31 March 2011

Soothing nature/animal documentaries

I'm going to rant for a bit, so please carry on if you don't want to hear me frothing at the mouth about stuff that, in the grand scheme of things, isn't that important to anyone else.

You know what I miss? Good documentaries about animals. I'm talking those ones with a soothing voiced person telling us really cool facts about animals in their natural habitat. When Animal Planet (a TV station in the USA) came out, I spent almost the full first day watching those awesome documentaries. It was so cool. I would catch every episode of Nature that I could on PBS. I would watch them obsessively.

This goes double for Food Network. I remember a time when there were back-to-back cooking shows. Not with someone with any particular "celebrity" or "personality". Instead, it was people who would stand there, and teach you how to make food, and how to make it well. No gimmicks, no product lines, no nothing. Just good, honest shows.

Then, over time, Food Network stopped playing cooking shows, and started playing stuff that only vaguely had to do with food. Chefs on the network became celebrities in their own right, and were more interested in forwarding their gimmick than telling you anything about cooking. And then we got Sandra Lee.

This is what's happening to the documentaries too. National Geographic used to be at the forefront of excellent documentaries about animals and nature. Now? They're doing some crap about "Gorilla Murderers" and other such rubbish, where half the bloody thing is interviews with idiotic locals. It's sensationalised rot.

I want, nay, demand, the documentaries of my youth, and I don't think I'm the only one.

This is like when MTV stopped playing music videos. So then they made MTV2. Which also stopped playing music videos. And then the FOOD FREAKING NETWORK stopped playing real cooking shows, in favour of garbage. So then they come out with the Cooking Channel.

Which promptly starts playing the same old crap.

Now I remember why I cancelled the cable TV. Netflix gets me there.