Sunday, November 6, 2011

Our America with Lisa Ling on OWN

I recently had the opportunity to visit the OWN headquarters here in LA and have lunch with Lisa Ling along with a small group of bloggers. The opportunity to meet Lisa was something I definitely did not want to pass up. I have been a fan of Lisa’s since she was on The View and have watched her career as she moved on to The National Geographic Channel, making many appearances on Oprah and then to her new show on OWN. OWN is Oprah Winfrey’s network and it launched New Year’s Day 2011. I had the opportunity to attend the Television Critic’s Association events this past January where I was able to see Lisa speak about her forthcoming series, “Our America”. But, until you actually see the show, it’s difficult to really “know”. The first season was intriguing and successful. As I learned, the first season enabled Lisa and her team to secure even more fascinating people willing to be subjects in the second season. In “Our America”, Lisa goes deep inside the worlds of people who truly are “one of us” save that their lives have taken a different path.

This season Lisa covers the worlds of Amateur Porn, Polygamy, Sex Trafficking of American Girls, Veterans suffering from Invisible Wounds, The Lives of Twins, The cycle of Incarceration, and Extreme Parenting. Each topic, may on the surface, seem extremely foreign to you. But, as you watch each episode unfold, you will find yourself relating—as a human and as an American. You might even find yourself thinking, “I could be friends with that person” or “But for the grace of god….”

Speaking of relating, I felt very strongly that I could relate to Lisa and her quest to cover these stories. I’ve always been intrigued by people and who they are and what they do. I think it figures into my having made a point of living all over the world and learning several foreign languages. I want to know more people and understand them. I may not agree, but at least I can try to understand. Try to find the truth. Listening to Lisa talk about her series, I could tell how genuine her passion is for storytelling. To watch the episodes shows Lisa truly respecting her subjects. Regardless of how much she may disagree or not share their views, she is doing her job with grace. The shows are really works of art themselves with a cinematic feel. Even if you think you wouldn’t watch this show, I assure you, you would.

The episode that aired tonight is particularly important to me. The heroes of our overseas conflicts who are returning home with invisible wounds—PTSD. Lisa goes inside families to show us the raw humanity of these soldiers and those who love them. With Veteran’s Day coming up this Friday 11/11/11, be sure to watch the encore of Invisible Wounds of War at 5pm ET/PT. You can catch Our America at its regular time, Sundays, 10pm ET/PT. I highly recommend you pay a visit OWN’s website and the Our America pages where you can learn much more about the show and the topics as well as view deleted scenes from the shows.

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