I love shows about nature and space. Learning about our planet and others; about space exploration, and the technology that does it. Its addicting to me. I’ve spent whole weekends watching everything I could find on Netflix. I binge watched Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and the BBC Planet Earth series. I’ve watched shows on the Voyager probes, Hubble space telescope, and Russian rocket engines. Recently I discovered One Strange Rock on Netflix.
I found all of them just incredibly informative and fascinating, but I think Cosmos and One Strange Rock really captivated me because of the high production quality. As everyone already knows, information by itself can be dull. There is a reason there are jokes about how boring things are like “reading textbooks”. These documentaries, to me anyway, presented their information in a way that made me want to watch more. Though they do it in slightly different ways
They both have great special effects, both versions (that I watched) were presented in HD, and both had great hosts. The difference were how the hosts approached the subjects.
Cosmos had Neil deGrasse Tyson, whom we all know is a scientist himself. He relayed the information as a teacher would to his students. He was charismatic and entertaining, and even thought the information was complex, he was able to convey it in a way that I was able to digest. Occasionally it took some time. I would pause and think about a topic, or maybe rewind and play it again, but I was able to get it. The result was sometimes exhausting, like I had just been in a particularly difficult but rewarding class at school.
One Strange Rock was hosted by Will Smith. His approach felt more like a person who is in the same, fascinating class you are in, and is explaining the topics covered in a class you missed. It feels like he loves the topics as much as I do. He leaves a lot of the “sciencey” explaining to the 8 astronauts that were interviewed for and (essentially) co-host the show. This show had a strange effect on me, it actually had me energized at the end. It made me want to go out and do something.
Both are amazing and worth checking out if you are into educational documentaries. I’ve watched both several times.