It’s an old adage that everything is connected, and the new show “Connected” on Netflix aims to really tackle just how connected everything really is.
The show, hosted by journalist Latif Nasser, features Nasser investigating the connections in broad topics to things in everyday life. These topics from something as wide reaching as “surveillance” or as menial as “dust.” The docuseries currently has six episodes, each around 40 minutes.
Firstly, the show is very colloquial. That is to say that it’s very approachable for non-technical people to understand. Rather than go into great detail on topics, Nasser decides to let experts do the talking so that viewers get the information direct from the horse’s mouth. He presents information much like a typical journalist with little to no spin or editorializing. When working outside of the journalistic sphere, Nasser tells a joke here and there.
In the episodes, Nasser is able to take viewers over a logical progression of ideas. In the first episode, he tackles “surveillance,” but not widespread government surveillance like one might expect. He starts by talking to an ornithologist working with a rare bird called the “veery” that appears to watch the weather to an extreme degree that their migration patterns can be used to predict hurricane season better than meteorologists. Then, he relates it to another animal: pigs. He goes to a farm in Scotland where they are studying the facial expressions of pigs via computer software. He quickly transitions to talking about the technology’s origins as a CIA facial recognition program going all the way back to the 60s. Nasser does this quick succession kind of masterfully and the rest of the episodes follow this natural transition format.
One shouldn’t be scared by all the connections made. It’s very easy to watch a show like “Connected” and be overwhelmed by all the crazy, interesting connections between seemingly unrelated things. Not all of the connections made within the show are direct links, merely juxtaposed sets of information. If one finds themselves obsessing over the endless connections between topics, they might be suffering from the phenomenon called apophenia, or the obsession between connections of unrelated things.
The show can be quite refreshing for those of us suffering from social isolation due to social distancing, as the show clearly shows direct interaction between Nasser and subjects of the show. The jovial nature between Nasser and his guests makes anyone feel at home even when discussing tough topics. Nasser’s comical nature and particularly quirky voice and mannerisms make the viewer more comfortable going along with him and guests on the information ride.
Ultimately, “Connected” is a docuseries that one can put on to learn something new about the world, and something that one may not have known. This could even be something near you that you didn’t even know there was a wide-reaching connection to other topics about. The world’s spooky connections are valuable for everyone to know. “Connected” receives a B-plus rating.