Review: History's 'How the States Got Their Shape' a no miss
By April MacIntyre May 3, 2011, 20:55 GMT
The juice is affable and charming host Brian Unger, notably of "The Daily Show" of years past.
History's "How the States Got Their Shape" is a no-miss at 10 PM tonight.
The juice is affable and charming host Brian Unger, notably of "The Daily Show" of years past. His narration and interaction with people all over makes him a natural and the series all the more enjoyable to watch.
The series is a must for the entire family, as kids will be entertained as they learn about geographical politics (mostly over water access) and why states are shaped just so.
This is a spirited and fun look at America, loaded with trivia and real history, as myths are debunked (cows did not make all the roads in Boston, and Hanover street was an Indian path to water for shellfish) and the importance of rivers and lakes shows how water rights affect states to this day.
Tonight, Unger takes us to the water tug of war between Southern Tennessee and Northern Georgia where a long standing border dispute shows how thirsty Northern Georgia (Atlanta) is trying to take Tennessee's water and a sliver of land back.
The Tennessee River is vital to Atlanta's continued growth, and as you can imagine, it has created a hotbed of inter-state war of words.
The series is based on a book by Mark Stein, who is interviewed in the TV series, but the History series goes by subjects like water, transportation, and other subjects versus a state by state rundown.
Unger also shows how the boom and bust periods of American economy shaped the states, as well as punitive decrees by Congress (Arizona lost a chunk to Nevada because they rooted for the South in the Civil War).
People on the street are queried to draw and name the states that border the Mississippi or talk about their local water quality.
As a New Englander who has lived in Florida, Texas and now California, I can tell you that the water is superior in taste all over the region, especially Maine, as Unger points out. For me, Texas and Florida have the worst water, hard and chlorine laden.
In the two episodes I got to watch, there were side trips to majestic Lake Mead, the Hoover Dam (where time zones collide), Maine's famous Poland Spring and a Mississippi - Illinois river offshoot full of slimy, jumping Asian carp.
Fun show, "edutainment" at its best, and a great host. Tune in!