Explained (TV series)
|Theme music composer||Jackson Greenberg|
|No. of seasons||2|
|No. of episodes||21 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||14–20 minutes|
|Original release||May 23, 2018 –|
Explained is an American documentary television series that premiered on Netflix on May 23, 2018. The show, which is produced by Vox Media, releases episodes on a weekly basis. Explained is based on Vox's previous YouTube videos series, which followed a similar format.
The show's episodes average between 16–18 minutes, with each focusing on a different topic. Each episode is also voiced by a different guest narrator. Netflix ordered 20 episodes for the show's first season, and greenlit a second season.
Season 1 (2018)
|Title||Narrator||Original air date |
|1||1||"The Racial Wealth Gap"||Samira Wiley||May 23, 2018|
|A look at the wealth gap among races in the US and its causes, including slavery and racial segregation. Featuring Senator Cory Booker, Mehrsa Baradaran, and Thomas Shapiro.|
|2||2||"Designer DNA"||Joss Fong||May 23, 2018|
|Scientists and experts discuss the risks and benefits, as well as potential consequences of, gene editing. Featuring Jennifer Doudna and Rebecca Cokley.|
|3||3||"Monogamy"||Maria Bello||May 23, 2018|
|A historical and biological examination of monogamy, with a look at modern couples, cultural expectations, and the habits of other species, including bonobos. Featuring Dan Savage, Stephanie Coontz, Christopher Ryan, and David P. Barash.|
|4||4||"K-Pop"||Estelle Caswell||May 30, 2018|
|Discussions with musicians, fans, and music theorists about the expanding global fascination with K-pop. Featuring Epik High and Primary.|
|5||5||"Cryptocurrency"||Christian Slater||June 6, 2018|
|Breaking down the growth and popularity of cryptocurrency, and its potential future value.|
|6||6||"Why Diets Fail"||Maria Bello||June 13, 2018|
|An overview of various high-profile diets, and discussions about why many are unsuccessful long-term. Featuring Marion Nestle.|
|7||7||"The Stock Market"||Estelle Caswell||June 20, 2018|
|A look into the connection between the stock market and a country's economy. Featuring Lynn A. Stout, Robert J. Shiller, and Milton Friedman (archive footage).|
|8||8||"eSports"||Estelle Caswell||June 27, 2018|
|An explanation of the rise of competitive video gaming, also known as eSports. Featuring Dennis Fong and Greg Street.|
|9||9||"Extraterrestrial Life"||LeVar Burton||July 4, 2018|
|The debate of extraterrestrial life, including its possible existence, conspiracy theories, UFOs, and its place in pop-culture. Featuring Seth Shostak, Sara Seager, Paul Davies, and Jill Tarter.|
|10||10||"Exclamation Mark (!)"||Nick Kroll||July 11, 2018|
|A history of punctuation with specific emphasis on the exclamation mark (!), and its changing usage over time. Featuring Geoffrey Nunberg, Jason Parham, and Deborah Tannen.|
|11||11||"Cricket"||Aasif Mandvi||July 18, 2018|
|A look at the history of the popular sport cricket. Featuring Stephen Fry, Jarrod Kimber, Brian Lara, Mihir Bose, and Stuart Robertson.|
|12||12||"Weed"||Kevin Smith||July 25, 2018|
|Scientists and industry experts discuss the history of cannabis plants, the various usage of hemp, and the growing trend of popular products containing CBD extract. Featuring Michael Pollan, Tommy Chong, Carl Hart, Kyle Kushman, and Mark A. R. Kleiman.|
|13||13||"Tattoo"||Coleman Lowndes||August 1, 2018|
|An exploration of the history of tattoos, including tribal rituals and traditions in various cultures around the world, and their use as status symbols. Featuring Lars Krutak and Horiyoshi III.|
|14||14||"Astrology"||Yara Shahidi||August 8, 2018|
|A look at the history and accuracy of astrology, as well as the science behind why people hold it in high regard.|
|15||15||"Can We Live Forever?"||Kristen Bell||August 15, 2018|
|Scientists and researchers discuss the possibility of extending human life expectancy, including looks at the study of ageing. Featuring Ezekiel Emanuel, Nir Barzilai, Laura Deming, Kwame Anthony Appiah, and Cynthia Kenyon.|
