There’s one moment in a top athlete’s life that defines their entire career and paves way for the success they ultimately go on to achieve. Greatness Code is an attempt to capture the essence of these moments across a series of 5-8 minute interviews involving top stars in their chosen field. With a brief glimpse of what transpired during that time and a lot of hypnotic, trippy visuals, Greatness Code is fun while it lasts but also a series that will almost certainly leave you desperate for more.
Each of the episodes tackle a different sport and if you haven’t heard of these men and women before, by the end of each episode you’ll probably be tempted to fire up YouTube and watch these defining moments play out for yourself. The episodes waste little time getting right to the meat of the topic and each of the 7 interviews revolve around black and white face to face interviews. From Usain Bolt’s incredible world record sprint to Alex Morgan’s break-through in female football (soccer), there’s actually a pretty good array of talent interviewed.
Greatness Code is essentially a more polished and eloquent version of post-match sport interviews as commentators rush onto the scene and interview a breathless athlete about what they’ve just done. There’s nothing wrong with that of course and there’s definitely some moments of brilliance to be found in this documentary series. Hearing Shaun White’s inspirational tale of coming back from the brink to produce a stunning Perfect 100 score is a personal favourite but given the material on offer, your favourite episode will almost certainly differ.
There is a distinct American slant on proceedings here, especially given the athletes they’ve chosen for each of these different sports, but it’s not too much of an issue. The biggest problem by far though is the length of each episode. I found myself desperate to find out more when the credits rolled and if you like the format then you’ll probably blast through all of these in about 40 minutes. Of course, this also means it’ll whet your appetite to watch a more comprehensive documentary film about each chosen athlete.
While there’s nothing wrong with that of course, it also feels like Apple missed a trick by not adding a bit more meat to each of these segments.
The series itself is very slick though and there’s a great use of animation; the psychedelically charged images help visualize what’s happening during these defining moments. The echoing commentary is a great accompanying piece too and overall the series absolutely nails its presentation from start to finish.
Greatness Code is a series that attempts to capture those special moments that define an athlete’s career and it does a pretty good job doing just that. Unfortunately the snapshot cases and disappointingly short run-time will have you desperate for more when the credits roll on each episode. The presentation throughout is fantastic though and for that alone the series is well worth checking out – even if it’s more of a fleeting experience than an involving watch.
Verdict - 7/10