Mike Rowe’s SIX DEGREES Explores Why We Must Know and Understand History
By Movieguide® Staff
Former DIRTY JOBS host Mike Rowe revealed that the goal of his new show on Discovery+, SIX DEGREES WITH MIKE ROWE, is to encourage unity and demonstrate how we are connected through history.
The Emmy-winning TV host recently launched the new limited series for streaming at the start of the new year.
“Well, look, what’s the famous old quote? Those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat it, or something like that. The more unsure the future looks, the more unsettled the present is, I think the more important the past becomes. And so we’re desperate today, I think, to find topics we can all agree on,” Rowe told Fox News in an exclusive interview. “‘ Dirty Jobs’ is an easy thing to agree on because we all understand the importance of work. History, I think is an easy thing to agree on as well. And we can argue over the specifics of what happened here or there. People love to do that, but still, it’s fundamentally a thing that we share. And so the basic topic of history, I think is increasingly important at a time like this.”
Movieguide® reported: “The entire six-episode series will premiere all at once on streaming. The show follows Rowe as he ‘transports himself back in time to some of the most major moments in history’ to explore and share unique stories about history.”
Rowe said that he is not telling people how history happened but wants to form a humorous and hopeful narrative based on all the available information.
“As I try and make sense of the present by looking back to the past, I construct the narrative the way I heard it, the way it makes sense to my brain,” Rowe said. “And that ultimately is what this show is. Everything in it is true, everything in it is accurate but everything in it is also my answer to a question. And those questions are goofy…”
Rowe said that his grandfather’s work ethic inspired him for DIRTY JOBS. His father’s occupation as a history teacher spurred him on to create SIX DEGREES.
“My father was a history teacher in high school and junior high. He always told me the first thing you have to do if you’re going to teach history is find a way to make it interesting to kids who really don’t care,” Rowe explained. “Most people don’t really love history, and I’ve always been a fan. And I always thought if I could find a way to do a show that took a little bit of the pretense out of the whole lecture scenario that so often accompanies history, maybe people would dig it. And so that’s what this is, it’s a history show for people who normally wouldn’t watch a history show.”
Rowe said that many people take history for granted and wants SIX DEGREES to help people appreciate how we got where we are together.
“Well, it’s not just the moments we take for granted. It’s the moments we don’t even know about that wind up leading inexorably to things we do know about and things that impact us hugely,” Rowe said.
Rowe gave the example of Charles Newbold’s invention of the iron plow and how all the events connected to that one discovery led to influence how Hollywood made movies.
“I think of Charles Newbold, the guy who invented the iron plow. That changed everything,” Rowe explained. “Well, the agricultural revolution happened because Charles Newbold decided to make a plow out of iron… if you’d follow the etymology all the way back, it really comes down to that moment where a guy who used to make horseshoes decided to use the iron to make a plow.”
Rowe continued: “And then, of course, that plow found its way all over the world. And an outlaw in Australia and a famous shootout named Ned Kelly used the plow to make a suit of armor. And as a result, he survived the shootout. And it was such a crazy thing they made a movie about it, ‘The Ned Kelly Gang’… the movie they made… showed people that a movie could be over an hour long; that transformed Hollywood… Look, I could talk for two hours about what happens as a result of the iron plow, but then I just give away the first episode.”
Rowe has been incredibly vocal recently about overcoming adversity during this time of uncertainty.