America Revealed Review

Naming America Revealed as PBS did might have been misleading, because save for anyone who never completed high school, the series doesn’t so much “reveal” as it does “explore” the depths of the systems that make America run. Most people know that bread and produce doesn’t just magically appear on a supermarket shelf or that electricity comes and is consumed in many forms across the country, so what’s really being revealed? Instead, each of the four episodes follows Yul Kwon, an expert in a variety of fields, across the country and back again as he explores the four biggest industries of the United States and analyzes all of the little factors that make our world go ‘round.

The four episodes are “Food Machine”, “Nation on the Move”, “Electric Nation” and “Made in the U.S.A.”, each one covering a unique aspect of American industry. “Food Machine” treks the country tracking how and where various foods are grown and how they end up on store shelves across the country in a short enough time to still be fresh. “Nation on the Move” takes a look at the various methods of travel used to get back and forth in America, whether it’s the sprawling highway and interstate systems, originally intended as an evacuation system and now one of our country’s greatest evolving assets, or the air traffic that fills our skies with hundreds of thousands of flights daily. “Electric Nation” maps out the power grids that bind our country together, and “Made in the U.S.A.” looks at the everlasting manufacturing industry of America and how it’s changed over the years according to our domestic needs.

The series is impressively engrossing, and it owes much of that to the likable host found in Yul Kwon. He has a very casual demeanor and never spells things out so obviously as to be condescending. Overall, the America Revealed series is one of PBS’s better limited-run educational series.

Blu-ray Extra features:

Bonus footage and a behind-the-scenes featurette are the only extras, although there’s a healthy amount of footage to be had.

"America Revealed" is on sale April 17, 2012 and is not rated. Documentary. Directed by Jesse Sweet, Sabin Streeter, Jack Youngelson, Nic Young. Written by Jaime Bernanke, Joseph Dorman. Starring Yul Kwon.

Lex Walker • Editor

He's a TV junkie with a penchant for watching the same movie six times in one sitting. If you really want to understand him you need to have grown up on Sgt. Bilko, Alien, Jurassic Park and Five Easy Pieces playing in an infinite loop. Recommend something to him - he'll watch it.


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