Why Netflix's new science documentary series 'Connected' is near-perfect pandemic viewing

Right this moment, you may not be able to explain how dust connects the Sahara and the Amazon rain forest — and keeps us all alive — but never fear, Latif Nasser will both explain it and entertain you at the same time. 

In the new show “Connected” that premieres on Netflix Aug. 2, Nasser takes the viewer on a fun, educational and at times emotional six-episode journey, to show us how no matter where we live in the world, we are all tied together by the same basic threads of science and nature.

The top-notch storytelling in this series is primed to enthrall almost anyone, from the most avid nature documentary watcher to the casual science enthusiast. Each episode has a single-word theme that leads Nasser on a whirlwind tour of the planet, discussing research on the topic with experts along the way.

What to expect on ‘Connected’ 

It is no surprise the structure and storytelling aspects of the documentary series are top notch: Nasser is the director of research at the popular WNYC podcast Radiolab and holds a doctorate in the history of science. He has seamlessly taken his artful storytelling from radio to screen and even made it better by injecting more of his boundless enthusiasm for exploration.

There is an incredible amount of information packed into each episode, but Nasser keeps it moving along in a thoughtful manner as he jumps from country to country connecting the dots of episodes titled with the subject matter, like “Poop” and “Dust.” Watching him travel the world both illustrates the connected nature of scientific inquiry across society and inspires jealousy, as world travel is a distant memory at the moment.

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Importantly, Nasser doesn’t just focus on the bright spots of science and innovation. He brings in humanity and relevancy, like when he talks with a survivor of the bombing of Hiroshima in the “Nukes” episode and considers the ramifications of privacy-invading technology in “Surveillance.” He strikes a tone that celebrates research and innovation, but also doesn’t shy away from discussing the negative implications of humanity’s greatest discoveries.

“Connected” is a great series to watch on Netflix especially now, because it serves as a vital reminder that the world around us links us all, no matter which patch of dirt we call home.

How to watch ‘Connected’

Streaming on Netflix on Sunday, Aug. 2.

Reach the reporter at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @DrShaena.

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