Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Smart

I've been watching Genius, the first scripted TV show produced by National Geographic.  It's about the life of Albert Einstein.  I thought the pilot, directed by Ron Howard, was merely adequate, but the subject is interesting enough that I've remained.

At first, it looked like the show would be switching back and forth between young Einstein (Johnny Flynn) and older Einstein (Geoffrey Rush), but after three episodes (tonight is the fourth), it seems to have settled down into a chronological story.

Which is a good idea.  The most dramatic part of Einstein's life are the early years.  He had trouble getting an academic post and yet, in 1905, at the age of 26, produced four papers which revolutionized science.  And during this time, he had romantic and family problems.

By the time he was 40, he was world famous.  He won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1921 and spent the rest of his life as perhaps the best-known scientist in the world.

But the truth is his later years are far less interesting. Yes, he was major figure, who talked politics with world leaders, but his philosophical discussions aren't as exciting as how he helped change our physical understanding of the world.  And, scientifically speaking, he'd pretty much shot his bolt by the time he hit his 40s.

So it's the young, not especially well-known Einstein, who is better to dramatize.  The show is ten hours, and it will eventually get to the Geoffrey Rush years.  Rush is a fine actor, but I'll miss the young man, not sure of his place in the world, but who understands the world better than anyone.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it supposed to be educational?-I can't see the math bits as being that compelling cinematically. Its never fun to watch people think about things you (the generic you) don't really understand. As an aid to understanding the physics better, maybe the early story might be helpful

Wild hair and Funky quotes about fighting 4th world war with stones seems more relatable

2:50 PM, May 16, 2017  
Blogger LAGuy said...

It's a drama based on Einstein's life. There's some discussion of physics, but it's not a lecture.

3:22 PM, May 16, 2017  
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3:15 AM, May 17, 2017  

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