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The premiere of a dramatic series about Albert Einstein's tumultuous life reveals the man behind the mind.

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Einstein butts head with the determined Mileva in class, and soon finds himself falling in love with her.

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tbh, the first scene had me gagging. we could have gotten the message that he was a cheating bastard without the visuals of Geoffrey Rush banging a secretary. 

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the premiere. It is smart and thought provoking. I thought the parallels between the beginnings of Nazi Germany and our current political climate to be sobering.

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I was hoping for more comments, to decide if this is worth watching. I saw a bit of the middle, with the young couple, but I was tired.

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I liked it a lot, and love Geoffrey Rush.   Glad that Nat Geo is doing scripted dramas, it looks like they really spent some money on this.

 

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I'm looking forward to the depiction of his doomed first marriage, his horrid relationship with his children (he threw away his little daughter and his second son had a nervous breakdown and never recovered), and his marrying his first cousin.

He may have been a genius in math and physics, but he wasn't in interpersonal affairs.

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12 hours ago, Notwisconsin said:

I'm looking forward to the depiction of his doomed first marriage, his horrid relationship with his children (he threw away his little daughter and his second son had a nervous breakdown and never recovered), and his marrying his first cousin.

He may have been a genius in math and physics, but he wasn't in interpersonal affairs.

I'm glad they are portraying him warts and all.  Too many documentaries on Einstein show a loveable genius but jeez H. Christ the stories I've heard about him......jackass doesn't begin to describe it.

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This show is overwrought and affected. Yes, the story of Einstein is compelling, the history is compelling, but it is just so heavy-handed with the German-ish accents, that dark, serious "university of old" lighting, (apparently no universities at any time had actual indoor lighting) the gratuitous-supposed-to-be-funny sex, the "artistic" camera angles and techniques, the flip flopping of time periods where you have to remember the quickly changing political climates and the heavy cinematic music.

Einstein moved around so much in his life, there is no need for all the flash forward and backs and fantasies. In the scene when Einstein was told in a bad German accent after his friend was gunned down, "you need to grieve" I was kinda over it. Right outta 2000--that expression. Also I can't stand seeing Jews getting the shit kicked out of them in every. single. movie. with a Nazi in it. I GET IT. (my mother escaped the Holocaust in Austria)

What I don't get from the show is what was Einstein thinking about and creating. Needs more math and science presented interestingly and less Jew kicking and bad accents.

Geoffrey Rush does look more like Einstein than Jessica Lange looked like Joan Crawford. I'll give it that. Disappointing.

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On 4/26/2017 at 0:35 PM, badabingo said:

 

tbh, the first scene had me gagging. we could have gotten the message that he was a cheating bastard without the visuals of Geoffrey Rush banging a secretary. 

Other than that, I thoroughly enjoyed the premiere. It is smart and thought provoking. I thought the parallels between the beginnings of Nazi Germany and our current political climate to be sobering.

 

I really enjoyed the first episode and look forward to watching the next one.

But I have to agree about the sex scene in the beginning.  Totally unnecessary and made me uncomfortable.  Why do the directors, etc do this? It just cheapens the whole scene. It was just not necessary.  Lookin' at YOU, RON HOWARD!

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I'm glad the show put more focus on Ensteins first wife in the 2nd episode.  While it was a bit heavy handed with the how difficult it was to be an intelligent Female back then I am still happy she gets some recognition

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I think this is interesting, though I'm enjoying the young Einstein pieces a bit more.   The actor playing young Einstein is energetic and charming but I just want to yell at Mileva to get away from him.  I can understand why she was so drawn to him, without even taking into consideration how lonely she must have been.  I like that her father is always so supportive.

I was going to say that she's being played as somewhat unstable but then I realized that it's more that she had to be so internalized and buttoned up and can't make any mistakes - she even tells Einstein that because he's a man, he takes for granted the opportunities that he gets and the chances he has, whereas she has struggle.   I have a lot of sympathy for her.

Love the costuming and the overall atmosphere. 

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He has a baby coming that he doesn't really try to see. He's starving and owes money everywhere, but a real job is beneath him. Dude, just take something until the right job comes along.

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13 hours ago, Ina123 said:

He has a baby coming that he doesn't really try to see. He's starving and owes money everywhere, but a real job is beneath him. Dude, just take something until the right job comes along.

Basically.  Mileva didn't get herself pregnant, and while Einstein loved her,  it was no surprise that everyone thought he had ditched her.  I was over the "But I'm a scientist!" stuff pretty quick.  Until that paid off, Einstein had a girlfriend (fiance?) and a child to support.  And how depressing that everyone was basically telling Einstein to abandon Mileva like she wasn't the mother of his child.  

