Posted by sopachuco13 (392 posts) 9 months, 7 days ago

Poll: Is Cosmos: A Spacetime Odessy the most amazing show on network TV? (94 votes)

Yes 53%
No 46%

I loved this first episode of the TV show. I really hope that people watch this show. Maybe the whole discourse of American TV will change after the airing of this show. I doubt it, but it could.

#1 Edited by EXTomar (4940 posts) -

No since I can't watch it. How can it be the most amazing show on if they can't deliver it to me?

#2 Posted by LucidDreams117 (422 posts) -

Hmmm. I didn't see it. I assumed it would be like that Universe show Morgan Freeman narrated. Or the Stephen Hawkins one.

Is it really that good? Or if this was on Discovery, it wouldn't be such a big thing?

#3 Posted by EVO (3940 posts) -

*Odyssey

#4 Posted by adoggz (2070 posts) -

that first episode was pretty good. I cant wait to see the rest.

#5 Posted by stryker1121 (1587 posts) -

What's so sure-fire good about the show, besides everyone's geek chic boy toy NDT being the host?

#6 Edited by Dallas_Raines (2222 posts) -

Nah, that would be Hannibal.

#7 Edited by sopachuco13 (392 posts) -

@stryker1121: I just think that the show is trying to make space, science, and the information about them interesting and easily palatable for everyday audiences. I think was fun and interesting. It made science a much more friendly thing for people to understand. All of these things are good. It's also nice to see intelligent, thoughtful shows on TV right after shows like Family Guy. It's nice to get a little more PBS onto network TV.

#8 Posted by ch3burashka (5238 posts) -

@extomar said:

No since I can't watch it. How can it be the most amazing show on if they can't deliver it to me?

Deliver it unto yourself... via torrents.

#9 Posted by ThatOneDudeNick (741 posts) -

What's so sure-fire good about the show, besides everyone's geek chic boy toy NDT being the host?

It's because of how influential the original was and how it's written by the same people that did the original in 1980. It has little to do with Neil deGrasse Tyson hosting it, and more to do with Carl Sagan's legacy. Something like this airing on Fox is a huge deal. The point of the show is to get people interested in science and discovery that wouldn't go out of their way to watch the typical dry documentaries or read about it. Dr. Tyson is a great host for the new Cosmos. Many scientists aren't able to effectively communicate with a wide audience like he is able to. Sagan had that gift, just like Tyson does. Seeing Cosmos: A Personal Voyage as a teenager (20 years after it originally aired) was a big part of what inspired me personally to become a scientist. Many scientists say that Carl Sagan and Cosmos were influential. So yes, Cosmos for a new generation is very important. I just finished watching the first episode of Cosmos, and absolutely loved it. We need more people to care about science. Neil deGrasse Tyson is great at what he does, but he's not the reason people care about the show.

@extomar It's on 10 channels, streamed live on Fox's website, and available on Hulu and Amazon Instant streaming.

#10 Edited by Sinusoidal (1786 posts) -

I think in the spirit of the show's trying to spread knowledge and information, we should at least learn to freaking spell "odyssey" correctly.

#11 Posted by joshwent (2340 posts) -

I think it's also particularly inspiring that NDT has cited Sagan as one of his own influences in terms of understanding the general joy of science. I've been a fan of Dr. T for years now, and I've heard him go on in interviews and lectures about the beauty of humans being made of "star stuff" exactly as Sagan did in the original Cosmos. So it's not even that Neil is the hip public face of science now, but that he himself is in the position to inspire future generations exactly as he was inspired by the same program.

#12 Edited by Mcfart (1728 posts) -

It was very good. For those that say it was simple, well it was the first episode. Gotta establish a ground base. Consider this episode the prologue.

#13 Posted by Fuwano (155 posts) -

@joshwent: In particular I loved the story near the end about NDT and Sagan meeting when NDT was a teenager and the callbacks to the old series.

#14 Posted by Aelric (400 posts) -

I wrote this to a friend of mine tonight. I figure it works as a decent review of the show, if anyone cares to read it:

So, I've watched the new Cosmos series tonight and I've got some thoughts.

First, it's better than I expected. I was worried there may have been too many compromises due to it airing on Fox and that it might be too fast paced or 'in your face' due to the involvement of Seth MacFarlane. I think that this turned out to be partially true, but not as bad as I thought.

Now, let's get the bad out of the way. While I find DeGrasse Tyson likable, I fear that his presentation lacked a little something. I think it's a death by comparison, when held up against Sagan. Sagan had a very personal, very poetic cadence and tone to his words that very often moved me to tears when contemplating the enormity of the universe. Tyson seems more like a cool high school teacher that is looking to blow your mind when he reveals the scale of things. Sagans moving line about us all being made from star stuff is delivered by Tyson with an explosion sound effect like he just revealed that Kevin Spacey was Cesare Soze all along. It's not a problem of content, but delivery that I think to new viewers would work fine, but to old sentimentalists like me lose some of the power of the otherwise utterly gorgeous concept.

