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6 Shows like How It’s Made: Behind the Scenes

Adam Pothitos itcherEven though we use a range of factory-produced items in our daily lives, most of us have no idea what’s going on behind the scenes. TV shows like ‘How It’s Made’, ‘Modern Marvels’, and ‘Unwrapped’ allow us to get an intimate glimpse on the production of items, ranging from candy bars to the refrigerator. ~ Adam Pothitos

Piece by Piece

‘How It’s Made’ is, without a shred of doubt, the most popular series about the production of everyday products. The smooth narration combined with the close look at some of the world’s most intriguing machines provides the perfect mix for entertainment.

If you’ve ever wondered about how an item is made, you have a very good chance of learning more about it via the series, which has covered more than 1,200 products thus far.


Shows Similar to ‘How It’s Made’…

‘How Do They Do It?’ (Discovery Channel, 2006- )

As the second longest-running series of its kind, ‘How Do They Do It?’ is like the American version of ‘How It’s Made’. However, despite following an extremely familiar format, the show offers some unique segments of its own.

To be more precise, the show often features experts from each factory, which offer additional details on their jobs. Here, the focus is placed on both the manufacturing process and the people who are involved in it. It’s very interesting to see the number of specialized jobs that exist in factories worldwide, as many of these people have decades of experience in their specific areas.

Similarity Match: 95%
‘How Do They Do it?’ should be the next step for people who’ve watched all episodes of ‘How It’s Made’ and simply wish to learn more about their everyday items.

‘Some Assembly Required’ (Discovery Channel, 2007-2008)

What makes ‘Some Assembly Required’ such a compelling show is that the hosts actually participate in the manufacturing process of whatever item each episode features. In addition to that, viewers receive information about the products such as how they came to be and what makes them unique.

Though many similar shows focus entirely on the manufacturing process, with long segments of machines working their magic, ‘Some Assembly Required’ attempts to offer a more detailed picture. Combined with the show’s comedic tone, it results in a much more engaging and exciting show, which is accessible for audiences of all ages.

Similarity Match: 85%
If ‘How It’s Made’ is like a school lesson, ‘Some Assembly Required’ is like a field trip; exciting, fun, but ultimately educational, too.

‘Modern Marvels’ (History Channel, 1995- )

A History Channel classic, ‘Modern Marvels’ is a mix of historical documentaries and TV series like ‘How It’s Made’. More than any other show on this list, ‘Modern Marvels’ delves deep into the history of each featured item. This adds a totally unique perspective to the show as you can understand much more about each item once you know what came before it.

For instance, I still remember that even though it’s now hugely controversial, absinthe was one of the most popular drinks of the 19th century. These facts are combined with interviews from experts who provide even more details.

Though it’s not always the most entertaining show, ‘Modern Marvels’ is very informative.

Similarity Match: 80%
Each episode of ‘Modern Marvels’ is like a visualized Wikipedia page: usually serious and impersonal but definitely interesting.

‘The Secret Life of Machines’ (Channel 4, 1988-1993)

Though many episodes are now seriously outdated, ‘The Secret Life of Machines’ is such a unique show that it deserves a chance to shine in the spotlight. Aside from the usual flair of explaining how machines work, the show also features some simple hand-drawn animations that always remind me of school.

Of course, the show’s usually much more entertaining than a day in class. It’s a great combination of comedy and seriousness which will make you pay attention at all times. The on-site demonstrations, animations, and explanatory voice-overs are all incredibly helpful and amusing too.

Similarity Match: 75%
If you’ve ever had a teacher that always managed to catch your interest with informative but entertaining sessions, then think of ‘The Secret Life of Machines’ as the TV equivalent.

‘Unwrapped’ (Food Network, 2001-2011)

Though most similar shows cover a wide range of items, ‘Unwrapped’ focuses entirely on food. In fact, it looks at the history, production, manufacturing, and even distribution of some of the world’s most famous food products.

As an avid sweets fan, this is a show that makes me hungry and excited every time. ‘Unwrapped’ is a very lighthearted show that aims to be both educational and funny, something that it usually succeeds at.

Similarity Match: 70%
‘Unwrapped’ is the show that finally answers the many questions we’ve always had about the weird but delicious Halloween candy we all used to devour as kids.


If You Like ‘How It’s Made’, You Will Like…

The technological advancements that humankind has made should be obvious to everyone. Over the span of a few decades, we’ve managed to do a lot of things that we previously thought were impossible.

And even though we use some incredibly advanced objects in our everyday lives, most of us are completely oblivious as to how or why they even work.

‘MythBusters’ (Discovery Channel, 2003-2006)

In the digital age, everyone has an opinion about everything. In addition to that, there are so many stories circulating that it’s not always easy to know which of them are true. With ‘MythBusters’, however, things do get a little bit simpler. And who knows, the show might even save your life one day.

Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, the show’s hosts, take urban legends, Internet stories, and Hollywood fiction and test them with science. Have you ever wondered if you could skydive out of a plane without a parachute and still catch another “flying” person? According to ‘MythBusters’, you sure can.

If you like ‘How It’s Made’ for its inquisitive nature, then you’re absolutely going to love ‘MythBusters’ and its crazy experiments.


Halt Production

Knowing exactly where everyday items come from gives us a whole new perspective in life. It, once again, shows us that human beings are ingenious creatures who’ll always find solutions to their problems. It also confirms that should factories ever stop working for any reason, we’ll be in big trouble.

Have you watched any other series similar to ‘How It’s Made’?

Then share your favorites in the comments below!

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