I wasn't too thrilled with the ending of this episode, with Mileva falling into his arms despite all the stuff that had happened between them.  If anything, I think Mileva is the more interesting character.

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I can't help but think that there's a bit of history re-writing going on in addition to the bad accents here, although I don't know enough about the real history to know better.  I think Mileva is being portrayed as desperate in spite of herself and I'm not sure I buy that.  I also didn't realize this was going to concentrate so much on his personal life.  I understand wanting to humanize an idol but that first scene in the first episode was unnecessary, IMO. 

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I don't know if Mileva really did get stuck with Einstein's mother for a while (though I did read that the mother didn't want him to marry her and thought her beneath them).   It doesn't matter if your husband's a charming genius, his mother can still be awful and he can still be cowardly about it.   I liked that he did eventually tell his mother to go when she ultimately insulted Mileva and refused to apologize.  I feel badly for baby Hans, who has two parents who don't seem to know what to do with him. 

According to the show, Lieserl, the baby Mileva had on her own, died.   From what I've read, that's not a sure thing but either way, my sympathy for Mileva increased as she dealt with that without Albert.  At least her parents always supported her.

The casting is very good - it's fun and interesting to watch Einstein work through a problem and to watch him and Mileva work together without angst.  Talk about a power couple!  Still, he didn't credit her on his paper, whereas Pierre Curie refused to accept the Nobel Prize unless Marie was included.   The situations aren't exactly the same, but it's hard to know if Einstein really believed that "we are one" stuff he told Mileva or if he didn't want the obstacle of having a woman's name on his paper.   I think it's pretty much known and accepted how much help she gave him during their marriage (she's not Marie Curie, but still). 

On 5/10/2017 at 9:45 PM, Amethyst said:

If anything, I think Mileva is the more interesting character.

Yes, I was curious about her turning down a teaching job in Ep 3.  She said she didn't want to be a schoolmarm, but that didn't appear to be what she was being offered.  I've read that she had friends she lived with while at school and continued to communicate with; I wish we saw them during this production, I'd like to see her associate with someone other than Albert or her/his parents.   It's possible she wasn't as much of an outsider as she's being portrayed here.  I can believe that she loved Einstein and was probably thrilled to find someone she could love and communicate with on an intellectual level.   She doesn't want to be a housewife and wants to collaborate but someone has to take care of that baby and someone has to work and bring in money.  

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The depiction of Mileva as the poor victim in EVERYTHING is becoming tiresome. Yes, she helped with proofing and rewrites, but the science was all his. Yes I sympathize with how hard it was for a female in a man's profession is ( been there done that )...but, puleeze....are you not satisfied with anything????  Your children, your house, your husband......Enough!!! Agree with posters above who would have liked more science insight....metooometooo......don't need this to be an egghead version of Real Housewives of Prague.....(and yes, I'm female and a scientist in a male dominated area).

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Re: the party scene:  I didn't know the champagne flute was used back then as it only started to get popular later in the 20th century.  This show has been more historically accurate than others so I'm assuming they know something I don't.

I agree about the way they're portraying Mileva.  Not knowing the history on her outside of this show, I would like to think perhaps she was that bad and they're actually being kind to her, but then why do I suspect they're just rewriting history to be kinder to Einstein at her expense?

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Sorry but I had to agree with Frau Einstein the elder considering how the show is making Mileva look. I hope she wasn't like this in real life. She's pissed 24/7 and uninterested in the baby. She's only interested in Einstein's paper. It seems to go against all motherly instinct that she shoves the baby at her mother-in-law and doesn't even kiss him goodbye before marching out in a huff as if the world owes her a babysitter. I'm sick of her boohooing over the fact that she's a woman and is overlooked. Yes, we women have had a time getting equal favor over the years but I don't need it constantly addressed in this manner. This show is making me want the truth of the matter in the form of book or documentary, if anyone knows of any to recommend.

Not only is Mileva portrayed as an overly difficult person that nobody would ever want to be around, but Albert Einstein is also very unlikeable. Was he really such a whiny little bitch? He is so annoying and seems to think he is above regular employment. Neither of these two wanted anything to do with their child and seemed to have started a family just so they could complain about how tough they had it. Does anybody else get irritated with these two idiots? 

Edited by Nowhere
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On 5/27/2017 at 3:18 PM, Nowhere said:

It seems to go against all motherly instinct that she shoves the baby at her mother-in-law and doesn't even kiss him goodbye before marching out in a huff as if the world owes her a babysitter.

