In the past year I’ve gotten super into all things David Attenborough. The man is a living treasure and the moving pictures he talks over are quite nice. Last year saw the issuance of a sequel to Planet Earth, a classic weedsmoke-and-gaze show from my college years. Planet Earth II was incredible. Better than the first, if such a thing is possible. Incredible shots, incredibly stories and incredible animals. Even the music was perfect: Hans Zimmer did the score and rather than being in any way off-putting or just unnecessary, as one might assume, it was just perfect. Absolutely perfect. And now Blue Planet II is here a year later.
The first episode was incredible. I once read a review that asserted the best nature shows are a perfect balance between nature battles and cute cuddly critters. I was a little worried, going in, that BP2 wouldn’t have enough of the latter, but they’ve managed to assuage that fear so far: a few scenes focusing on cute otters and the harrowing tribulations of a walrus mother fighting to stay alive in our increasingly de-iced poles scratched that cuteness itch plenty. And of course, there were still nice scenes of fish eating birds and whales eating fish and so on to satisfy the bloodthirsty side of the show.
One thing I’ve always felt the BBC Nature stuff didn’t play up enough was our impact on the global climate. Perhaps it’s not always the place to focus on it–BBC Nature is for animal life, after all, regardless of if there is less of it than ever. But if I were forced to muster a criticism, it’d be that: not enough attention paid to our deleterious effects on nature. I’m hoping BP2 goes a bit more into it, and so far it seems it might: the aforementioned walrus mother was a touching segment, the cause of which was impossible not to lay right at our own society’s feet. It was similar to the memorably tragic (in all senses) fate of the polar bear in Planet Earth.
Anyway. Blue Planet II is here, and if you needed my recommendation to go watch it, here it is: go watch it.