Monday, March 22, 2010

Discovery “Life” Commercial Laden, Sleep Inducing

Photo from Discovery "Life"
Last night, Discovery premiered an 11-part series called ”Life” which takes a look at the various life forms that inhabit planet earth. It will dedicate an hour to each one of the major life forms (the listing and episode schedule is below). To make sure you didn’t miss the show, Discovery also aired the show on several other channels – I think I saw it on four other cable channels. With such coverage, I was expecting something that would knock my socks off. Maybe I’ve watched too many nature shows in my life, but there were few things that really wowed me. I watched the first hour but admit that sleep began to take over part way through the second. It was as if someone had turned on one of those white noise machines that help lull people to sleep. Consider this show the equivalent of white noise for the eyes.

Part of the problem with the premiere episodes is that the segments seemed to be clumsily connected, making the transitions between each subject matter feel choppy. This is the same issue that, in my opinion, made Discovery’s previous big nature series “Planet Earth” a disjointed show, or a series of interesting vignettes that didn’t seem to make the earth seem like a cohesive, connected planet at all.

The real travesty with “Life” is that it was horribly clogged with commercials. It seemed that the show was nearly 20 minutes of commercials; it may not have really been that much but it certainly felt that way. Maybe that was by design. With the calm voice of Oprah Winfrey as narrator against the backdrop of nature, they needed the blare of a commercial in order to wake up viewers. The frequent commercials only made the show seem choppier. While there were a few scenes that I found interesting – for example the bottlenose dolphins who learned how to corral fish and cause the fish to jump into the dolphin’s waiting mouths – this really is only an average nature show that just happens to be filmed in HD and/or sometimes super slow motion. Nature addicts will probably not want to miss this series, but nature fans and average nature lovers probably would not miss much if they passed on “Life.”

“Life” Episode listing, all times Eastern/Pacific (Check or verify your local listings)

March 21 8PM Challenges of Life
March 21 9PM Reptiles and Amphibians
March 28 8PM Mammals
March 28 9PM Fish
April 4 8PM Birds
April 4 9PM Creatures of the Deep
April 11 8PM Hunters and Hunted
April 11 9PM Insects
April 18 8PM Plants
April 18 9PM Primates
April 18 10PM Making of Life

All Text Content (Recaps, Review, Commentary) © unless otherwise noted

Check out my blog home page for the latest information, at I Like To Watch TV, here.

No comments: