Netflix and Chill – 420 Edition: ‘Planet Earth’

by Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

There are some things that go together perfectly. Bacon and eggs. Simon and Garfunkel. Brad and Angelina. Getting high and watching nature documentaries.

You might think they’re dull; there’s no plot, characters or dialogue. It’s just … nature. How wrong you are. BBC’s “Planet Earth” is no mere nature doc; it’s an 11-episode epic that cost $25 million to produce, took five years to make and involved 71 camera people filming in 61 countries around the world. Narrated by the legendary David Attenborough (you haven’t lived until you’ve heard him intro a species called “Wild Ass” in his refined British accent), the high-definition series captures a larger number of strange, wild, wonderful creatures and habitats than you could possibly encounter in 10 lifetimes. If you enjoy dazzling landscapes, you’re in luck – these episodes will plunge you deep beneath the ocean, into verdant jungle canopies and inside the darkest, craggiest caves in the world, where practically no human beings have ever set foot. Being stoned will only enhance your ability to appreciate beauty and marvel at natural wonders. There’s no computer-generated imagery here – this is just Earth in its rawest, woke-up-like-this form.

There is also drama a-plenty. Attenborough’s narration anthropomorphizes the planet’s birds, mammals and insects so powerfully, it’s impossible not to become invested in their miniature chronicles; the lives of non-humans are filled with just as many terrible choices and desperate bids for survival as our own. It’s possible the scientists behind Attenborough’s voiceovers deliberately enhanced the alleged emotions of these animals, to manipulate audiences and draw them into the story. But who cares? When a fox stuffs as many fluffy yellow chicks into her mouth as she can carry, you’ll tremble with indignation; moments later, when the same fox delivers those chicks to her rambunctious cubs, eagerly awaiting their dinner, you’ll gain a wise and reverent perspective on nature’s brutality. It has a higher purpose, after all. It’s not personal.

Craziest episode: “Caves” (episode 4). These are Planet Earth’s final frontier – hardly any of us are privy to seeing what lies beneath. And believe me, there’s some shit in Caves you can’t unsee, even though you’ll probably want to.

Anya Jaremko-Greenwold

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