“Genius” gives viewers insight into the greatest minds while entertaining at the same time

By Josie S

Binge watching TV shows has become a trend of the times and “Genius,” aired on the National Geographic Channel, continues this by interesting viewers with a new type of documentary.

The first season of “Genius,” which aired over many weeks in the spring of  2017, can now be streamed on Amazon Prime Video. The show focuses on some of history’s greatest minds, basing the first season around the life and accomplishments of Albert Einstein (played by Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn).

The first episode begins by showing Einstein in his school life, struggling to fit into classes and attempting to expand his understanding of relativity and science. Throughout the progression of the show, insight is given about his relationships, marriages, children as well as his obstacles due to being Jewish.

Throughout the episodes, information about Einstein reveals that besides his work in science, he may have not been the role model most would want for others.

Although “Genius” is informative about historical events, it continues to appeal to viewers over 12 episodes, despite a few dry points. Much of the information that is given to drive the plot forward, could be condensed into shorter, fewer episodes rather than each being around an hour long.

Since Einstein is the focus, many times the plot digresses into a scientific premise, which can become a bit tedious. Still, National Geographic turned a topic that would be a dull documentary into a show worth watching.

Geoffrey Rush, who plays Einstein at an older age maintains the interest of the show through his excellent acting. Rush is an Oscar-winning actor, and his role as Einstein has earned him a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or a Movie .

Johnny Flynn portrays Einstein in his younger years who works well with others and supporting roles such as the women who he is involved with in the show, conveying his change of heart and conflicting emotions.

Besides the actors themselves, artistic elements such as costumes and makeup were impressive as they obtained nominations for Outstanding Period/Fantasy Costumes for a Series, Limited Series or Movie and Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie at the Emmys. Both elements factor into the historical accuracy of the show as well as enhancing the plot and aiding viewers’ understanding.

The score, composed by Lorne Balfe, adds to the more emotional and intriguing points of the show , especially helping viewers through the more dry points. The main title itself, by Hans Zimmer, was nominated for the Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music at the Emmys as it combines a sound that reflects the period of time in its use of instruments and composition. The use of classical instruments such as violins combined with a computerized beat that combines the idea of old and new.

The next season, coming in 2018, is already anticipated as it will focus around Pablo Picasso and give insight into his life as the first season has done with Einstein.

Rather than rewatching a show on Netflix, “Genius” gives a look into one of the greatest minds that shaped the world while giving a different perspective on his life and earning 10 Emmy Award nominations.