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In the documentary series Explained, hosts condense complex geopolitical topics into easy-to-digest chunks. The series covers such topics as cryptocurrency, diets, and Korean pop music. The series is produced by Vice Media and has that platform's gonzo style.

Netflix
2 Seasons, 30 Episodes
May 23, 2018
Documentary & Biography
8.0/10
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Explained Full Episode Guide

  • A diamond is forever. But why is that? Dig into how these mined pieces of carbon became both a status symbol and a sparkly sign of everlasting love.

  • Beauty may be in the eye of the beholder, but what exactly makes things such as art and architecture aesthetically pleasing, and why do we like looking?

  • The planet's current rate of meat consumption is unprecedented -- and becoming unsustainable. In the future, will meat alternatives be the answer?

  • In pop culture, pirates are often depicted as booty-looting rogues, but their history is far more complicated. See how they became enemies of humanity.

  • Computer code now controls how we live. But how did these programming languages evolve? And how can they be used to build a new and better world?

  • It began with bloomers. Then came spandex. Now we sport leggings and other activewear everywhere. How did comfy, casual clothing go mainstream?

  • 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.

  • There are more billionaires than ever. But how does this vast accumulation of wealth affect the world? Mark Cuban and Bernie Sanders offer insights.

  • How do cults lure people in and exert control? Learn a cult's telltale signs, and how loneliness and life online makes indoctrination easier than ever.

  • When does sound become music? Why are humans so uniquely able to master musicality? Researchers talk rhythm, octaves and the magic of song and dance.

  • The global water crisis is at an inflection point. How do we price our most valuable resource, while also ensuring access to it as a human right?

  • Hillary Clinton and Anne-Marie Slaughter discuss the cultural norms at the center of the worldwide gender pay gap, including the "motherhood penalty."

  • Political correctness can sometimes feel like a tug-of-war between inclusivity and free speech. Experts discuss the concepts behind the fraught term.

  • The female orgasm is more elusive when a man is involved. Discover the reasons why -- and how women are embracing hands-on solutions.

  • Can we uncover the secrets to extending the human lifespan? Experts discuss how developments in science -- even the French lilac -- hold some clues.

  • Do zodiac signs prescribe your fate? Or do horoscopes' accuracy lie in the placebo effect? Take a look at the science, history and lure of astrology.

  • They've been used to command respect, punish criminals and mark achievements. Tattooists speak about the origins of tattoo traditions and rituals.

  • Marijuana experts discuss the rise of potent "sexually frustrated" cannabis plants, the quest for consistency in weed strains and the history of hemp.

  • Cricket experts look at how the confusing sport became so popular and discuss its evolution in becoming more accessible, entertaining and profitable.

  • Do we overuse exclamation points!? Linguists and copy editors look at how the punctuation has adapted across history, literature and internet-speak.

  • Despite decades of searching, we have yet to discover extraterrestrial life. Scientists discuss the reasons, including: Are aliens just too snobby?

  • Is fake violence a sport? Fans, shoutcasters and eSports icons break down today's video games and the explosive popularity of competitive gaming.

  • Does the stock market accurately reflect the status of the economy? Finance specialists discuss market history, valuations and CEO incentives.

  • Atkins. Paleo. Keto. Do any work in the long term? Experts look at marketing, food environments and genes to explain why diets are often unsuccessful.

  • Cryptocurrency has made people billionaires, but is digital cash the next revolution? Learn about this anonymous currency and why it's so coveted.

  • Elaborate music videos, adoring fans, killer choreography. Learn about the global music phenomenon from South Korea that goes beyond "Gangnam Style."

  • What do biology, human history and the promiscuity of bonobos reveal about monogamy? Experts and everyday couples weigh in on shifting cultural norms.

  • Scientific feat or terrifying social experiment? Specialists in the field discuss the high stakes and ethical controversies of gene editing.

  • Cory Booker and others discuss how slavery, housing discrimination and centuries of inequality have compounded to create a racial wealth gap.

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Explained is available to watch and stream on Netflix. You can also buy, rent Explained on demand at Netflix online.