This What to Watch Wednesday, we find ourselves in the middle of a week with more than a hint of absurdity, crusaders. So, I can’t think of a better moment for a touch of madness with some actual method. With that, I present the National Geographic mini-series, “Genius.”
In the history of humanity, there are few figures who are as universally known for their intelligence as Albert Einstein. I’m not saying he was the most brilliant (or that he wasn’t), but I am saying that no one else’s surname is quite so literally synonymous with genius. So the name for this series, which chronicles Einstein’s dramatic journey from a struggling but brilliant student in Germany (portrayed by Johnny Flynn) to a world-renowned, Nobel prize winning physicist (portrayed by Geoffrey Rush) here in the United States, is truly fitting.
In addition to being beautifully shot (the debut was directed by Ron Howard), excellently acted, and an excellent history lesson/reminder of the political and societal climates that led to both World Wars, it also paints an accessible picture of this remarkable man.
Yes, Albert Einstein was brilliant and redefined the world of science, but even for those of us who don’t understand the precise math or quantum theory involved, what we see in “Genius” is fairly simple to comprehend: Albert Einstein was a man who did not accept not knowing the answers to his questions. He was curious and that curiosity didn’t just drive him, it defined him. He did not accept not knowing.
And it feels like the right time for a show about knowing and understanding (a five-minute Google spree does not count) and not settling for anything less than the truth…not to mention the science of it all.
It’s not yet been decided whether this series will go on to be an anthology that explores the genius of other great thinkers and creators, but this fan of logic and reason would certainly like to see more. In the meantime, there’s still plenty of time to catch up with this fantastic story and check it out: Tuesdays 9ET/8CT on National Geographic.