As seen on TV

Go backstage at an audition of The Bachelor or learn how the NBC chimes came into existence. This week, it's all about television.
Listen to the full episode53:47

Six podcasts about TV


The things we learn from television. 6 podcasts about TV. Twenty Thousand Hertz, Why Oh Why, Only Human, Memory Motel, Life of the Law, Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids. 53:59

1. Twenty Thousand Hertz

"The chimes were everywhere. They were so popular they even appeared in some pop songs." — Dallas Taylor on the popularity of the NBC chimes.

They're only three simple notes, but the NBC chimes didn't just define a television network, they defined a generation. Find out where they came from and the impact the sound has had on our current media.

2. Why Oh Why

"On The Bachelor a man can fall in love at first sight. They can be direct about wanting a future." — Andrea Silenzi on the appeal of The Bachelor.

Host Andrea Silenzi goes to an audition of The Bachelor to talk to aspiring contestants and learn what the reality show phenomenon is really all about.

3. Only Human

"We know that putting Ray Bans on Tom Cruise can sell a lot of sunglasses. [Kaiser Family Foundation] wanted to see if that same idea could work to correct public opinion." — Only Human

In 1991, Jennifer Jako had a one night stand with a high-school friend. It was the only time she'd ever had sex without a condom. She contracted HIV and spent years trying to debunk misconceptions, including the stigma behind her pregnancy.

4. Memory Motel

​​"For many people it's a time machine with one destination: childhood." — Terence Mickey on The Wonder Years.

From the theme song to the Super 8 home movies in the opening credits, The Wonder Years is steeped in nostalgia. Titi Nguyen's parents never spoke of the life and war they'd fled in Vietnam, so she turned to The Wonder Years to make sense of her story.

5. Life of the Law

"I've always been so impressed by lawyer commercials on TV. And by impressed, I mean totally confused." — Producer Sean Cole

Since the US Supreme Court first allowed lawyers to advertise in the 1970s, the practice has skyrocketed, often with shoddily-produced results. Are tacky lawyer commercials bringing down the profession, or simply making it more accessible to those who might not otherwise know an attorney?

6. Grownups Read Things They Wrote As Kids

"I'm not gonna urge you to see it. Don't see it because you're curious. Humans are too curious." — Chris on Red Shoe Diaries.

A teenage girl gets next level after watching a made-for-TV erotic drama.

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