Magic of 'This American Life' Returns to Small Screen
Second season debuts tonight
By Kate Rockwood,  Newser Staff
Posted May 4, 2008 11:57 AM CDT

(Newser) – The stories on the small-screen version of “This American Life” start out small—a husband’s protest over the oppressive American trend of lawn-mowing, a young man living with spinal muscular atrophy—and become something universal, both dark and light, even a little magical, writes Heather Havrilesky on Salon.com. On the second season, which premieres tonight on Showtime, everyday snapshots of people’s lives become art.

Host Ira Glass is more confident and relaxed than in his awkward first season, even if his understated introductions border on too understated. And fan complaints that the radio show’s beauty couldn’t translate to the small screen have been successfully quashed (see: the transfixing sight of young kids learning to ride horses through graffiti-strewn parts of Philly).