Lisa Ling is back and we're very excited. It's hard to believe its already Season 4 of "Our America," one of the flagship shows of the OWN network. Lisa and her crew allow us as viewers to peek inside the world of places we would never otherwise see and have a look around without judgment or sensationalism. From people who practice bondage to childhood obesity, Lisa explores the tough topics with a gentle and loving touch, and incredible sense of dignity and respect. At a recent press event she revealed some of the episodes this season and discussed what she hopes people will learn from each of them.
'Our America' has takeaway value
Lisa would like her viewers will take something away from each episode just as she has. "I'm proud of the fact that during every single episode of 'Our America' you will learn something. There's take away value to everything. I feel like I've become a better person as a result because I'm more understanding and open-minded. And my hope is that people who are watching this will do that as well."
While most people, like Lisa herself, assume people who practice bondage are freaks, this season "Our America" explores the subculture. With the success of "Fifty Shades of Grey," Lisa couldn’t help but wonder who these people were who were indulging is this behavior. What she found out was they are just normal people, lawyers, doctors, your neighbors and co-workers. Lisa stated, "There are things that all of us probably wouldn't want to share with the rest of the world or there are things about us that we think other people would judge us on. And our whole purpose is to try and allow people to watch our shows without judgment so that they might have a better understanding of how people live."
Lisa Ling's dad appears on the show
Lisa opened up her own life to the camera when she featured her dad, Doug, in the episode about seniors. She said, "The intention of this show is to give a people a sense of how different people are dealing with aging because it will inevitably happen with us and already so many of us are trying to figure out how to deal with our own aging parents. And I'm just so grateful that OWN has allowed me to do this because this is the show that I've been so, so excited to do."
'Our America' explores new religions
In another episode Lisa explores one of the more than 3500 new religions that have sprouted up across the country in recent years. She stated, "We get that sense that people these days are really struggling and they're really hungry for purpose and meaning and there are a lot of broken souls out there." She continued, "It was fascinating on the level that to see how people who are so broken… feel so drawn to these spiritual practices or one charismatic leader. To watch that process and how easily people can be influenced by these 'religious' practices is really interesting… These are people who say that the apocalypse is around the corner and they are willing to die for Christ."
Read about more "Our America" shows at Pop Culture Passionistas.
Tune into the premiere of "Our America with Lisa Ling" on January 22 at 10 p.m. EST/9 p.m. Central on OWN.