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History 101 Season 2 review – provides good introductions to topics, but little depth

August 29, 2022

The Netflix series History 101 season 2 was released on the streaming service on August 25, 2022.

READ: History 101 season 1 review.

The title of Netflix’s documentary series History 101 is a bit misleading. Rather than delving into more traditional historical topics, the show’s second season explores topics like credit cards and high fructose corn syrup. Although some of the stories it tells date back decades, it still seems odd to classify it as a history program. It’s not quite pop culture, but it’s also not history in the sense you might expect.

In short 20-minute episodes, History 101 gives a brief look at the story behind these everyday objects, looking at how they came to be and where they are now. It attempts to summarize the controversies and benefits of the items discussed. Episodes include “Credit Cards,” “Psychedelics,” “High Fructose Corn Syrup,” and “Dating Apps.”

The show combines stock footage and B-roll with well-created animations to bring the subjects to life. While the voice-over narration can be a little hokey at times, the series generally feels like an elevated version of the such videos you’ll find on YouTube. It’s the kind of show you could turn on since you have access to it on Netflix, but wouldn’t want to pay for it.

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Some episodes provide more depth than others and some clearly have a bias in the information they present. The topics are largely convoluted and hard to condense into twenty-minute explanations, even with fancy infographics and movie footage. The episodes on “Bottled Water” and “Lasers” were particularly interesting because they revealed a story that most people wouldn’t know, while the episode “IVF” contained only information that anyone familiar with the subject would know.

If you are looking for a quick introduction to many topics, then the second season of History 101 is an interesting offer. If you’re hoping for an in-depth analysis or interesting take on any of these, you won’t find it here.

What did you think of the Netflix series History 101 season 2? Comments below.

You can watch this series with a Netflix subscription.

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