|Johnny Flynn and Geoffrey Rush as Albert Einstein in Genius.|
(National Geographic Channel)
TV SHOW REVIEWLike the world that it promotes, National Geographic Channel is taking a huge leap this week with the premiere of the network’s first scripted series, Genius telling the life and times of Alfred Einstein. This is no small project. Created by the Fox 21 (who also created the award-winning mini-series, The People v O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story) and executively produced by Brian Grazer and Ron Howard, Genius is pretty incredible. From the opening theme music written by Hans Zimmer, the pilot episode is engaging, if a little off-putting. We quickly learn that Einstein had a way with the ladies and although brief, it was still shocking to see sex being portrayed on the National Geographic Channel. Though it can be argued that Einstein’s affairs are definitely part of his life story, the show could have implied this behavior a little more subtlety. Will that said, this limited series isn’t about sex. It’s about a genius of a man who didn’t quite fit in and yet always did.
|Samantha Colley plays Einstein's first wife, Mileva Maric.|
The older Einstein is expertly portrayed by Geoffrey Rush who while brilliant, doesn’t understand why he can’t have a romantic relationship with both his wife (Emily Watson) and Betty Neumann (Charity Wakefield) the young woman who idolizes him. This half of the story also takes place during the rise of Hitler and the beginning persecution of the Jewish people.
|Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson.|
The cast of Genius includes an impressive list of co-stars including Vincent Kartheiser (Mad Men and also starred in National Geographic's Saints & Strangers) who plays consulate official Raymond Geist, Seth Gabel (Fringe) as close friend Michele Besso and T.R. Knight (Grey’s Anatomy) as J. Edgar Hoover.
Genius premieres on the National Geographic Channel on Tuesday, April 25 at 9:00 p.m.
Related: The Who’s Who of Genius