That brings me to the compromises, of which there are surprisingly few. This was the first episode, we shall see how the rest pans out, but being able to hear the line "Your god is too small" regardless of context on a Newscorp owned channel was not something I expected. That said, there is wishy-washyness when referring to evolution and lip service paid to every major religion, as well as a little more mystical imagery than I'd prefer.

There is also an over-reliance on animation, I felt, but that is more a symptom of the times. They will cheaply produce animation and it'll look less cheesy than period dressed actors re-enacting scenes under a narration. I will miss the actor playing Tycho Brahe with his obviously plastic 'gold nose'.

Finally, the pacing the of whole thing seems a little fast. It's a network show, it's got commercials, I get it but kids are not as stupid as we treat them and you don't honestly need images of starships zipping around asteroids to keep their attention or to rush through every section to keep it from getting dry. Even Tyson's personal story about meeting Sagan as a boy felt like someone was off camera telling him to wrap it up. Again, not a terrible thing, but I feel part of what made the first Cosmos special was it's slow, contemplative pacing and the personal intimacy that creates.

All in all, I did like what I saw. It's not perfect, but it's firmly in the good category. I have doubts it'll be remembered on the same level as the original, I mean, Sagan was a beast of a man, involved in a billions and billions of aspects of public scientific life and while Tyson is technically more visible with technology these days, there is also that much more noise to distract you from him. We shall see.

Oh, and True Detective wrapped up nicely too, so long as you cared more about characters than having a twist.

#15 Posted by ZolRoyce (830 posts) -

As someone who loves stuff like this I... didn't really love this.
It came off as to childish to me, to much attempting to grab the audience that watches stupid shows like Two and a Half Men or something. Oh look! A cartoon to explain something! Oh look, Neil on a green screen acting silly! And his heart warming story about meeting Carl Sagan came off less like a cool story he was telling and more like a melodramatic story of the week on American Idol or something.

However, that's not a bad thing, it's just a not for me thing. Seeing as how I love stuff like this, a lot of what he is saying I already know or agree with so it's nothing knew, and they are catering it to a younger/more naive audience then I.
But hey, when I was a kid, I adored Bill Nye the Science guy, I thought it was the greatest show ever. So right now if there is a kid or young teen watching Cosmos going "That was so great!" Then awesome, then it is a needed show and I hope it does well. And it's insane to me that it airs on fox on all places, it's hard for me to imagine the people who run fox could even be aware of the universe.

But it's just clear that it is not for me. To silly, and when I say childish I don't mean that as an insult that word is so commonly attributed to, I just mean it is plainly as of the first episode, for a younger audience, but if you are older and like it that's fine.

#16 Edited by EXTomar (4940 posts) -

@ch3burashka said:

@extomar said:

No since I can't watch it. How can it be the most amazing show on if they can't deliver it to me?

Deliver it unto yourself... via torrents.

But I will still "downgrade" for "crappy distribution". If they want me to watch it, offer it to me in easy for me to buy/find it. I'm not even entirely sure it is on Amazon Prime where it might be easier to find and buy Sagan's book than the video.

#17 Posted by MikeJFlick (444 posts) -

It was okay, the opening bit with Obama was disturbing, Neil in my opinion is best when he does open lectures or open format talk shows.

#18 Edited by jediknight00719 (141 posts) -

@stryker1121: I just think that the show is trying to make space, science, and the information about them interesting and easily palatable for everyday audiences. I think was fun and interesting. It made science a much more friendly thing for people to understand. All of these things are good. It's also nice to see intelligent, thoughtful shows on TV right after shows like Family Guy. It's nice to get a little more PBS onto network TV.

Funny you say Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane is an executive Producer of Cosmos and was apparently integral to getting the show on Fox.

#19 Posted by SlashDance (1843 posts) -

Didn't teach me how to make apple pies. 2/10.

#20 Posted by ripelivejam (4824 posts) -

No, the first Cosmos still exists.

Sagan should be celebrated with a national holiday.

#21 Posted by BRich (440 posts) -

@sopachuco13 said:

@stryker1121: I just think that the show is trying to make space, science, and the information about them interesting and easily palatable for everyday audiences. I think was fun and interesting. It made science a much more friendly thing for people to understand. All of these things are good. It's also nice to see intelligent, thoughtful shows on TV right after shows like Family Guy. It's nice to get a little more PBS onto network TV.

Funny you say Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane is an executive Producer of Cosmos and was apparently integral to getting the show on Fox.

I was about to post the same. Apparently he did a lot of the voices in the animated portion as well.

