Cosmos: Possible Worlds

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
Cosmos: Possible Worlds TV Poster Image
Visually stunning existential explorations dig deep.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

We think this TV show stands out for:

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

Reinforces idea that scientific exploration and method is necessary for human progress. Themes include conflicts between early scientists and scientific theories and various faiths and governments. Series inspires awe for our spiritual and scientific world. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Neil deGrasse Tyson dramatically approaches the subject matter from a scientific and historical point of view, but he breaks it down so even young viewers can understand the concepts more easily. 

Violence

Contains discussions about end of the planet, how the universe destroys and rebuilds. Visuals also feature explosions and other major natural and cosmic events. Violent acts committed against people are briefly mentioned, and on occasion shown in animated form, but without blood or gore. 

Sex
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Cosmos: Possible Worlds is a spin-off of 2014's Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey -- itself an updated take on Carl Sagan's landmark 1980 TV series Cosmos -- that explores potential future scientific discoveries based on current research-based theories and explanations. Like its sister series, it has lots of brilliant visual effects, ranging from cosmic explosions to prehistoric (and potentially new) species of animals, and host Neil deGrasse Tyson explains things in understandable ways. Younger viewers may find narratives about the destruction of the planet, documented religious and political obstacles to scientific inquiry, and other heavy topics potentially unsettling. Violent acts against people are occasionally shown in animated form (without blood or gore). All of this is offered within an educational context and underscores the valuable role of scientific exploration and discovery in helping humanity progress. 

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byCosmic Roamer April 26, 2020

Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors

My only criticism of this otherwise excellent episode: It starts of quite rightly emphasizing that the hominids' ability to "tame fire" sets our... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byMovieGoer08 July 19, 2020

This is a great show all around

I don't have much to say about this. I really love this show, because it's informative and fun. It's a bit much for anyone under 8, but that... Continue reading

What's the story?

COSMOS: POSSIBLE WORLDS explores what humanity's future can potentially look like if we focus on scientific exploration and progress. Host Neil deGrasse Tyson travels in his "Ship of the Imagination" and guides viewers through visually dramatic voyages while breaking down the scientific revelations that point to lost worlds, undiscovered habitats, and cosmic wonders yet to be formed. It highlights how this works and how current technology is being used to help us find future answers to human-created problems, like climate change.

Cosmos: Possible Worlds also looks at the work of early scientists and references some of the documented obstacles they faced over centuries to continue their work. These include backlash from those who reject the theory of evolution and the existence of heliocentric (sun-centered) systems, as well as political pressures from skeptical governments. Throughout it all, it reminds us what wonderful things can be discovered if we remain curious, and how science can be used to find solutions, rather than to simply identify problems. Other people involved or starring in the series include Seth McFarlane (who is also co-executive producer), Viggo MortensenPatrick Stewart, Judd Hirsch, and Sasha Sagan (the daughter of Carl Sagan and co-executve producer Ann Druyan). 

Is it any good?

This inspiring installment of the Cosmos franchise offers a mesmerizing viewing experience as it reveals what current scientific exploration is telling us about the potential wonders our future may hold. It contextualizes these conversations by offering some interesting history behind what is happening in the universe, and it identifies scientists who studied phenomena in hopes of helping humanity propel itself forward. The role of technology is also highlighted. Cosmos: Possible Worlds is as beautiful as it is interesting and is an important testament to the power of imagination and scientific exploration to keep humanity moving forward. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the reasons why Cosmos: Possible Worlds promotes things like curiosity, imagination, and perseverance. How do these skills help us become better humans and move forward with our lives?

  • How does history teach us about science and scientific discovery? Are the historical accounts covered in this series told from a specific point of view? Which one(s)?

  • Throughout history, many scientists were challenged by faith-based and political institutions, economic circumstances, and other obstacles when pursuing their lines of inquiry. Why? Does this still happen today? 

TV details

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