Explained is a Netflix TV series with short documentaries. Eachshort episode covers a topic in a very accessible way. Some episodes are better than others, so here I’ll share my 7 favorite episodes. Why 7? I have no idea. There hasn’t been an episode yet about why people prefer certain numbers over others.

Explained: 3 seasons and 5 standalone series

First, let’s clear up any confusion. There are three seasons of …, Explained. Additionally, there are 5 standalone series covering different topics: The Mind, Sex, Corona Virus, Money, and Whose Vote Counts. The series are heavily focused on an American audience, but that doesn’t mean the topics aren’t genuinely interesting. I’m selecting from all the series!

Number 7: “The Right to Vote” (Whose Vote Counts – 25 minutes). This series about voting rights in the US is very interesting, precisely because the system is so different from ours in the Netherlands. While we have numerous parties that sometimes overlap, the United States only has 2 or 3 choices. But aside from that, not everyone can simply vote. People have to register and sometimes jump through hoops just to step into a polling booth. This episode explains exactly why.

Explained on food

Number 6: “Why Diets Fail” (s1 – 14 minutes). Within fifteen minutes, you’ll understand the usual practices in the diet industry and the misconceptions surrounding popular diets. The first season is filled with short episodes, often under 20 minutes. It’s impressive how quickly and clearly they explain why diets don’t work in the long term!

Number 5: “Sugar” (s3 – 24 minutes). In the third season, they explore how the body and our brains react to sugar. This is certainly related to diets, hence the connection. We do need sugar, but what used to be a luxury product consumed occasionally has become something we consume excessively on a daily basis. And it’s clear that our bodies struggle to handle it.

Explained on financial matters

Number 4: “The Stock Market” (s1 – 17 minutes). If you know nothing about the stock market and stocks, this is a good introduction to understand what the stock market is all about. Of course, it’s not a deep dive. You won’t suddenly become rich by buying stocks after watching it. But it does provide a good overall picture of what happens when trading on the stock market.

Number 3: “Credit Cards” (Money explained – 23 minutes). Credit cards have never been as normal in the Netherlands, and after watching this episode, I hope it stays that way. It turns out that credit card companies often deliberately issue credit cards to people they know won’t be able to repay the debt. And having a credit card is also considered ‘good’ for obtaining other loans. That can’t be the intention, I think.

Episodes about animals: my top 2

Number 2: “Dogs” (s3 – 20 minutes). Of course, there’s an episode about dogs. And of course, it ranks number 2 for me. It turns out that more and more people consider their dogs as equals. Dogs have evolved alongside us. They’ve become so reliant on humans that they can’t function well without us. And many of us can’t live without them either!

Number 1: “Animal Intelligence” (s2 – 22 minutes). But my favorite episode so far was about the intelligence of animals (because I often find that lacking in humans). Animals are much smarter than many people assume. They aren’t mere automatons; they make deliberate decisions, just like humans, based on past experiences and knowledge. Some are smarter than others. I look at our chihuahua and our cat. Hard to say who is more intelligent They’re both equally lovely, though!

But if these aren’t your interests, there are over 50 episodes to choose from. From K-Pop to popular dances, from plastic surgery to tattoos, there’s something for everyone. So go ahead and explore the fascinating world of “Explained”!

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