With Gangland, the History Channel has produced a documentary series so disturbing that I must hesitate calling it “suggested viewing.” The subject matter being gangs and the actions of their members, you can expect something morbid, but you may not anticipate the dark place you yourself may go while watching.

In the show’s first season they explore the inner workings of such gangs as the Hell’s Angels, the Mexican Mafia and Skinheads. Gang members themselves are interviewed at length, and what is surprising is not just how brutally violent they may be, but how normal and everyday they can appear in conversation. It would be easy to dismiss them as monsters were they not so much like ourselves.

Grade: B+

Gangland: The Complete Season One is currently available.