#22 Posted by RenegadeDoppelganger (424 posts) -

@brich said:

@jediknight00719 said:

@sopachuco13 said:

@stryker1121: I just think that the show is trying to make space, science, and the information about them interesting and easily palatable for everyday audiences. I think was fun and interesting. It made science a much more friendly thing for people to understand. All of these things are good. It's also nice to see intelligent, thoughtful shows on TV right after shows like Family Guy. It's nice to get a little more PBS onto network TV.

Funny you say Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane is an executive Producer of Cosmos and was apparently integral to getting the show on Fox.

I was about to post the same. Apparently he did a lot of the voices in the animated portion as well.

The comical italian-american accent was courtesy of MacFarlane. They really could have done without that cartoon. It seemed out of place to -in the middle of this science program- have some overly dramatic 20 minute sequence about how the badly church persecuted this one dude for his ideas. For fuck's sake, they had a inquisition and burning at the stake scene where they basically painted him as some sort of holy martyr for science. It was really distasteful but I guess that's what you get when the creator of Family Guy tries to rework an educational PBS series.

NDT is a good host, he wasn't trying to be Sagan, he clearly has a lot of reverence for the man and the original program, I just hope the rest of the series is less hyperbolic. I realize the aim of the show is to try to engage people who aren't convinced of the value of science or are simply unaware of it's importance in our history but I just hope it doesn't turn into a sideshow in the process.

#23 Edited by core1065 (550 posts) -

Great show, but the first episode was all over the place. Wasn't thematically consistent, they go from the solar system, dark worlds, to the big bang, to some history of astronomy, the history of the universe, stars & the history of the show and Carol Sagan. Needs to be more focused.

#24 Edited by oldenglishC (1006 posts) -
#25 Posted by bybeach (4992 posts) -

It may well be, but all the commercials sucked. I do mean it, for me the show became almost unwatchable, and I am thinking of a season purchase instead down the line.

On a better note, very pleased Tyson told the story of Bruno. Bruno wasn't a scientist, but he did not have to be. Just a human being using the mind that 'God' gave him.

I also thought the cartoon format worked. I too am hoping for a more tighter format, rather than loosely connected segments.

I miss Carl Sagan. The guy was a trip.

#26 Posted by sopachuco13 (392 posts) -

@renegadedoppelganger said:

@brich said:

@jediknight00719 said:

@sopachuco13 said:

@stryker1121: I just think that the show is trying to make space, science, and the information about them interesting and easily palatable for everyday audiences. I think was fun and interesting. It made science a much more friendly thing for people to understand. All of these things are good. It's also nice to see intelligent, thoughtful shows on TV right after shows like Family Guy. It's nice to get a little more PBS onto network TV.

Funny you say Family Guy, Seth MacFarlane is an executive Producer of Cosmos and was apparently integral to getting the show on Fox.

I was about to post the same. Apparently he did a lot of the voices in the animated portion as well.

The comical italian-american accent was courtesy of MacFarlane. They really could have done without that cartoon. It seemed out of place to -in the middle of this science program- have some overly dramatic 20 minute sequence about how the badly church persecuted this one dude for his ideas. For fuck's sake, they had a inquisition and burning at the stake scene where they basically painted him as some sort of holy martyr for science. It was really distasteful but I guess that's what you get when the creator of Family Guy tries to rework an educational PBS series.

NDT is a good host, he wasn't trying to be Sagan, he clearly has a lot of reverence for the man and the original program, I just hope the rest of the series is less hyperbolic. I realize the aim of the show is to try to engage people who aren't convinced of the value of science or are simply unaware of it's importance in our history but I just hope it doesn't turn into a sideshow in the process.

Wow, we saw that whole scene completely differently. I really enjoyed the whole cartoon element. I thought it made the whole thing much more interesting. It added a little variety to the show. It seemed to almost have an anime style to it.

I think they did a very good job of showing him saying, "My god is bigger than yours." These evil men did not worship any kind of god, they worshiped power and war. I think they did a good job of showing that this man was a bright symbol in religion and science. Because he could see that a god did make this universe but "his" god was much bigger than the church's idea of god. A god that is just what humanity has imagined god is. This cartoon guy knew that "his" god made the universe. Not just this asinine universe that revolved around earth.

They are making a statement. They are saying that science has taught us much more than religion has. It is okay to be religious, but when it starts to effect our ability to move forward with science and education because some people want to hold onto this hope that the whole world was made just a few thousand years ago. I think they are doing a very good job portraying the ways in which religion is holding us back. They are even making it easy for people to imagine that god might have created the universe in 7 days. When they used that calendar to represent all of time, that was masterful, because it showed human existence was so inconsequential when it comes to such a grand scale. If god created all of that, the boobs who wrote the books that we currently follow are too small for us too.

