the best documentary series on television today: how the states got their shapes

Brian Unger hosts "How the States Got Their Shapes" on History

Brian Unger hosts "How the States Got Their Shapes" on History

If you’re not already watching it, you should be. The best documentary series on television today is How the States Got Their Shapes, hosted by comedian and writer (and all-around smart guy) Brian Unger. The series was developed from a 2-hour special, which was based upon a book of the same title by Mark Stein.

The show is essentially a geography show that explores the intricacies and quirks of the borders of U.S. states, both present and historical. The show highlights small towns and local legends, and is written with keen wit and comedic timing. It is the perfect blend of education and entertainment, and it is nice to see History getting back to actually teaching history.

If you haven’t seen it, check it out. Unger is hilarious, the information is credible, and you learn about all those odd parts of the country you’ve always wondered about, but didn’t have time to ask.

More: Wikipedia, YouTube and more YouTube.

4 Responses

  1. I’m Canadian, so you wouldn’t think that I would actually care how the states got their shapes, but I do! I’ve always wondered how they came to be (wow…what an embarrassing thing to admit. lol), but just haven’t checked into it yet.

    I love the History channel, so I’ll be sure to tune in. Thanks for the tip!

  2. Not only have I been watching the series, but recording it onto DVD for classroom use, as needed when I am subbing.

    I did the same for the original program last year.

  3. How the States got their Shape. I am a native of Montana and have lived in various parts of Montana from east to west. I have never owned a gun, never will. I know many Montanan’s that feel the same. I wish the History Channel was more concerned with representing the actual picture here instead of the one that creates the most drama. No real Montanan’s have the “country western accent”. It’s affected. Your depiction of the history of Montana may have been partially correct. You were completely out of line on current Montana. We have a few gun toting idiots, but most of us live like everyone else, even if some happen to own a gun. I give you a D- on accuracy.

  4. you mean you give history channel a d- on accuracy??
    i’m sure that more than a few people own guns in montana. and imho, neither owning a gun or not owning a gun is any indication of intelligence. a number of us have plenty of education and own firearms.
    it is true that the show does highlight peculiarities in the states, but those quirks are what make he states quaint.
    thanx for your comments. -bc

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