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Featured TV on DVD Review: 10 Things You Don't Know About: Season One

August 27th, 2012

10 Things You Don't Know About: Season One - Buy from Amazon

The history channel presents 10 Things You Don't Know About, which is actually about history and not aliens or ghosts. Amazing. I am a little concerned about the name. 10 Things You Don't Know About is a pretty strong claim. Is the first season full of things I didn't know? Are they things that are interesting enough that I would want to know? And does the show present them in a way that people will learn.

The Show

David Eisenbach is a historian and writer and he hosts the show, which is based on poll results. The majority of Americans polled didn't know Benjamin Franklin had a voracious sex life. Really? I would have thought that was something most would know, just because it is so sensational. The series begins with Benjamin Franklin and focuses heavily on American political figures. Abraham Lincoln, John F Kennedy, The Roosevelts, as well as J. Edgar Hoover and General George Patton, who are not exactly political figures. Sometimes historical villains are featured, like Pablo Escobar, Caligula, and Adolf Hitler. Some episodes focus on groups, like the Mormons or the Rat Pack. One is about an event, The shootout at the OK Corral.

I have a mixed opinion on the show. It suffers from a lot of the same flaws from other History Channel shows I've reviewed. After each commercial break, they tend to recap what we've already been told, so there's a lot of repetitiveness. This is also true episode to episode. They stick to a rather strict formula of alternating between the host, experts and people-on-the-street interviews, so after watching a few episodes in a row, you will likely want more variety. Some of the facts presented are misleading or trivial distinctions. The shootout at the OK Corral didn't take place at the OK Corral, it took place at an empty lot right behind the OK Corral. I don't see that as a large enough distinction to say most people didn't know where the shootout took place. That said, there are some interesting facts brought up each episode and if you are interested in the subject of a particular episode, then it is worth watching, once.

The Extras

Extras include 10 minutes of deleted scenes.

The Verdict

10 Things You Don't Know About is not a bad show, but it has very limited replay value. The Season One does have a little bit of extras, but not enough to lift it past the rental level.

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