So I have kind of posted bits and pieces here and there in comments, but I just want to say for the record:
Cosmos Ep 1 was basically what I expected it to be. Which is to say, I was just a little sad.
1. Too many commercials. Seriously, it had FIVE commercial breaks? I kind of held out hope that Fox would air something like this without breaks, but whatevs.
2. All the parts I hated I hated were in the first little bit, which kind of set me off. The first was the cold open. "We are going to take you on an AMAZING, and INSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY THROUGH ALL SHIT THAT IS AWESOME AND STUFF." Dude, don't tell me you are going to do it for 3 minutes, just get started and ACTUALLY DO IT.
3. (other part I hated) The "Empire Strikes Back" visual of the asteroid and Kuiper belt I want to see Neil justify. Sure it is hard to visualize, but you show thousands of rocks and then you zoom out real fast placing them in their orbits. Also, the "explodey" Big Bang bothered me. Not the texture of it so much, but that that there were flares coming off of it like it was an explosion. Once these bits were over, through...
It was generally pretty gripping, Cosmos writ large is poetry, not a NOVA special. I felt like it tripped over itself not to offend the fundies, but the AJC today declared it a full frontal assault on all things Jesus, so I guess they didn't see it the same way I did.
4. The Cosmic Calendar was a borrow from Sagan, but it felt much more rushed than his, and I think a little bit of discussion about the period between early star formation and the formation of the solar system was warranted.
5. I loved the animation. Somehow it was both better and worse than Sagan's CGI walkthroughs of history (like the Library at Alexandria). But I was a little bothered by the bold assertions that nobody believed the Earth moved 600 years ago, particularly since Sagan pointed out the Egyptians weren't sure about that in the original.
I look forward to the rest of the series. Srsly, Neil is Lando+Sagan in epic awesome, and I hope we see more interesting on-site with him. They obviously paid to fly him to interesting places, then they set up a tight shot around a tree or some tall grass. But more importantly, it needs to either commit to Sagan's poetry, or Tyson's frenetic energy. You can't really split the difference.
Finally, this absolves Brannon Braga of NOTHING.