We’re now in the first full week of February. It may be the heart of winter, but there are still plenty of new options dropping on the small screen. But with all the content that’s available in this era of shows, movies, and streaming options, it can be daunting to know what’s worth your time. Don’t worry, this series is here to help. Today, I’m looking at the latest iteration of the Genius series for NatGeo.
Series: Genius: MLK/X
Where to Find It: The first two episodes are available to stream on Disney+ and Hulu. The series airs new episodes Thursdays on NatGeo and stream the following day on Disney+ and Hulu.
What’s It About: This Genius series is now on its fourth season. It’s an anthology series that tackles a different famous individual each season. The first season tackled Albert Einstein, the second Pablo Picasso and the third Aretha Franklin. For this fourth season, we get a dual focus—Martin Luther King, Jr. (Kelvin Harrison) and Malcolm X (Aaron Pierce).
The series kicks off in 1964, on the cusp of the passage of the Civil Rights act. The two leaders meet in public for a photo op, each joking about what it might mean for their work. Quickly, we’re whisked back to the 1930s. This is something of an origin story, showing each of their childhood and how they got to their legendary status.
By the end of the pilot, we’ve reached the point where the main actors—Harrison and Pierce—have taken over the lead roles. The second episode dives more into their story, their personal life, and their work. Each episode of the eight-episode series captures a bit of their story, bringing it to life for audiences in a new way.
You Should Try It If: You’re a fan of history, a fan of docu-series, or have been a fan of the Genius series on NatGeo.
One Man’s Opinion of Genius: MLK/X
I am a fan of history. I’m sure many feel the same. One of the benefits of this expanded era of content is the number of series and options. The Genius anthology series has been a fun way to learn more about important and influential people in our history. Often that’s come with some high-profile actors and good performances.
I enjoy Harrison and Pierce in these roles. The first two episodes did a nice job of setting the foundation for this story, too. Unlike some of the figures that have been a focus of this series, we have seen many explorations of the life of MLK and Malcolm X. Doubtless, offering an eight-episode series will introduce new depths, and the focus seems to be how their work compares and contrasts. Still, some of it feels like territory we’ve seen before.
Despite that, the production is strong. This is a great series for those who want to learn more about history and the fact it’s streaming on two services gives viewers plenty of ways to check it out. If you want to learn more about these leaders, this is a great way to dive into their story.