I think they did a good job of showing that religion has it's faults, but a belief is god is perfectly normal.

#27 Edited by WilliamRLBaker (4779 posts) -

Most amazing If you mean most shit television show I've seen in years hosted by one of the worst pop scientists you can find.

#28 Posted by Veektarius (5010 posts) -

The melodrama, as conveyed through the soundtrack and the dialogue in the Bruno piece, was a little bit much for me. I really liked most of the graphics though, with the exception of the 'vessel of the imagination' or whatever the proper name is.

#29 Posted by Frobitz (198 posts) -

I feel like the OP would probably enjoy the BBC's Wonders of the Universe and Wonders of the Solar System documentaries.

Is this show available in the UK? I might give it a shot although unsurre how I feel about a politician introducing it?

#30 Edited by AlexanderSheen (5088 posts) -

Most amazing If you mean most shit television show I've seen in years hosted by one of the worst pop scientists you can find.

#31 Posted by Strife777 (1612 posts) -

Is there a place to watch this online, during or after it airing? (Other than the obvious perhaps not so legal way.)

I'm extremely interested in watching it, but since I don't watch TV other than shows on Netflix and such, I don't have cable.

#32 Posted by EchoEcho (837 posts) -

@strife777: I just got done watching it on Fox's website.

#33 Posted by Athadam (704 posts) -

The first episode is general and all over the place because it's usually the episode that the public watches the most. It's probably going to be the most general and introductory episode of all 13. Even the original Cosmos pilot didn't seem exactly focused.

#34 Edited by Strife777 (1612 posts) -

@echoecho said:

@strife777: I just got done watching it on Fox's website.

Oh sweet, I didn't bother checking their website yet. I see it's right there on the home screen. Thanks.

Guess I know what I'm watching tonight!

#35 Edited by SlashDance (1843 posts) -
#36 Posted by zFUBARz (637 posts) -

@williamrlbaker said:

pop scientists.

What does that even mean?

Yeah I never understand the tiny portion of people that hate on Tyson, he didn't kill off Pluto on purpose after all. It might not be fair to compare him to Sagan or Hawking, but Tyson is a good voice to help represent the idea of curiosity and free exchange of ideas, and he has been for years, seems some people would rather read a dissertation than have a silky voiced super dork tell it to them.

I liked the show though, the Bruno segment was a little long, but I understand what it was for, and why it was there, I actually think it's brilliant, just like airing the show on Fox and 9 other channels and making it one of the most easily accessible things on the web from a major corporation. They're ramming science down the throats of people who don't like it, and then those people are going to run and hide no matter what. But the unsure people, the uninformed/lazy, the children of the closed minded and unquestioning... they'll already have had the seed of curiosity planted in their mind, and it's not arguing against what they've been raised to think all their lives, they can see a faithful person believing in greater things than what are preached in one or two books, and now they might know where to look for some more information about it. and THAT, is where they want people to be, hungry for more knowledge. Just like Sagan did 30 years ago.

#37 Posted by crithon (3441 posts) -

it has the same spirit of the original show. It feels like a comfy sweater with that smell that brings back memories.

By the way, Phil Lamarr was a voice in the animation sequences. "MY MANWISH!!!"

#38 Posted by Splodge (1926 posts) -

If you enjoy Cosmos, check out "Inside the living cell". It's a BBC documentary, you can find it on YouTube. Absolutely mind-blowing. It goes into serious detail on how our cells function, using CGI and sensible explanations. I honestly cant recommended it enough. Cell structure will be covered in Cosmos at some point, but probably not with as much detail.

#39 Edited by Brodehouse (10125 posts) -

Is Cosmos a space/astrophysics show or is it a general science show? I figured they dodged the evolution issue (which is to say, certain people's issues with evolution) by making it a purely astrophysics show. The religious don't seem to care if you tell them how quasars are formed, but do care if you tell them how creatures are formed.

#40 Edited by indieslaw (382 posts) -

It was really good, for sure. I didn't know anything about Bruno, the figure they did the animated bit about, and learning that story was an interesting choice that paid off, and I was surprised to see historical religion painted so badly without much backlash from the usual backlashers.

I think the show was successful in its aims, and few network shows are that.

#41 Posted by Scullinator (514 posts) -

How many shows start out with a message from the President of the United States telling you what a great show you are about to watch? I was impressed. Still have not watched it yet but I saw the message from Obama before I hit the record button on the DVR.

#42 Posted by dudeglove (8254 posts) -

Fuck Sagan and NDT, we've got Dave Lang

#43 Edited by flasaltine (1701 posts) -

A lot of the stuff they say on there is stuff I have already hear from a bunch of other Universe/Through the Wormhole/Whatever shows.

#44 Edited by Fattony12000 (7558 posts) -

Also...huh...