Child Genius

Tue Jun 11, 9-10pm, C4

Alan Partridge once memorably threatened to throw fictional child prodigy Simon Fisher into a disused canal. And at first, you could probably be forgiven for wishing a similar fate on some of the young scamps in this documentary series. But give it time and you’ll understand that their freaky intelligence is as much curse as blessing. Much of what we learn from this opening film, we learn from the parents. In fact, it could be argued that they’re probably the real subjects.

And they face a tricky call. Should parents with precocious kids seek to normalise their offspring? Or should they stretch their potential, however alienating it becomes? Many of the parents we meet here are struggling to find the right balance and it makes for uncomfortable if guiltily hilarious viewing.


Jonathan Barber

Re-Child Genius: I found nothing hilarious in what amounted to child abuse from Tiger parents in a number of the children on whom this documentary focused.