Not everyone has a good motherly instinct.  In this particular scene, the mother in law was supposed to be there at a certain time and was (probably purposefully) late.  Though it's not fun to watch Mileva's life fall apart and I feel badly that the kids don't have great parents, I have sympathy for her.  Einstein gave credit to his pal but not to her?  After all his talk that they were "one mind", etc.   He's very self-centered and impulsive.  I credit the actor playing him that he is still likable in his scenes with friends and when he is having a genius moment or explaining something, but other than that, he's immature and entitled.  Mileva was just told at the beginning of the episode that her happiness depended on how happy she made her husband in bed; I think she's depressed and angry with no one to turn to for help.   She seemed to do better when it was her mother doing the helping, then she's stuck with a woman who obviously can't stand her.  

I was extremely annoyed by "poor wittle Einstein" being spoken by so many characters this episode.   You should be happy, Einstein!  Don't try to work on your marriage or anything!  No one mentions that he has kids as well, or what his wife may be feeling; she's not the genius, so who cares.   Elsa especially was getting on my nerves.

From what I've read, there are not many letters from her to Einstein around, but quite a few from him to her, where he talks about how much he needed her while working on that paper, so I think that part's true.  I don't know if it's so much that Mileva wasn't satisfied as that she feels Albert's life moving away from hers as he becomes well known and she feels the loss of her educational aspirations; he can go out and lecture and be praised and she is at home, struggling with depression (though they didn't call it that) and two young kids or dealing with a MIL who hates her.

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My read on Mileva was completely different than many of the ones above.  Yes, she was miserable and hated everything, but I saw that as mental illness.  I thought the writers were making it clear that she was obviously depressed, and perhaps had other mental illness, not that she was just a harpy.  Being that depressed, and having her husband succeed and leave her behind, I could see that making it worse.   Plus the son said mental illness ran in the family.  I felt sorry for Mileva because she was so depressed and had no treatment and a husband who wasn't paying attention, and children to take care of. 

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On ‎5‎/‎27‎/‎2017 at 2:18 PM, Nowhere said:

This show is making me want the truth of the matter in the form of book or documentary, if anyone knows of any to recommend.

This show is based on Walter Isaacson's biography Einstein: His Life and Universe, found here on Amazon. Isaacson is considered one of the preeminent biographers of our time, and if they're adapting his book accurately, they're showing things the way they probably were. I have not read the book myself.  Is there anyone here who has read the book who can comment on the adaptation?

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wow - all of that was really pretty powerful. Both the scenes with Al & Mil, and especially those with the astronomers sent to Russia to photograph the solar eclipse.

Spoiler

I was sure they were all about to be shot - great ending!

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I'm sad to think we've seen the last of the talented actor playing young Einstein.  Geoffrey Rush is just so... GeoffreyRush-y.

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I agree regarding the end of  the episodes with young Einstein.  I've been a fan of Johnny Flynn for a while. Love his music and I'm very impressed with his skill as an actor.   

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Johnny Flynn as young Einstein was really good.  I felt badly for Albert at the end when Mileva was taking the boys away.  I was reminded of the 2nd episode (I think it was) when Einstein's father left and told him he wasn't coming with them.  He obviously wants and needs relationships but strikes me as someone who falls in love easily.

Everything with the astronomers was edge of your seat, and I felt for the one who looked out the prison window and watched the eclipse.  It's so much fun to see these early inventions and the excitement over them; even though he's in a cement jail and being beaten, his heartbreak over missing the event was evident.

The snowy scenes when Albert and Elsa were in the carriage was beautiful.

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Whoa, suddenly Einstein ages 20 years in 2 years mid-show!  During WWI he looks 40-ish and only a few years after the war he looks 65.  I know we had an actor change, but holy premature aging,  Batman!  At first I thought perhaps this was based on truth but everyone else seemed to age a lot too.  Plus the show could do better with setting timeframe references if they're going to speed through the years that fast.  The Hitler reference had to mean we were suddenly after 1920 as that's when he formed the Nazi party.  He wasn't even its leader until 1921.  Plus Geoffrey Rush is very different from Johnny Flynn in the role.  No attempt was made to make them look or act even remotely like the same person.  Not realistic at all!

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On 6/5/2017 at 6:23 PM, retired watcher said:

Who is the person who was upset about losing out on the first Nobel Prize. I missed his name.

Dr. Philipp Lenard.

When we first met him as Mileva's professor, I knew he'd become an antagonist because

Spoiler

 he was Roose Bolton aka The Worst on Game of Thrones. 

The actor just has a wicked presence.

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They really jumped over some dramatic stuff regarding Arthur Eddington's eclipse photographs that proved Einstein's theory.  For anyone that's interested, I recommend Einstein and Eddington, available on various streaming services including Amazon Prime and HBO On Demand.  While that movie may take some dramatic license with events, it will definitely fill in some blanks left by Genius.

