TV Shows That Changed The World
Hitting us in the feels on screen and IRL
If you’re a ‘Serial’ fan like us, you’ll also be experiencing zero chill that the second series is finally here. Season one saw journalist Sara Koenig investigate the murder of Hae Min Lee, and whether her ex-boyfriend, Adnan, was wrongly convicted. Hailed as the ultimate game-changer for podcasts, with 68 million downloads, was it also a game-changer IRL?
For Adnan, yes. Koenig’s exhaustive efforts, with help from the show’s fans, led to Adnan being granted an appeal.
So what’s in store this time around? A kinda real-life ‘Homeland’ by the sounds of it – as the story of Sergeant Bowe Bergdahl, a soldier held for five years by the Taliban, is examined. Bring it.
And when you’ve binge-listened that, check out these other shows that have hit fans in the feels enough to take action IRL.
Following teen couples on their journey through pregnancy and birth, this doc style series has been one of MTV’s highest rating shows.
Research shows it’s actually had an impact on reducing teen birth rates too. A study predicted that in the US around 20,000 births to teen mums were prevented in one year because of the show. As one unplanned pregnancy campaigner said, “You can have all the sex-ed you want but…[the show] brings a reality and a heightened connection that is very significant for teenagers.” By showing the harsh reality of raising a child before reaching adulthood yourself, we reckon it’s spin-off series ‘Teen Mom’ will continue to make people think a bit harder about the ups and downs of mumming and dadding.
Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret
This doc was financed via the crowd-funding site Indiegogo, and executive produced by none other than Leonardo di Caprio, it looks at the impact that the meat and dairy industry has on the planet. Spoiler alert: A lot. As in, eating meat is the worst thing we can actually do for the climate.
Reaction to the film has been really strong, with comments on the Cowspiracy Facebook and Vimeo pages seeing thousands of people declaring an instant conversion to veganism.
Four series in, and this show has provided some real TV gold. Each episode sees the show’s hosts bring together couples who've interacted solely through their LCD screens to see if their relationships are the real deal. Usually they’re not, and we see crazy stories unfold as the real identities of these so-called baes are unveiled.
Has it affected how we use our social media profiles IRL? The show’s Facebook page is full of comments from people saying that thanks to the show they’ve realised they’ve been catfished and ended fake relationships before they’ve gone further. And a study by MTV revealed that although many people accept friend requests from strangers, less than 50% go further than browsing their profile.
Notice how girl power is all over your social media feed these days? We think this documentary had a lot to do with it. By exposing the ways in which mainstream media and culture contribute to the underrepresentation of women in positions of power and influence, this film had a huge response from the public and celebs alike.
A bunch of cool campaigns stemmed for it, including the 2015 #AskHerMore Oscars campaign, which encouraged and celebrated reporters who asked about more than appearance on the red carpet. It reached over 25 million people worldwide and changed red carpet culture. Demand for ongoing education and social action in support of the film’s message led to the founding of the Representation organisation.
This award-winning TV drama has had series in Kenya and Nigeria. Based around the fun-loving, hard-working, love-making, dream-chasing, lives of twenty-somethings, this sex and relationships series has reached over 700 million people worldwide. Studies have shown the characters’ journeys have led viewers to get tested, think differently about unsafe sex, and adopt more positive attitudes towards people living with HIV.
And if that wasn’t enough, the show can also claim credit for discovering the mega-hot talent that is Lupita Nyang’o.
2016 is all about turning off basic, so add these to your watch-list and we reckon you’ll be sorted.