Developed from host Ira Glass's public-radio show, This American Life is a half-hour series with an offbeat sensibility and a reflective, compassionate intelligence. I can't imagine any other news magazine leading off with a segment about a man who clones his beloved, gentle ox after its death, then has to come to grips with the fact that the replacement has a dangerous streak (it gores him repeatedly). He loves the cloned ox anyway. Frankenstein with cattle! Then there's a touching report about senior citizens making a movie short to submit to Sundance. The show falls prey to a faint preciousness in the voiceover narration from its correspondents and host Glass (who begins the show sitting at a desk plunked down in locales with no studio in sight). They overarticulate the ironies instead of just letting you watch. Which you should do. Watch.