Let the wonders of Cosmos unfold in your living room


Neil deGrasse Tyson, who was inspired by Carl Sagan’s 80s original Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, brings back the foundation of science to network tevevision.

Aaron Bialer , Copy Editor

Many children dream to be astronauts; the idea of witnessing something entirely new, a place or phenomena that has gone unwitnessed, astounds them. Popular astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson has dedicated a large portion of his life to encourage every individual of their potential to explore the cosmos.  By hosting Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, Tyson has continued his attempt to coerce science into the lives of all.

Unfortunately for science buffs, the show may feel like pop science force-fed down the throats of those that have remained ignorant.  From the first scene with Tyson boarding the Ship of the Imagination, the show begins to feel gimmicky and not particularly informative.  For Tyson’s target audience, these gimmicks may be intended to hold attention, a way to differentiate from the typical bland science documentary.  However, in contrast with the amazing visuals and interesting narration, the Ship of the Imagination and other ploys seem unnecessary and excessive.

Even the visuals of the opening sequence are fascinating and beautiful.  Director of cinematography Bill Pope adequately sieves the cosmos, leaving viewers with only the best images and graphics.  Yet, once again, some of these visuals are second to the idea that the viewer is only seeing them through the window of the Ship of the Imagination.

At times, the show also turns to cartoons to explain the backstories of famous scientists and philosophers.  With Seth MacFarlane as an executive producer, one may fear that these cartoons may interject the show with excessively crude humor.  Surprisingly, however, these cartoons are extremely informative and have a certain depth that would not be entirely expected when intellectuals are forced to turn to animation to get a point across.  MacFarlane demonstrates, yet again, that he is capable of more than critically vulnerable comedy.

Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey is educational and moderately entertaining.  It may not hold up to the standards set by the original 1980s series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage hosted by Carl Sagan simply because it is no longer the 1980s.  The visuals are stunning, the cartoons interesting, yet, in the end, the show feels more like an advertisement for better science education than a true exploration of the known universe.