TV Review: National Geographic’s “Limitless with Chris Hemsworth” on Disney+

The latest National Geographic signature program to come to Disney+ is Limitless with Chris Hemsworth. The show, created by Darren Aronofsky, pushes Chris as he pushes his limits to try and extend the length and quality of his life. Whether it is shocking his system by participating in an arctic swim or going on an extended fast, Chris is willing to go through some short-term pain to get some very long-term gains.

One of the things that should be appreciated about Nat Geo shows that feature a celebrity is that they don’t just rely on star power but instead focus on the actual science and experts in the field. They not only explain what we know but also what scientists are currently researching that may have an impact on longevity. Through their conversations with Chris, and some handy animation, we learn about the theories behind the techniques that may let people live longer with a higher quality of life.

As the disclaimer says, the activities Chris undertakes should not be undertaken without expert supervision. And I can’t imagine most viewers view the extremes Chris Hemsworth faces to be attainable. But by pushing to extremes, he is able to illustrate how a more moderate approach could still be effective. This results in a bifurcated show that balances beauty with useful knowledge. Part of the show features beautiful National Geographic photography along with an often shirtless Hemsworth pushing himself to the limit, but it also features more intimate and illustrated discussion of science while also providing more moderate tips you could use in your daily life.

As is befitting a National Geographic, the series takes the concepts beyond the celebrity and into communities that practice some extreme behaviors in their own communities and cultures. These moments add a lot of texture to the series that appropriately expands the concepts beyond Chris Hemsworth. It also gives insights to those that practice these techniques as part of their daily life.

Getting back to the series star, it is sometimes hard to not be envious of his physical fortitude and that he has the professional freedom to push himself in ways most viewers wouldn’t physically be able to do. I mean, he is famous for portraying a god. Beyond the physical, Chris can take the time to undertake these feats, for example, I wouldn’t recommend a four-day fast for anyone that has to work with a clear head. But despite his strength, Chris is able to show the toll of these feats which makes me happy that he is doing them instead of me. In fact, the impact these concepts have on someone like Chris drives home how they push the boundaries of human capacity.

Limitless is another example of the value National Geographic brings to Disney+. Between the high profile fantasy of Star Wars and Marvel, Nat Geo shows us the extraordinary adventures that can happen in the real world. All six episodes of Limitless with Chris Hemsworth stream November 16.

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