By Karina Kinik
Discovery Channel; Plants airs October 17 at 7 p.m., Creatures of the Deep at 8 p.m., Insects at 9 p.m., and Primates at 10 p.m. (find more information on episodes here or buy the series here; also available on Netflix)
Ages 6 and up
OK, maybe Life isn't technically a reality show because the focus isn't on everyday people (or, actually, people at all), but what could be more thrilling — or real — than watching all manner of creatures and creepy-crawlies in high-definition glory? And learning about their struggle for survival from none other than narrator Oprah Winfrey? A follow-up to BBC's popular Planet Earth series, this 11-part program looks at all groups of animal (and some plant) life on all seven continents in breathtaking detail. Ever seen a Darwin beetle toss rival males — and even his sweetheart — from tree branches with the power of a professional wrestler? Or a school of flying fish soar through the air with the grace of ballet dancers? Didn't think so.
Frankly, this is one of few reality programs that will appeal to younger kids because of the striking visuals and easy-to-follow narrative. That said, as seen near the end of the aforementioned beetle and flying fish clips, episodes don't shy away from depicting animals, ahem, doin' what comes naturally: hunting prey and mating. If you’re worried that either will upset your squeamish children, definitely skip the Hunters and Hunted episode and be prepared to fast-forward through amorous interludes.
Bottom line: An eye-opening natural history series for animal lovers of (almost) any age.
Next: Great Migrations »
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