TV Show Review – Genius

TV Show Review – Genius


Rating:  3 (out of 5).  National Geographic Channel’s Genius, a series based on the biography Einstein: His Life and Universe written by Walter Isaacson, covers everything from Einstein’s thought process behind some of his greatest achievements to his inability to deal with intimate relationships. The series stars Johnny Flynn as a young Einstein and Geoffrey Rush as the older Einstein. Mostly good (though not great) reviews for this production.

The Houston Chronicle calls this a “fully engaging, entertaining and informative look at the life of Einstein.” They note “the series has a kind of shuttlecock structure, zipping back and forth between young Einstein (Flynn) and the revered professor Einstein (Geoffrey Rush).”

The New York Times describes “Genius” as a “skillfully acted, richly detailed historical show that would not be out of place on PBS or a high-end pay-cable outlet.”

Newsday writes “Only the first couple of hours were available for review, so “Genius” could still grow a brain. However, early evidence suggests brainlessness will prevail.”

The Hollywood Reporter states “National Geographic’s adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s book Einstein: His Life and Universe, is an above average event series about an extraordinary man. In form and execution, it may be an unremarkable depiction of being remarkable, but it’s also handsomely produced, reasonably intelligent and well-served by paired leading men Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn.”

The Cleveland Plain Dealer writes “There are two wonderfully compelling reasons to catch National Geographic’s ambitious first attempt at a scripted series. Their names are Geoffrey Rush and Johnny Flynn.” But, they say “Where “Genius” fails to take the quantum leap is in the writing, which is erratic.”

The San Francisco Chronicle thinks this is “both entertaining and intelligent.” They say that “There are some “Mind”-type cinematic flourishes in “Genius,” restrained special effects that provide a visual sense of Einstein’s thinking and the universe as he sees it and helpful for the science-challenged.”

Variety calls this “a clunky adaptation of Walter Isaacson’s sprightly biography of Einstein.” They say it “doesn’t effectively make use of the basic elements of Einstein’s eclectic and well-traveled life.” And, “If the goal was to fill out the pop-culture image of Einstein — who’s been depicted in many a dorm-room poster as an impish rebel with his tongue stuck out — this series is only occasionally successful. “Genius” is more often hampered by an approach that is often unsubtle and unworthy of such a precise and rigorous thinker.”



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