only to drop back to earth and anyone who’s ever hoped their heartache would inspire something lasting. The journey through losing and finding yourself again begins with writer Starlee Kine… and Phil Collins. Just like a really sad song this story will make you feel sad them bring a little bit of comfort.

#203: Recordings for Someone – All the stories in this week’s show center on personal recordings that one person made for just one other person. This one begins with a story of a friend and then spirals into some truly memorable overheard conversations, including the story of what some people claim is the best voicemail message ever.

#396: #1 PARTY SCHOOL—12.18.2009
Penn State has been in the top 10 of the Princeton Review’s #1 Party School in America this episode is dedicated to that list and the positives and negatives of a culture built on only four years your life can be at least partially dedicated to excess.

#379: RETURN TO THE SCENE OF THE CRIME—05.01.2009
Possibly my all time favorite, this live episode of the program includes stories told on a stage by Dan Savage, Mike Birbilis , and a musical accompaniment by Joss Whedon.

#449: Middle School –10.28.2011
I like to say who you are in middle school is the worst version of ourselves, but this program reminds listeners that it’s a time of beauty as well.

#152: Crush—12.11.00
A story of love at its earliest and purest form, crushes. This episodes reminds us of what’s terrible and lovely about them.

#304: Heretics—12.16.05
One of my favorite episodes mostly because of how sensitively it handles religion giving respect to people’s beliefs while speaking with candor.  The only commonality in this episode is the idea that faith like love is messy.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. kone silence permalink
    October 17, 2012 4:42 AM

    Some more great ones:

    Million Dollar Idea
    Pro Se
    Fear of Sleep
    Switched at Birth
    Tough Room
    Perfect Evidence
    Cicero

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