Wednesday, February 6, 2013

"See Why We Call Them ANIMALS!" - The 1992 "Trials of Life" TV Ad!

Frequent readers probably wouldn't have to be told about this, but just in case, you all need to be watching the three part "Attenborough's Life Stories" miniseries on "Nature". Your PBS station may vary, but the final episode should be airing tonight, with the previous episodes being rerun through the beginning of this month.

As we all know, anything Sir David Attenborough is involved in will probably be very good, but this series has been particularly fascinating since it focuses on the man himself and his career. Science and technology have changed very dramatically in the past sixty years, and Attenborough has been around to see many of these changes firsthand. The first episode is particularly good, as Attenborough explains how new photography techniques essentially changed his entire career.

Indeed, this is such a lovely, poignant series centered on such a wonderful, sweet person, that this advertisement from the early 1990's comes across as even more batsh*t insane than it did the first time I saw it:

Okay. So the old (and, honestly, tired) joke about the 90's is that they were the X-TREEEEEM Decade. Everything was Darker and Edgier (tm), as well as raunchier, more violent, and too hot for TV. I tend to protest this (the 90's was also the decade of Beanie Babies, Barney and Friends, everyone suddenly being into angels, and "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" for cryin' out loud) but things like this make it hard.

I remember seeing this ad very often during TNT's reruns of "The Muppet Show" and classic cartoons. You can imagine the confused look on my face when I finally got the chance to watch the series years later (the late, lamented chain Buck-A-Book had some of the videos on sale). Really, the only segment in the series that fits the histrionic ad is the footage of chimpanzees hunting -- and evidently that's "safe" enough to show on the PBS series now.  Yeah.


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1 comment:

Albertonykus said...

That ad is just... wow. Even good old classic Attenborough shows aren't safe from the sensationalist marketing we bemoan over paleo "documentaries".

Speaking of new Attenborough docs, Africa is quite good. (Obligatory grumbling about narration changes in US version.)