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The Best Episodes of Explained

Every episode of Explained ranked from best to worst. Let's dive into the Best Episodes of Explained!

This documentary series, made in partnership with Vox, explain some of the world's current trends, from politics, to science to pop culture.

Genre:Documentary
Network:Netflix

Top Episode Highlight

The best episode of "Explained" is "The Next Pandemic", rated 8.5/10 from 552 user votes. It was directed by N/A and written by N/A. "The Next Pandemic" aired on 11/7/2019 and is rated 0.2 point(s) higher than the second highest rated, "The World's Water Crisis".

  • The Next Pandemic
    8.5/10 552 votes

    #1 - The Next Pandemic

    Season 2 Episode 7 - Aired 2019-11-07

    If you're not worried about a looming global pandemic, you probably should be. Are we prepared for an outbreak? Bill Gates and other experts weigh in.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The World's Water Crisis
    8.3/10 498 votes

    #2 - The World's Water Crisis

    Season 1 Episode 19 - Aired 2018-09-12

    The global water crisis is at an inflection point. How do we price our most valuable resource, while also ensuring access to it as a human right?

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Billionaires
    8.0/10 409 votes

    #3 - Billionaires

    Season 2 Episode 2 - Aired 2019-10-03

    There are more billionaires than ever. But how does this vast accumulation of wealth affect the world? Mark Cuban and Bernie Sanders offer insights.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Animal Intelligence
    8.0/10 375 votes

    #4 - Animal Intelligence

    Season 2 Episode 3 - Aired 2019-10-10

    What goes on inside an animal's mind? Figuring out how they think and feel might just be the key to understanding our own place in the world.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The Future of Meat
    8.0/10 362 votes

    #5 - The Future of Meat

    Season 2 Episode 8 - Aired 2019-11-14

    The planet's current rate of meat consumption is unprecedented -- and becoming unsustainable. In the future, will meat alternatives be the answer?

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Chess
    7.8/10 219 votes

    #6 - Chess

    Season 3 Episode 6 - Aired 2021-08-20

    For centuries, chess has captured hearts and minds — and pawns — and it's more popular than ever. What makes this ever-changing board game so special?

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Time
    7.8/10 200 votes

    #7 - Time

    Season 3 Episode 12 - Aired 2021-10-01

    Time flies… sometimes. Its passage can seem to speed up and slow down. Why do we experience time the way we do, and how do we take back some control?

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Designer DNA
    7.7/10 505 votes

    #8 - Designer DNA

    Season 1 Episode 2 - Aired 2018-05-23

    Scientific feat or terrifying social experiment? Specialists in the field discuss the high stakes and ethical controversies of gene editing.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Can We Live Forever ?
    7.7/10 413 votes

    #9 - Can We Live Forever ?

    Season 1 Episode 15 - Aired 2018-08-15

    Can we uncover the secrets to extending the human lifespan? Experts discuss how developments in science -- even the French lilac -- hold some clues.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Dogs
    7.7/10 217 votes

    #10 - Dogs

    Season 3 Episode 4 - Aired 2021-08-06

    Who's a good dog? They all are! From puppy-dog eyes to feats of heroism, see how canines evolved into humankind's best friends and sources of pure love.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Cults
    7.6/10 398 votes

    #11 - Cults

    Season 2 Episode 1 - Aired 2019-09-26

    How do cults lure people in and exert control? Learn a cult’s telltale signs, and how loneliness and life online makes indoctrination easier than ever.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Weed
    7.5/10 414 votes

    #12 - Weed

    Season 1 Episode 12 - Aired 2018-07-25

    Marijuana experts discuss the rise of potent "sexually frustrated" cannabis plants, the quests for consistency in weed strains and the history of hemp.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The Female Orgasm
    7.5/10 506 votes

    #13 - The Female Orgasm

    Season 1 Episode 16 - Aired 2018-08-22

    The female orgasm is more elusive when a man is involved. Discover the reasons why and how women are embracing hands on solutions.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Coding
    7.5/10 358 votes

    #14 - Coding

    Season 2 Episode 5 - Aired 2019-10-24

    Computer code now controls how we live. But how did these programming languages evolve? And how can they be used to build a new and better world?

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The Racial Wealth Gap
    7.4/10 597 votes

    #15 - The Racial Wealth Gap

    Season 1 Episode 1 - Aired 2018-05-23

    Cory Booker and others discuss how slavery, housing discrimination and centuries of inequality have compounded to create a racial wealth gap.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Extraterrestrial Life
    7.4/10 413 votes

    #16 - Extraterrestrial Life

    Season 1 Episode 9 - Aired 2018-07-04

    Despite decades of searching, we have yet to discover extraterrestrial life. Scientists discuss the reasons, including: Are aliens just too snobby?

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Why Women Are Paid Less
    7.4/10 481 votes

    #17 - Why Women Are Paid Less

    Season 1 Episode 18 - Aired 2018-09-05

    Hillary Clinton and Anne-Marie Slaughter discuss the cultural norms at the center of the worldwide gender pay gap, including the "motherhood penalty."

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Music
    7.4/10 505 votes

    #18 - Music

    Season 1 Episode 20 - Aired 2018-09-19

    When does sound become music? Why are humans so uniquely able to master musicality? Researchers talk rhythm, octaves and the magic of song and dance.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Diamonds
    7.4/10 334 votes

    #19 - Diamonds

    Season 2 Episode 10 - Aired 2019-11-28

    A diamond is forever. But why is that? Dig into how these mined pieces of carbon became both a status symbol and a sparkly sign of everlasting love.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Sugar
    7.4/10 256 votes

    #20 - Sugar

    Season 3 Episode 1 - Aired 2021-07-16

    Once crucial for survival, sugar now poses a health risk. Is there a way to satisfy our primeval craving for sweetness in a healthy, balanced way?

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The End of Oil
    7.4/10 193 votes

    #21 - The End of Oil

    Season 3 Episode 5 - Aired 2021-08-13

    Oil led to huge advancements - and vast inequities. As the planet warms, why is it so hard to turn away from fossil fuels, and can it be done in time?

    Director: Emily Kassie

    Writer: N/A

  • Monogamy
    7.2/10 565 votes

    #22 - Monogamy

    Season 1 Episode 3 - Aired 2018-05-23

    What do biology, human history and the promiscuity of bonobos reveal about monogamy? Experts and everyday couples weigh in on shifting cultural norms.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • Why Diets Fail
    7.2/10 449 votes

    #23 - Why Diets Fail

    Season 1 Episode 6 - Aired 2018-06-13

    Atkins. Paleo. Keto. Do any work in the long term? Experts look at marketing, food environments and genes to explain why diets are often unsuccessful.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • The Stock Market
    7.2/10 441 votes

    #24 - The Stock Market

    Season 1 Episode 7 - Aired 2018-06-20

    Does the stock market accurately reflect the status of the economy? Finance specialists discuss market history, valuations and CEO incentives.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A

  • !
    7.2/10 377 votes

    #25 - !

    Season 1 Episode 10 - Aired 2018-07-11

    Do we overuse exclamation points!? Linguists and copy editors look at how the punctuation has adapted across history, literature and internet-speak.

    Director: N/A

    Writer: N/A