Documentary
 

Our America with Lisa Ling

Airing On: OWN


Reviewed by Melissa Minners

 

                A few months ago, I was bored with what television had to offer and began scanning channels until I came to OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network.  There was a marathon of Our America with Lisa Ling.  The episode, Generation XXL, dealt with childhood obesity and featured families and their struggles to help their children lose weight to improve their quality of life and their lifespan.  I was intrigued and have watched quite a few episodes since then.

                One of the major selling points of Our America with Lisa Ling is that Ling is not a reporter who shies away from topics like praying the gay away, sex trafficking, faith healing, transgender living, heroin addicted families, teenage motherhood, how the economic crisis has destroyed the American Dream and more.  She doesn't show just one side of the story, nor does she skew the series by injecting her own feelings on the topic of each episode (with the exception of The Secret Lives of Seniors which dealt with a problem very close to home).

                Nothing is sugar-coated in this series and you definitely get to see the good with the bad.  Lisa Ling offers up enough information and allows us to see the topic from various points of view, but always narrates Our America with a sense of neutrality, letting the viewer come to his/her own conclusions regarding each topic. 

                I'm not a huge fan of documentary series, although I have been known to watch an episode of 48 Hours here and there.  Yet, surprisingly, I found Our America with Lisa Ling to be a refreshing change of pace.  I found myself wanting to watch more and now actively check to see what topic will be airing each Tuesday night at 10pm EST.  I find myself tuning in earlier to catch older episodes of the show airing at 8pm and 9pm.  It seems I can't get enough.  Testimony to this fact is that I often find myself discussing episodes with family and friends and urging them, as I urge you, to watch Our America with Lisa Ling on the OWN network, intelligent and engaging entertainment tackling some of the grittiest topics of our times.

 

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