As Seen on TV: Cosmos, A Television Odyssey

By Chelsea Skanes

Although I am much too young to have seen the first airing of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage back in 1980, the premise of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is much the same as its predecessor. In case you missed part one which aired on March 9, this new Cosmos is a thirteen-part series which explores the universe, hosted by Neil deGrasse Tyson.

When I first heard about the series, I originally pictured a television show much in the vein of Planet Earth or The Blue Planet. While these series are beautiful, they just didn’t capture my attention the way that Cosmos did. I don’t watch a lot of television, and I wasn’t keen on sitting down and watching an hour-long television show about anything, nevermind science. But Cosmos hooked my attention from the beginning, even its opening sequence as wonderful as the rest of the episode.

 

I think what I liked most about Cosmos was that it made science relatable. Through stunning graphics, animated storytelling, and Tyson’s sheer fascination with all things science, the viewer is transported through time and space. Although this is the first episode of the series, I look forward to viewing the rest. As somebody who always thought science was “too hard” for me to understand, Cosmos painted a vivid picture of what the universe looked like billions of years ago in terms that even an arts-lover like myself could appreciate.

The highlight of the original Cosmos was its innovative use of special effects. This allowed Carl Sagan, the host, to seem like he was walking through environments that were actually models instead of simply sets. Almost thirty five years later, technology has obviously improved and the visuals of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey shocked me. I couldn’t believe how gorgeous everything looked, and how real it all was. Sure, Tyson spent a little time in “real” environments, like in a forest and beside an ocean, but the real beauty of the show was when he was in his spaceship, zooming around the planets and galaxies. Everything was absolutely seamless, Tyson’s explanations and storytelling blending perfectly with the visuals. Even if you’re not interested in science and space exploration, Cosmos is a sight to see simply for its wonderful graphics.

Introduced by Barack Obama, the series aims to give viewers the same “spirit of discovery” that the original Cosmos bestowed over thirty years ago, and I truly hope that it succeeds. While I think it’s too early to tell exactly what each episode will portray or whether it will become a classic as the original has, I believe Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey will certainly become a personal favorite of mine.

 
Filed under As Seen on TV on Tuesday, March 11th, 2014 at 4:08 pm.
 

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