Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates (Netflix)
I can't be the only one who saw the title of Netflix's new documentary series about Bill Gates and immediately thought of The Magic School Bus. Remember that episode where Miss Frizzle shrunk the bus down to the size of a fly and drove it straight down a kid's throat for a quick tiki tour of his guts? How could you ever forget?
That's how I envisioned Inside Bill's Brain – wandering around the Microsoft founder's neural pathways, looking for what makes him such a clever clogs. Same as watching Rick Stein wandering the cobbled streets of Europe looking for a lovely fish restaurant.
That's not what this is. But, clickbait title disappointment aside, the real Inside Bill's Brain is still pretty good.
The three-episode series begins with a voiceover from film-maker Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth), explaining how "Bill writes code for days without sleep but instead of going to bed, he needs to blow off steam." Cool. During increasingly sped-up footage of a desert road at night, we learn how Gates loves to "[push] the limits of his car … and the law". There's that famous youthful mugshot.
Is this whole series just a vanity project designed to convince us one of the world's biggest nerds is actually rock 'n' roll through and through? Again, no (though I'd definitely watch that). The real motivation behind the documentary seems to be the causes championed by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Put it another way: Bill Gates has tricked us all into watching a documentary series about toilets.
I have seen the tweets. Gates posing with a toilet, the caption saying something like: "Happy International Toilet Day!" I am not too proud to admit that I have laughed at every one of these unintentionally funny tweets.
I shouldn't, of course, because Gates' obsession with toilets is, in fact, extremely admirable. It takes a special kind of person to pursue such a gross and unglamorous - yet hugely important (and actually very interesting) - cause. Along with wife Melinda (also a massive brainiac in her own right), Gates has spent countless hours and millions of dollars searching for solutions to the world's sanitation problems since stepping down as Microsoft CEO in 2008.
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Witnessing the full-hearted intensity with which he is attempting to reinvent the toilet is one way we can get our promised glimpse inside his brain. Another way is by talking to his friends and family, all too willing to dish the dirt on what an enormous nerd he really is.
But the most direct way is probably just to bombard him with hundreds of quickfire questions, which is exactly what Guggenheim does as the pair amble genially through the woods. Favourite food? Hamburger. Favourite animal? Dog. What does he eat for breakfast? Nothing (intermittent fasting, baby).
Every now and then he slips in a Big One. "What is your worst fear?" "Mmm," Bill thinks, the hourglass icon turning behind his eyes.
"I don't want my brain to stop working."