PBS Digital Studios has helped produce a number of wonderful channels, including the thought-provoking PBS Ideal Channel, the didactic Shanks FX series, and the goofy, fun National Film Society. The studio’s newest partner is taking things in a more stripped-down education direction. The channel is called It’s OK To Be Smart, and it aims to combat ignorance regarding various academic topics.
The first episode begins with host Joe Hanson asking the question, “How successful are we compared to other species?” With the help of some crazy facts and a few videos, Hanson is able to ultimately determine the answer: eh, we’re alright.
The best part of the video is the facts, each one cooler than the one before. Throughout the course of the episode, we learn how all of the krill in the world outweigh all of the humans in the world, how aspen groves are just one big organism, and how there are 3 quadrillion bacteria living in the stomachs of cows alone. I don’t know the next time these facts will come in handy, but they do make me feel smarter.
In a way, It’s OK To Be Smart is a combination of two of PBS’ most distinguished programs: NOVA and Masterpiece Theater. It combines the cool science facts of the former with the classical music intro of the latter. It’s a return to what we expect when we think of PBS, and if you pay attention to It’s OK To Be Smart, it won’t fail to accomplish its educational goal.