Remember that Netflix show, Explained? Over the course of its lengthy first season, it tried to teach viewers about all sorts of topics ranging from K-Pop to monogamy, and the reasons why diets fail.
Now, the show has returned in a more focused manner with The Mind, Explained. This season is only five episodes long, and goes into the way our minds work to help us and to trick us.
But who narrates The Mind, Explained? Keep reading to find out.
The Mind, Explained explores psychedelics, memory, anxiety, and more.
The premise of The Mind, Explained is to give the average viewer insight into what's happening inside our heads. And the best part about the Netflix series is that it can be watched in absolutely any order.
One of the more fascinating episodes centers around anxiety, the most common mental health disorder. It explains in extremely simple and graspable terms the history of anxiety, how human anxiety comes from our animal instincts, and what exactly happens in the brain at the moment of, say, a panic attack.
More than that, the show uses simple (but not pedantic) illustrations, as well as several experts in the field — from scientists to monks, to stand-up comedians — who offer their own insights, professional, personal, and otherwise to the exploration of the subject matter.
Unlike the original Explained, this spinoff, The Mind, Explained also feels a lot less random. Instead of jumping around from Korean pop music to the Atkins diet, we get to stay in the realm of the brain, which means that everyone can relate to the issues it discusses.
While some of the episodes feel like merely scratching the surface of the topic (we're thinking specifically of the Dreams episode here), others, like Mindfulness, really delve into the subject in a way that feels not only scientifically enlightening, but also actionable as a way to reduce the effects of anxiety.
So, who narrates The Mind, Explained?
While the docuseries makes use of several illustrators and talking-head scientific experts to illustrate the many otherwise vague topics of the mind, they also capture some of Hollywood's best talent (Maria Bamford makes an appearance) to make these lessons more digestible.
The entire series is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Emma Stone, who doesn't have a particularly science-related background. But that notion that she's learning about these big concepts of memory, dreams, and psychedelics along with us make it all the more digestible to the average viewer.
In fact, the Superbad breakout star actually dropped out of high school to focus on her acting, so narrating a science docuseries might offer a refreshing breather to one of the world's highest paid actresses to date (in 2017, she was earning $26 million before taxes).
"It's nuts that my parents agreed to it," she said of her parents letting her leave high school in the ninth grade to pursue an acting career in Los Angeles. "I don't condone it. Everybody should go through high school and graduate," she told The Hollywood Reporter.
And the closest she got to high school science class before The Mind, Explained was probably while preparing for her role as Gwen in Spiderman. "Gwen really likes science, so we learned about science," she shared with MTV at the time. "I was homeschooled, so I never went to chemistry class in a traditional setting like Gwen is into."
The Mind, Explained is kind of like high school science class, if high school science class was actually fascinating and applied to the real world.
Stream all of Season 1's episodes, in whatever order you choose, on Netflix today.