National Geographic: Locked Up Abroad

Lately, I’ve been obsessed with a new television series.

Now I’ve never been one to watch daytime television, but while playing nanny this year, it’s been a particular vice of mine.  As I flip through the channels while folding laundry, I tend to find the most intriguing shows on the National Geographic channel.  The cream of the crop is the Locked Up Abroad series.  The show is narrated by ex-prisoners, and their stories are acted out in the foreign lands and jails (well, more likely a set) where they were held captive.

These gripping and tragic events (some of the accused were guilty, but many claimed innocence) are told with such emotion, that I literally stand with my palms sweating and my heart racing, trying to fold the clothes neatly.

I give credit to the National Geographic Channel, not only for sharing these stories that give credit to the human condition but also for giving interesting and valuable cultural information.  The episodes often feature locations that have recently been in the news.  I’d much rather learn about the war in Iraq or the drug trade in South America through Locked Up Abroad, than watch a boring hour of CNN.

I feel confronted with my own survival instincts while I watch these prisoners trying to escape in hot deserts, with little hope.  What would I do?  Would I try to find the way out, while death is possibly waiting outside the door?  I don’t know.  And that’s precisely what makes this show so successful.  It makes you question your own life, particularly your strengths and weaknesses.

New episodes are airing on the National Geographic Channel.


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