I love nature shows. And I always root for the predator. When “nature must take its course” and something eats another thing, I get so happy and excited.
Why do I identify with the lion and not with the gazelle? What does that say about me? Who do you identify with? Do you feel a sense of relief when the mouse gets away to live another day, or do you feel disappointment that you don’t get to see the hawk with something to feed her babies?
This was one of my first nature shows, Wild, Wild World of Animals. It had, and still has some of the best intro and exit music ever. I used to be riveted to this and Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom. This show was better, though. Higher paced, more action. When the big-horned ram boldly stared you right in the face at the beginning, you knew you were in for some wild animals, doing what they do best: being wild! Wild Kingdom was too safe. Made for old folks with pacemakers. You knew the chimp was always going to be okay in the end.
I got a special snack at the store once a week: Planter’s cheese puff balls. They came in a can to keep them fresh. I would save my snack for my show (later, my show was Star Trek: the Next Generation. Why, I have no idea. I never really enjoyed it for the couple of years I watched it. No, I know: I would watch any fucking thing that was on the ghost aquarium. Anything with flashing lights and some semblance of plot and I was there, including Small Wonder, Out of this World, Who’s the Boss, Silver Spoons, and 227). My brother would eat his snack as soon as he got his and would beg me to share, but I wouldn’t. The Prophet Curtis Blow teaches us those are the breaks, Brother Judge. Those are the breaks for having no self control, and for gloating with your delicious snack in front of me when Moms came how from the store with all that food. I would gloat, too. Hey, as a little sister, I took my power wherever I could get it.
The narrator was the Fat Man from Jake and the Fat Man. My brother likes to mention that, so I’ll mention that for him, since he isn’t here right now.
Opening: taking you into the far-out world of wild animals. Otherworldly, bizarre. They don’t play by your rules, man.
Closing: jungle bachelor pad music. Yeah, that’s a little weird, admittedly. Weirdly fresh!