Connected docu-series Review: A thought-provoking show defined by its infectious curiosity
While children watching the show might find the series to be uncomplicated, for adults, there is a lot of unlearning that has to be done to grasp all the subtext in this series
Many of you may be aware of the theory of six degrees of separation, which states that any two people in this world are only a maximum of six social connections away from one another. As humans, we are constantly engaged in a search for commonalities among us. In Connected, Latif Nasser, the director of Research at Radiolab, embarks on one such journey.
Cast: Latif Nasser
Directors: Arianna Lapenne, Alyse Walsh, Nick Brigden
Streaming on: Netflix
The premise of the show is deceptively simple. While children watching the show might find the series to be uncomplicated, for adults, there is a lot of unlearning that has to be done to grasp all the subtext in this series. Nasser strings together the sort of curious questions that typically get stifled in childhood, and connects the most seemingly unrelated events across diverse landscapes to satiate his curiosity about the workings of this world. Although I was skeptical about ‘Surveillance’ being the first episode, any fears I may have had about it adding on to the already existing levels of paranoia were allayed when the episode went on to talk about how watching people makes us learn a lot about ourselves too.
From touching upon the sewage on Thames river, to showing how a fossilised river in a dry African desert is the source of a thriving rainforest, Connected joins the dots between places that don’t seem connected. Once this awe you feel over such realisations diminishes, you step into the other layers this show which speaks about potential climate catastrophes that the world seems unconcerned about right now. It also talks about how even the most mundane of activities happening across the world have a pattern to them. It questions the very basic human nature of individuality and asks if there is anything called free will in a world where nature has its way of figuring things on its own. However, all this is done without employing a tone of resignation, or even any judgment for that matter. This series is born out of a childlike curiosity and an eagerness to learn.
This perhaps is my biggest takeaway from a docu-series that talks about surveillance and nuclear weapons with the same cheer and intensity as it does when touching on topics like numbers, poop and dust. A researcher when asked about what her findings mean to her, says, "That we are all so small." When up against the force of nature, getting our egos cut down to size is learning too, and an important one in these times.