This series was simply amazing. Every single episode was incredible and answered so many questions I've always had going through my mind over the years. It's rare to find people that have the intense and genuine admiration and interest in discovering the reasons for life. Additionally, the graphics were incredible and illustrated every point in a way that enhanced my ability to understand exactly what was being said. So grateful for all of the time,energy, and passion they put into the creation of this wonderful series.
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is certainly trippy and visually dazzling, but it’s also a big-thought-provoking series crammed with scientific and historical fact. Hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, it is a transporting mass of CGI special effects and cartoon sequences, but it has the heft and scope of cable’s most esteemed science series, “Planet Earth” and “Life.”
The new Cosmos starts slowly and reverently enough: deGrasse Tyson, a warm, avuncular presence, standing on the same cliffs Sagan did, talking about the universe, our place in it, and preaching the gospel of the scientific method in a glossy episode, which, scientifically speaking, doesn’t advance much beyond middle school.
Where Sagan’s narrative often approached poetry, Dr. Tyson’s can sound like an overwrought, overamplified planetarium show.... The animation used to present his story resembles low-budget anime and isn’t terribly absorbing. Bruno deserves better. Nit-picking aside, if the new Cosmos doesn’t deliver quite the punch of the original, it’s because this isn’t 1980.
I've read all comments and most complaints are about religion? Cosmos is about science, which is in perpetual conflict with myths because both cover the same field (the existence), and one explains it better than the other. This series explains the path of science trough history, you have myths, and facts, there is no a polite way to say it, just enjoy this series as the history of knowledge despite adversity.
The show has a heavy production value to it and Neil DeGrasse Tyson has a great narrative presence. Still, the show at times gets away from itself when presenting now-shaky sciences like macro-evolution which has slowly been fading out of the public school system for some years because of its fact-less basis. That's not to say that there isn't plenty of science here that is backed up and intriguing, but personally I felt the show's credibility gets distorted when using scientific ideas that have yet to see successful trials. Even some of Darwin's personally-discounted theories are still being preached in Cosmos. I just have a hard time with it as a result. Otherwise there's a sometimes entertaining and illuminating show to be found here even though its executive producer is Family Guy's Seth MacFarlene, who is a bit of a weird and twisted guy. Maybe you'll like it, maybe you won't. I'd personally rather stick with other programming on Discovery and The History Channel as they tend to navigate the educational waters more successfully and meaningfully.
On the whole, I found this new take on 'Cosmos' extremely underwhelming, disappointing even. While Sagan's original series had a great deal of substance and searching, probing historical insight, Tyson's if anything is the opposite: a lot of style but less substance. Most of the screen time is dominated by either overblown CGI sequences and sweeping, but banal orchestral music (in contrast to the very interesting and alien-sounding electronica of the original, and its use of classic orchestral pieces which were very awe-inspiring), or some very underwhelming animated sequences of historical dramas (apparently done by the animator of 'Family Guy,' no kidding!) which fall far short of the historical realism and subtlety conveyed by the period dramas of the original series.
The show did present, to be sure, some interesting and more updated theories of cosmology, most importantly 3 dimensional maps of the sun's gravitational pull and the 'rogue planets,' which are quite fascinating. But it was presented in no more depth than as mere snippets between CGI sequences, more in the manner of sound bites than anything more substantial. A great deal more insight could easily be garnered from a half hour perusal of a cosmology magazine or introduction to astrophysics book. While the presentation of the science may be educational for an elementary school audience, I think even secondary school children would eventually become bored by its lack of depth and substance, let alone learned adults.
Unfortunately, the explorations of history and social relations are even worse. Unlike Sagan, who presented a deeply nuanced and sophisticated elucidation of history, Tyson's is decidedly one-dimensional; it seems to merely recapitulate the hackneyed, bourgeois "great man" theory of history. There also seems to be an overwhelming focus on *men* without even the barest of nods to the patriarchal suppression of women's discoveries and insights across history (at least there was no mention of this in episode 1, whereas Sagan discussed figures like Hypatia). He even has the bombast to declare that at the time of Bruno "no one else" on earth believed that the earth circled the sun, a clearly preposterous statement that Sagan would never have made--in fact, as Sagan illustrated in his original series, the theory was decidedly old hat by the time of the Renaissance, having its historical roots in Presocratic Greece! One wonders, given such awful lapses of judgement, if Tyson had even watched the original series of his mentor.
The animation sequences are Disney-like, which as some reviewers have noted are very jarring, and extremely unfitting as an attempt to convey history in terms of its depth and nuances. Even the animation style is too simplistic; while something as stylistically complex as, for example, Studio Ghibli's anime may have worked more effectively to evoke the imagination, the animation style employed here comes across as woefully inadequate.
At least insofar as the first episode was concerned, the originality of the documentary seems highly questionable. Aside from simply re-presenting some of Sagan's original concepts (specifically the spaceship of the imagination and the cosmic calendar), I'm finding it difficult to identify anything that was genuinely new or innovative, or shed any substantive light on the most recent findings of cosmology/astrophysics.
In the end, there is far less actual social and historical context to flesh out the episode than with Sagan's first episode; a telling indication of this is the fact that while much time is spent providing CGI scenes, much less than the original series is spent qualifying the images with analysis.
Even more appallingly, the presentation of Bruno's religious persecution is extremely doctrinaire. I am no defender of the Christian papacy, but the history of the Christian religion is far more complex and contradictory than merely the church persecuting believers in 'science.' In fact, many of the Renaissance scientists, and radical social movements within Christianity (Cromwell's factions, the Diggers, John Ball and his followers, to name but a few), were not only deeply opposed to the papacy but, as Ernst Bloch has shown, advanced extremely libertory, libertine, and "heretical" interpretations of the Bible which are simply not reducible to the current anglo-American context of religious fundamentalists versus liberal atheists. The blatant reductionism of presenting Christianity as a whole as nothing more than the evil of the papacy is just one example among many of the ham-fisted, Hollywood-esque approach to history that I fear is but a foreshadow of what is to come later in the series.
In conclusion, I find little basis upon which to recommend this so-called 'reboot' of the series, and found little of interest in the first episode that would encourage me to watch the rest. It had much promise, a promise which only added to my disappointment.
This is SO BAD! Overwrought, schmaltzy dialogue.
He actually cried whilst looking through a telescope because it was where the 'birth of his science'. Way too long on embarrassing, 'dumbed down' animation sequences. CRINGE!