Showmanship vs. Reality on reality TV wild animal shows.
by Bill Lamar
The abundance of nature oriented television shows is a blessing and a curse. After an auspicious beginning with properly researched and well-filmed documentaries, ratings—largely a function of the preferences of the sofa-set—began to change their direction. One can see the transition from inspired work such as the films by Sir David Attenborough to features that showcase sweating pseudo-Tarzans spewing words like “jungle,” “aggressive,” “survival,” etc. They have devolved into tired depictions of Man vs. Nature that inevitably cast the natural world as something dangerous and in need of conquering…. and, of course, they showcase anything with blood. What was a lofty and necessary pursuit has degenerated into cheap thrills.
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