Earth Day TV

The octopus becomes an Earth Day star

It’s easy to fall for something that’s cute, cuddly and koala-like. An octopus might be a bigger challenge.
Almost 2,000 years ago, Pliny, a Roman commander/philosopher. said: “No animal is more savage.” As recently as 20 years ago, writer Sy Montgomery told the Television Critics Association, people “thought: ‘Aren’t they monsters? Aren’t they gross?’”
They do look odd, but they also have remarkable skills and personalities And now, as researcher Christine Huffard put it: “Octopuses are having a moment.”
There was the fictional Hank in “Finding Dory” and real-life creatures in PBS’ “Octopus: Making Contact” (2019) and the Oscar-winning “My Octopus Teacher” (2020). Next is an Earth Day documentary mini-series from James Cameron. Read more…

Elephants, friendly and feisty, get an epic profile

By now, we might figure we know elephants – big guys, big noses, pleasantly ponderous lives.
But that’s just the start. “Secrets of the Elephants” — 9-11 p.m. Friday and Saturday (April 21-22) on the National Geographic Channel, then on Disney+ – shows that they, like us, vary by location.
“Forest elephants are particularly interesting,” Paula Kahumbu told the Television Critics Association, “because they’ve only recently been discovered as a different species.”
She searches for them in the third hour (9 p.m. Saturday), which falls on Earth Day, part of a cascade of nature shows during the weekend. But finding them isn’t easy. Read more…

Earth Day: A TV overview

(Okay, I’ll admit that Earth Day has now passed, but I’ll keep this story on top for a tad longer. Many of the shows mentioned are availa ble now on Disney+ and its National Geographic hub; also, ABC will be running the “Born Wild” special at 8 p.m. Saturday, April 25. It has some charming moments, especially with the caregiver who temporarily gets to take home a koala cub.)
Last month, Jane Goodall – who will be the star of TV’s Earth Day shows Wednesday (April 22) – received some jolting news: She would be relaxing at home for a while.
“At first, I was frustrated and angry,” she recalled in a videoconference Sunday.
Read more…

It’s (sort of) an Earth Day Film Festival

Let’s think of it as an Earth Day Film Festival.
On Wednesday, our TV’s will be filled with documentaries – some charming (like “Monkey Kingdom,” shown here) and some angry, – about the planet. That’s for the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970.
Here’s a round-up (including mini-reviews) of key documentaries on Wednesday Read more…