Teen TV Critic

What goes up must come down. And if you're not a science fan, HBO's Isaac Newton special may leave you more down than up.

By Vivian Rose

After the success of its Composers' Specials, HBO is now presenting The Inventors Specials to pique kids' interest in science. The series kicks off with Isaac Newton: A Tale of Two Newtons, which features Issac Newton (Karl Pruner) and his would-be apprentice, Humphrey Newton (Kris Lemche). The intertwining life stories of the two scientists--who are not related, incidentally--is narrated by Humphrey's young son.

This informal approach gives you a view not only of Isaac's many scientific accomplishments, but of his personal life--or lack thereof--as well. Isaac's father died before he was born, and when he was three, his mother remarried and sent Isaac to live with his grandparents. As a child, he preferred experimenting and reading in solitude to playing with other children. After graduating from Cambridge College and becoming a professor, his entire life was science and the pursuit of huge discoveries. His one love interest seems barely more than an acquaintance, and she predictably gives up on him and marries someone else.

Humphrey, however, spends more time daydreaming about his girlfriend, Clara, than taking notes on what Isaac has to say. Friends of Isaac's rival, Robert Hooke, have no trouble deceiving Humphrey to get information about Isaac. Soon enough, they challenge him to prove his theory of gravitation, but the apparently shy and sensitive Isaac is reluctant to publish his theories--he'd rather not be critiqued.

Although it's difficult to critique an educational show like A Tale of Two Newtons, Newton's sorry love life kept me thinking, "Man, this guy needs to get a life!" Though listening to his scientific theories wasn't exactly fascinating, it fit as a background in the educational story and humor is employed so it's not too cut-and-dried. Still, I was left looking for more excitement. (Of course, I don't have a huge interest in science, and people who do will probably be much more intrigued than I was.)

Although the show is worth watching, I have a feeling that I would have enjoyed the Composers' Specials more--a composer would have to have an interesting love life, or he wouldn't have any inspiration to write songs!

Totally Teen TV! is delighted to welcome Vivian Rose as a regular contributor. Best known for her daily film reviews on the popular Teen Movie Critic website, the Winslow, Arkansas native began her career at the age of 9 on a local radio show. Now 15, Vivian has been writing celebrity interviews for the Tampa Tribune for the past three years. She also reviews movies with adult anchor Steve Voorhies on the local CBS affiliate KFSM-TV in Fayetteville-Ft. Smith, Arkansas.

To write Vivian about this site,
contact vivianrose@ipa.net (Vivian Rose)

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