Remember how your parents and teachers always told you that television is a waste of time and doesn’t teach you anything? Not true!
My whole life, I have been watching documentaries produced by the Nature channel. Breathtaking footage of hundreds of elephants migrating together, cheetahs running alongside herds of prey, Japanese monkeys warming up together in a hot spring, and countless other incredible sights have come across my television throughout the years, and can now be found on Netflix with at least four stars next to its title.
Within the last year or two, PBS and BBC have released several documentaries on Netflix. Each one of them hones in on a specific animal or group of animals, such as “The Mystery of Eels,” “Meet the Coywolf,” or, one of my favorites, “Honey Badgers: Masters of Mayhem.”
The depth of how Nature looks at each of these animals is astonishing. In another personal favorite of mine, “Snow Monkeys,” Liam Neeson narrates the harrowing journey these monkeys face while traveling through snowy Japan. In this endeavor, they lose their young, lose their way, and break into fights amongst themselves. Senior Lori Umbanhowar agrees that this documentary is worth learning from.
“I got a strong sense of hierarchy and family. I mean, you got emotionally attached to these monkeys, and they aren’t even yours!”
It’s not just Nature, either. There are many other documentaries and television shows that explore amazing things about life and natural phenomenons. There are a few 25 minute movies called Moving Art. Each one is simple: easy-listening music and beautiful cinematography showing the art of natural settings. The different movies are “Forests,” “Deserts,” “Flowers,” and my personal favorite, “Oceans.” Each of these is rated five stars, and rightly so. Although these have no narrative or talking of any kind, they are fascinating in every way. In fact, because it’s just smooth music and artful panning over nature scenes, I would consider it the most relaxing thing on Netflix.
My favorite documentarian, David Attenborough, has multiple shows on Netflix. They’re a little older, but Attenborough has a wonderful ability to present information and miraculous parts of nature. His shows on Netflix include “The Life of Mammals,” “The Life of Birds,” “Wildlife Specials,” and critically acclaimed “Blue Planet.” Each of these contains roughly 40 minute episodes, each focusing with incredible detail on a particular animal or aspect of the subject. Attenborough has an incredible way with words, and something he once said is the ultimate reason for you to spend a little time watching any of the stunning shows I have recommended.
“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”