Who Am I
Earlier this year, Netflix released season 2 of its ongoing documentary series called Babies. The aim was to follow various different families through the first year of their childs’ life, looking at different significant milestones their littles one face and conquer.
Becoming You feels like a glossy, visually striking companion-piece to that documentary. Instead of examining the first year however, Becoming You expands its sights to focus on the first 2000 days.
Each of the episodes – clocking in at around 40 minutes a piece – examine a different stage of a child’s life. From making friends and developing social bonds to moving, talking and thinking, a compendium of gorgeous visuals accompany each of these celebratory milestones.
From Nepal and Borneo to London and New York, there’s a deliberate and consistent approach to try and capture children from different walks of life as much as possible – and for that the documentary really excels. The establishing shots are gorgeous, a few of which stand out as incredibly memorable. The opening shot of a child in Tokyo walking alone and a bright painting on a wall back-dropped by a refugee camp are two such examples.
Interspersed around these visuals are a number of facts told through narration. This is a series all about the visuals, and tellingly there’s no accompanying diagrams, talking head segments or experiments like there are in Netflix’s series. Instead, what we get is essentially a mini-version of Human Planet, designed to celebrate the magical gift of life.
On the subject of facts however, it is worth bearing in mind that the first episode has a glaringly incorrect statement that feels like it’s pushing an agenda.
Within this, a young girl is excluded from playing with a group of boys at pre-school. She heads off alone and narration informs us that during these early years, boys tend to fall into single-sex groups earlier than girls. This is incorrect, as proven in this lengthy report HERE.
Despite a few of these factual issues, Becoming You works a celebratory, enjoyable documentary that’s designed for the visuals rather than the science. Those expecting more meat – the hows and the whys surrounding everything at work – will be disappointed.
Those looking for a visual treat however, watching children learning to navigate our vast world, will find plenty to like here.
Becoming You releases on Apple TV+ on 13th November 2020.