Edited by Quilt Fairy
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The aging of Einstein, Mileva, and Elsa was absurd.  They all aged 30 years between 1914 and 1919.  They could have done  MUCH  better job of gradual transitioning.

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The aging stood out especially in the courtroom scene, when we see the boys who are essentially unchanged.

On 6/8/2017 at 1:04 PM, Quilt Fairy said:

They really jumped over some dramatic stuff regarding Arthur Eddington's eclipse photographs that proved Einstein's theory.

Thanks for the tip - I enjoy all the discovery pieces of the show so will look this up.  I never really knew anything about Einstein the man, so the personal relationships are needed to flesh him out for me but we lose some of the interesting scientific background.   As we saw from the opening scene, he never really changed as far as committing adultery, though it seemed like he always loved Elsa. 

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My favorite scene was the transition during the visa interview as Geist came to respect Einstein. I especially loved the scene where they get their visas and the interesting fact that the real Geist saved so many Jews.

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"I used to think we must be the richest family in town because we had so much to give."  

You were the richest boy in town, Geist.

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On 6/8/2017 at 2:17 AM, Snarklepuss said:

 

Whoa, suddenly Einstein ages 20 years in 2 years mid-show!  During WWI he looks 40-ish and only a few years after the war he looks 65.  I know we had an actor change, but holy premature aging,  Batman!  At first I thought perhaps this was based on truth but everyone else seemed to age a lot too.  Plus the show could do better with setting timeframe references if they're going to speed through the years that fast.  The Hitler reference had to mean we were suddenly after 1920 as that's when he formed the Nazi party.  He wasn't even its leader until 1921.  Plus Geoffrey Rush is very different from Johnny Flynn in the role.  No attempt was made to make them look or act even remotely like the same person.  Not realistic at all!

 

Thanks for posting this. I really thought I was losing my mind, or that they has flashforwarded to the eve of WW II. If they were going to transition actors, they should have waited until a jump in time or at the very least, the beginning of a new episode.

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At one point I didn't know if it was WWI or WWII they were in - the time jumps are giving me whiplash - but other than that I've really enjoyed learning more about his life, though I assume they've amped up Mileva into a bigger bitch than Hitler.

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Not a bad finale, although I haven't seen all the episodes.  

Since they're making this into an actual series, any word on season 2?

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44 minutes ago, Amethyst said:

Since they're making this into an actual series, any word on season 2?

Well, it probably won't be about Einstein.....   Actually, the fact that this has been referred to as Season 1 has thrown me off for some time, especially once I saw that the season finale would go up to Einstein's final years at Princeton.  But now I'm assuming that it's intentionally been titled the generic Genius rather than specifically Einstein and someone else will be the focus of season 2.

The time shifts in this episode were as bad as they were in episode one.  In particular, the scene in the morgue and then Hans trying to get back his father's brain was edited in with no sense of story that I can figure out.  It's '9 years later' for 2 scenes and then back to '8 years earlier'.

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6 hours ago, Quilt Fairy said:

Well, it probably won't be about Einstein.....   Actually, the fact that this has been referred to as Season 1 has thrown me off for some time, especially once I saw that the season finale would go up to Einstein's final years at Princeton.  But now I'm assuming that it's intentionally been titled the generic Genius rather than specifically Einstein and someone else will be the focus of season 2.

This was announced as an anthology series, so each season will be about a different genius.  NatGeo said they will announce the topic of the second season sometime after this season finale, so when that happens we can create an anticipation thread.

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4 hours ago, Drogo said:

This was announced as an anthology series, so each season will be about a different genius.  NatGeo said they will announce the topic of the second season sometime after this season finale, so when that happens we can create an anticipation thread.

Oh, that's excellent - I didn't know it would be done like that. Would love to see them do Nikolai Tesla, for one, and maybe Edison. And Isaac Newton!

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I really enjoyed this.  Yes, some editing issues, but overall, very well done.

It was a bit disconcerting how they suddenly aged the actors in episode 8.  I think Geoffrey Rush is a very good actor and I've enjoyed watching him in so many movies.  However, despite his uncanny resemblance to the older Einstein, Johnny Flynn was the real star of the show.  What a talent he is!  I really wish they had left JF in the role and aged him appropriately with makeup.

I wonder if Einstein really did consider Mileva to be the love of his life?

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On 6/8/2017 at 9:25 AM, Drogo said:

Dr. Philipp Lenard.

When we first met him as Mileva's professor, I knew he'd become an antagonist because

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 he was Roose Bolton aka The Worst on Game of Thrones. 

The actor just has a wicked presence.

Spoiler

But his son was much, much worse

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