|16||16||"The Female Orgasm"||Rachel Bloom||August 22, 2018|
|Discussions about the science and history behind the female orgasm, and ways modern women approach the subject. Featuring Lisa M. Diamond, Mireille Miller-Young, Beverly Whipple, and Paula England.|
|17||17||"Political Correctness"||Jerry Springer||August 29, 2018|
|A look at the debate surrounding political correctness, including talks of free speech, hate speech, and inclusivity, and how "PC-culture" has influenced politics. Featuring W. Kamau Bell, Julia Serano, Glenn Beck, and John L. Jackson Jr..|
|18||18||"Why Women Are Paid Less"||Rachel McAdams||September 5, 2018|
|Discussions on the gender pay gap and the rights of women in the workplace. Featuring Valentine Rugwabiza, Hillary Clinton, Greta Van Susteren, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, and Anne-Marie Slaughter.|
|19||19||"The World's Water Crisis"||Kyle MacLachlan||September 12, 2018|
|An examination of the water crisis around the world, including ideas on how to protect clean water and ensuring third-world countries continue to have access. Featuring Amina Mohamed.|
|20||20||"Music"||Carly Rae Jepsen||September 19, 2018|
|A brief history of music, and a discussion on the definitions of music and rhythm. Featuring Tokimonsta.|
Season 2 (2019)
|Title||Narrator||Original air date |
|21||1||"Cults"||Lakeith Stanfield||September 26, 2019|
|An examination of cults, the means through which they exert control, and how loneliness and life online makes indoctrination easier than ever.|
|22||2||"Billionaires"||Maggie Siff||October 3, 2019|
|There are more billionaires than ever. But how does this vast accumulation of wealth affect the world? Mark Cuban and Bernie Sanders offer insights.|
|23||3||"Animal Intelligence"||Hilary Swank||October 10, 2019|
|What goes on inside an animal's mind? Figuring out how they think and feel might just be the key to understanding our own place in the world.|
|24||4||TBA||TBA||October 17, 2019|
|25||5||TBA||TBA||October 24, 2019|
|26||6||TBA||TBA||October 31, 2019|
The first season of Explained received generally positive reviews from critics. Kahron Spearman of The Daily Dot praised the show's use of "experts, easy-to-understand charting, and linear storytelling". In his review for IndieWire, Steve Greene wrote that the show "manages to avoid patronizing that unpredictable audience, presenting historical timelines and abstract concepts in a way that viewers can choose to digest however they wish".
- "Vox's Netflix show "Explained," explained". Vox. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- "Vox's new Netflix series is really good, but it doesn't get us any closer to figuring out what news on streaming platforms looks like". Nieman Lab. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- Greene, Steve (2018-05-24). "'Explained' Review: Netflix's Intriguing Docuseries Tackles Every Topic in the World, From K-Pop to DNA, in 20 Minute Chunks". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
- "Every Narrator on Vox's Netflix Series "Explained" - What's on Netflix". What's on Netflix. 2018-08-22. Retrieved 2018-08-29.
- "Why Vox's Netflix show 'Explained' is different from Vox's YouTube videos, explained (by Ezra Klein)". Recode. Retrieved 2018-08-28.
- "Netflix Docuseries 'Explained' Greenlit For Season 2". Deadline. Retrieved 2018-11-16.
- "Explained – Listings". The Futon Critic. Retrieved August 30, 2019.
- "Explained: Season 1 - TV Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes". www.rottentomatoes.com. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
- "Netflix's 'Explained' offers clear, sound information for chaotic timelines". The Daily Dot. 2018-05-23. Retrieved 2018-12-20.
- Greene, Steve (2018-05-24). "'Explained' Review: Netflix's Intriguing Docuseries Tackles Every Topic in the World, From K-Pop to DNA, in 20 Minute Chunks". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-12-20.