How The States Got Their Shapes
- 2 Seasons
How the States Got Their Shapes is a television show that currently plays on the History channel. The show is based on a book by Mark Stein with the same title but delivers the message in a unique style. How the States Got Their Shapes tells the story of how the separate states in the United States established their borders, thus literally getting their shape, but it also delivers interesting and less known aspects of the history of the United States of America. Some of the interesting details they bring to light are failed attempts at becoming states, proposed ideas for new states or states in the future, among other things. What makes the show interesting and different than most history shows is it also shows us how certain modern-day U.S. states became the way they are. The show is hosted by Brian Unger, who provides various historically accurate commentary. Each individual episode offers a basis for the storyline for that particular episode, such as dialects and how they formed from region to region and then state to state. Unger travels all over America and not only supplies narrative, but also interviews people in the area and interacts with them in various ways. Unger visits important historical and cultural sites in the U.S., and intertwined within his commentary and storytelling are other historians' input to help push the story forward. Originally airing as just a two-hour-long special, after receiving high critical praise, the history channel decided to bring it into show format. The first season consisted of hour-long episodes; however in the following season the show has been moved to a half-hour format instead.