Interesting, informative and quirky, Connected is a documentary series on Netflix that’s very easy to dip in and out of. It’s also an incredibly polarizing watch, with an eccentric and oftentimes dumbfounded narrator. This consequently means people will either instantly warm to or instantly turn away from this series.
The basic premise of Connected is certainly intriguing and features a great hook. Science journalist Latif Nasser takes on an almost child-like fascination to the world as he enthusiastically looks at the world. With a consistent motif of connections, the topics range from nukes, surveillance and even excrement in a bid to explore how we’re connected together and the universe as a whole.
From surveillance and using pig IDs to recognize emotion, across to the surprising benefits of nukes, Connected has a way of adding a refreshingly positive spin to proceedings.
However this sometimes comes at the cost of childishness and jokes that try to be edgy and quirky but don’t always work. Do we really need to know the route of the Queen’s faeces? Probably not. But the show decides to dedicate 5 minutes of time to that anyway. There are other segments like this and they’ll either make or break your experience with this.
The constant monologues only accentuate any issues some people may have with the tone and it’s certainly not helped by some exaggerated facial expressions in the field. Seeing Nasser standing with his mouth wide open in a cave and shaking his head in disbelief or grinning cartoonishly in an art museum gives the feel that you’re watching a Weird Al Yankovic parody.
In that respect, the show falls back into that love/hate trap where some will love this and really take to Nasser’s tone. That aforementioned wonder may be just the ticket to engage and reach out to a younger audience or those sharing that same fascination.
It’s also one of those network TV shows (the better ones) that feel like you could dip in and out of this while doing other things. Personally though, the humour and overall tone falls on the side of trying a little too hard to keep your attention.
Cartoons and animated graphics help to break up the flow of action and there’s no doubt these topics are really interesting. There’s a lot of discussion points here that take on a new perspective and it helps that the series tries its best to steer away from a doom-and-gloom tone.
Given the sheer number of documentary series on Netflix right now, Connected is a series you’ll either instantly connect to or instantly turn away from. The narration is the weakest part of the whole show but if you can take to that, then there’s a lot to like with this one. It’s not perfect but there’s just enough fascination and educated content to make it worth a watch.