I found Carl Sagan's COSMOS series to be absolutely glacier after watching James Burke's CONNECTIONS series. Burke covered so much material that repeated viewings were necessary (and just as enjoyable) to pick up on everything he covered. Sagan, on the other hand had me shouting at the TV, "Get to the (bleep)ing point, Carl!" as I tried to watch him set up a single example about selective genetics that seemed to take 15 minutes or more. I know it was less, but Carl managed to make time crawl, whereas James was a firehose of information in the same time.
I'm hoping Neil deGrasse Tyson will not think he has to dumb it down for the slowest kid in the class.
I like the reverse psychology, particularly works very well with my kid. On the same lines, how often we see Nobel ceremonies/ Field medal awards, Engineering milestone celebrations as compared to VMA, Oscars, Golden globe, and a million other 2-dimensional world awards.
The culture is completely show business, ironically the latest and the greatest marvels are happening right in front our eyes which we do not recognize it in a grand sense. Hopefully this program will steer back to cosmic ownership.
Finally CS was classic, I was too young to understand. I am optimistic with Neil from what he has done on propaganda.
The one enduring image I have of Cosmos was Sagan sitting in a dining hall at Cambridge University, having a very fancy pie delivered, cutting into it, and intoning "If you want to make an apple pie from scratch you have to invent the universe."
Oh yes, and the oft-repeated "Billions and Billions."
Hopefully Tyson will be better able to capture this short attention span generation.
I have Connections 1,2, and 3. I felt he slowed down in the later series (I called it "the Sagan Effect"), possibly feeling he had gone too fast in the earlier series.
I thought his "The Day the Universe Changed" series was excellent as well. Connections dealt with the non-linear development of inventions, TDtUC dealt with our perception of the universe, like the change from Earth centric to heliocentric for the planets. I loved the example he gave of a student saying how dumb people were to believe the sun circled the Earth and the teacher countered with "Imagine what it would have looked like if it had been that way." The point being it would have looked exactly the same. So how we came to sort out reality was important.
Part1: Purposely get the show's name wrong. It's not "Cosmos presented by Neil de Grasse Tyson", it's "well, can't remember, Tyson vs the Universe or something like that?" and let them (mis-)guess it has something to do with Mike Tyson destroying something/someone in a blood bath.
Part2: Once in front of the TV, miss the generic and put them directly in front of the show. "Oh crap! We couldn't hear the introduction. I don't know when we'll get to see the interesting part. Let's just wait for it to come!". Now your kids are paying attention.
Part3: "What? Mike Tyson? No idea. Maybe next week?"