Non-fiction Series Worth Watching

With the insatiable appetite to binge watch in the past year so, particularly since there are less temptation or purpose to go out we have done our fair share of catch-ups.  I have noticed that my main binge watching diet is primarily comprised of fiction and sitcoms, but I have made the effort to look into a few non-fiction series and was pleasantly surprised how entertaining it can be – after all fact is usually stranger than fiction.  Here are my top 5:

  1. Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey (2014) – Hosted by world-renowned astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, this thirteen-part ground-breaking series will venture to new worlds, trace our roots back to the hearts of ancient stars, and travel across the universe for a vision of the cosmos on the grandest scale. Beautifully edited, music score and storylines intermittent with profound scientific concepts made palatable to laments like me.  A sequel series, Cosmos: Possible Worlds, premiered on March 9, 2020, on National Geographic (haven’t seen it yet).
  2. The Story of God (2016) – Morgan Freeman presents his quest in order to find how most religions perceive life after death, what different civilizations thought about the act of creation and other big questions that mankind has continuously asked.  This is by no means a preachy show, what it does is give an objective perception on how different cultures treat the spiritual world which is more a fascinating reflection on human psyche than any religious inspiration.
  3. The Amazing Race – This is the only reality show in this list, primarily because although reality shows leave something to be desired when the interpret “reality”; this show is a great light way to get yourself and the younger kids into learning indirectly about other cultures and countries.  When I watch this series (and I have been watching on and off since the first season) I find having conversations with my kids afterwards about the various cultures and countries in the show and it’s a great show to get inspire them to open up an atlas and learn about other countries.
  4. The Movies That Made Us (2019) – A short one, this four episode debut season of the new series is dedicated to popular movies from the 1980s and 1990s, and tell the stories behind them.  Namely referencing Dirty Dancing, Home Alone, Ghostbusters, and Die Hard.  Season two will include Elf among other newer classics and I will be sure to check those out.  A very light and hilarious behind the seasons, the narrator comments alone are worth watching.
  5. A Night on Earth (2020) – The series follows animals that are active during the night using state of the art, low-light camera technology. I’ve seen a lot of nature shows, and those one has an interesting twist with amazing scenery and cinematography using the most high tech machines, with breathtaking night imagery.  Definitely a different take on the other nature shows, a very moody and haunting watch that’s quiet dramatic.

BONUS Alien Worlds (2020) – I put this as a bonus primarily because although it is more or less science based, there is a lot of creativity and fiction involved.  Still, this British sci-fi nature “docufiction” is a 4-part miniseries. Depicted by using CGI techniques, blends fact with science fiction and conceptualizes what alien life might be like by applying the laws of life on Earth to imagined exoplanets.


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