Watch Genius

  • TV-14
  • 2017
  • 4 Seasons
  • 8.2  (20,069)

Genius is a television show that aired on the National Geographic Channel in 2009. It is a mini-series that recounts the lives and achievements of some of the world's greatest minds in history. The show features the personal and professional journeys of individuals who have made significant contributions to science, art, politics, and other fields.

The series comprises ten episodes, each focused on a different genius, starting with Albert Einstein and ending with Pablo Picasso. The program's creators intended to provide an informative and entertaining account of how these geniuses came to be and what made them unique. The show uses a mix of dramatic re-enactments, expert interviews, and archival footage to weave together compelling narratives about these remarkable individuals.

The show's first episode, "Einsteins Folly," begins with the young Albert Einstein (Geoffrey Rush) working as a patent clerk in Switzerland, trying to make sense of the apparent inconsistencies in Newtonian physics. The episode goes on to detail the creation of Einstein's most famous work, his theory of relativity, and the impact it had on the scientific community.

Subsequent episodes cover Leonardo da Vinci, who is shown as much more than just an artist - scientists recount how he examined the principles of flight and the structure of the human body. The episode on Thomas Edison shows how the inventor's work on the light bulb, the phonograph and electricity revolutionized the modern world. Sigmund Freud's contribution to psychology as one that affected the way we understand mental health today. Similarly, the Marie Curie episode emphasizes the role women played in forming a science-dominated field and paving the way for future female scientists.

However, the show does not shy away from its subjects' flaws and shortcomings. For example, the episode on Pablo Picasso explores his art's revolutionary impact while also delving into his complex romantic life. It highlights the artist's numerous mistresses and the impact these relationships had on his art.

The series is narrated by Johnny Flynn, who brings an understated elegance to the show. He interjects only when necessary, allowing the subjects' stories to play out while still providing context and continuity. The show's researchers also deserve mention since the show explores little-known aspects of the lives of the geniuses in question. Some of the episodes show previously unseen footage of the subjects and their contemporaries, making the series all the more compelling.

Overall, National Geographic's Genius is an excellent educational show. It showcases the diversity of the subjects' lives, showing how social backgrounds, personal quirks, and even tragic circumstances all combined to make the individuals famous today. Despite drawing attention to the geniuses' violent or unsavory aspects at times, the series gives credit where it's due, often revealing the personal or emotional weight behind their contributions to their fields.

One of the most significant takeaways of the series is its homage to the vast potential of creative human endeavour, regardless of where you’re coming from. This, combined with the show's expertly-crafted stories, makes Genius’s viewing a truly enjoyable experience for anyone interested in history and the creative process. Even if you're not particularly interested in any of the geniuses included, the show is still worth watching for its informative and expertly crafted approach to some of the most brilliant minds of our past.

Genius is a series that is currently running and has 4 seasons (36 episodes). The series first aired on April 25, 2017.

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Where to Watch Genius
Genius is available for streaming on the National Geographic Channel website, both individual episodes and full seasons. You can also watch Genius on demand at Amazon, Vudu, Microsoft Movies & TV, Google Play and Apple TV.
  • Premiere Date
    April 25, 2017
  • IMDB Rating
    8.2  (20,069)