Saturday, June 23, 2007

Planet Earth

When we were stuck in the hotel room for two months, I saw the advertisements for the BBC series "Planet Earth" at least 147 billion times, but I never managed to see one of the episodes. I think it came on at the same time as What Not To Wear, and I've got my priorities straight.

Anyway, the previews and reviews I saw of the program pretty much made it look like porn for nature-lovers like me. Since I know kids of Liza's age who love some of the kid-oriented documentaries they have at the library (the Eyewitness series seems to be a favorite), I thought she might enjoy it. Well, to tell you the truth, I knew I would enjoy it, and I figured I could use Liza as an excuse to get it for myself.

Then we saw the ad for the DVDs of the series, and the first of five discs was available for the bargain price of only $19.95 plus shipping and handling. Screw that, I thought, and the next time we were at the library I asked when it would be available to check out. Their copies weren't in yet, and I was going to be number 57 in line to rent the 5 copies they ordered. Screw that, I thought, and went to Target and found the complete box set for less than $70.

We had a few minutes to kill tonight when Liza was exhausted but refused to start getting ready for bed, so I popped in the first DVD and picked the show about fresh water, figuring there would be lots of rivers and fish to look at. I wouldn't say it was as big a hit with her as The Bear In The Big Blue House, but she really got into some parts of it, and I didn't have to listen to the "toileteers" song for the 50th time this week.

I think it was the first time in ages that the three of us sat down and all willingly watched something, and all of us enjoyed it. Liza was very impressed by the salmon run, and the bears trying to catch the salmon, and the giant salamanders eating big fish ("Bye fishie! Bye 'nother fishie!"). Jason got nervous when the crocodile showed up at the otter party, but the otters successfully chased him away ("Go 'way, bad guy! Go 'way!"). And he declared it to be time for bed when the crocodiles started to lie in wait for the herd of wildebeest, and I have to say, I think he's probably right that we need to fast forward past that part. No need for the kid to see that much carnage at this age, right?

Meanwhile, I was in heaven. I was raised on a steady diet of PBS nature shows, and I'm still a sucker for beautiful scenery and cute animals viciously attacking each other. I can't wait to watch the rest of the series ... which at the rate we're going, will be in 15-minute increments and will take me the rest of the year to complete. That's okay, though - a little bit of nature porn goes a loooooong way.

I don't know that I'd recommend the set for everyone - it costs an arm and a leg, after all - but I know I can't wait to see more of it.


Anonymous said...

For those of us who have sunken into the depths of Netflix, the series is also available there. Based on your recommendation, it is now in our que.

Anonymous said...

We have received the first disk of Planet Earth from Netflix. It is amazing!

Thank you for the recommendation.