July 21, 2003

Most. Pointless. Show. Ever.

The Future is Wild on the Discovery Channel.

Okay, so some programming exec was sitting around mulling over the popularity of the Walking With Dinosaurs and Walking With Prehistoric Beasts shows and thought, "Hey! We need more shows with CGI beasts that don't exist! I know, let's make some shit up and call it evolution! Ratings gold, baby!"

And voila! The Future is Wild. Full disclosure: I only saw the final 15 minutes, so I don't know if they ever explained exactly why we had sent a space probe to earth (my guess: EVIL HUMANS CAUSE GLOBAL WARMING AND DESTROY ALL LIFE AS WE KNOW IT--but that's just a stab in the dark...), but for me the most pressing question was this:

What do the REST of the silver spiders eat, you bozos? See, they spend all this time interviewing "evolutionary biologists" (a.k.a. our Wild Guesses about the future count more 'cause we've got PhD.s) about the fabulous things that could happen if spiders cooperated, and then they set up this elaborate society where all the worker spiders harvest seeds to fatten up the unsuspecting mammals who are then food for the Queen Spider! Dun dun duuuuuuunnnn! So, what are the other spiders eating then? Just curious. This sort of thing drives me nuts. If you're gonna try to draw me in, please pay attention to the details. I do, and now I am going insane wondering what some hypothetical piece of CGI is gonna freakin' EAT 100 million years from now. Dammit.

Sigh. Look, Discovery Channel, I like you. If you want to make some crap up and computer animate it, fine. But can we stop pretending that it's anything other than some guys sitting around going:

"Huh-huh-huh. It would be COOL if octopuses climbed trees."

"Yeah, huh-huh-huh. And, were like, really big and stuff."

"Ooh, with evil poison fangs!"


Okay? I mean, we might watch that anyway, without the veneer of psuedo-scientific accuracy. It's July after all, TV is a wasteland, and we have to wait a whole month before we get to Shark Week--now with new improved footage of an actual shark attack! Which begs the question, what will they do next year? Toss a toddler out with the chum? But I digress...

We nature voyeurs aren't that picky, but what does it say about you and us when regular nature, "red in tooth and claw" is no longer sufficiently interesting?

I think it says it's time to read a book. But that's just me.

Posted by Big Arm Woman at July 21, 2003 11:19 AM

I love that show, but I see it as an entertaining diversion, not "real" science. And I like cool, weird fantasy creatures, 'cos I read (or used to, before it became boring) lots of scifi. At least it's loads better than that show with the obnoxious guy who talks to dead people.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at July 21, 2003 12:20 PM

True enough--and I did watch it, after all. But I'm just irritated that a) they try to make it seem all "scienc-y" by trotting out a couple of guys who say, "Well, it could happen," and that b) I DON'T KNOW HOW THOSE STUPID SPIDERS ARE SUPPOSED TO LIVE!!! AAARRRRGGHH!

I guess the moral here is that Anal Retentive people should not watch futuristic speculative CGI.

Posted by: BAW at July 21, 2003 12:39 PM

I like the historical-ish ones but if nature takes it's course evolution-wise how come the critters don't wind up using guns? ;)

Posted by: JS Allison at July 22, 2003 11:11 AM

I hate the show, too. I show a show on how octopi evolve into a land-dwelling species. I was unaware initially that this is a 'fantasy' show, so I stared at this screen thinking, "I've never even heard of an octopus that can do that...it must be from Australia..."

Stupid fake programs.

Posted by: jkrank at July 23, 2003 07:30 AM

Could be worst. For all we know, we could all be a simulation, running in those spidersí computers, 100 million years in the future. And their Discovery show could be just a sick joke some kid spider is doing in his spider-PDA, while you think you rant and type about it.
The SIMS - simians interactive machine simulation, or something like that.

Posted by: Camilo at July 25, 2003 11:28 AM