Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Meerkat Manor Season 2|
Actor: Meerkat Manor
Director: Not applicable
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational
Triumph and mishap, comedy and tragedy - everything a good story needs, but this one is different, it stars a group of wild meerkats in South Africa. This ground-breaking thirteen part series records the daily lives of a g... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
Those loveable little varmints
Joe Sixpack -- Slipcue.com | ...in Middle America | 04/20/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Season Two of "Meerkat Manor," a 2-disc set issued in April, 2008, brings us back into the orbit of several packs of African meerkats, competing for resources and trying to survive in the harsh, arid climate of the Kalahari Desert.
This is the American version of the show, adapted from the British original with some tinkering and trimming to make it more suitable for the family-oriented Animal Planet cable channel... But the essence of the story remains the same: a band of meerkats, nicknamed the Whiskers and led by a tough matriarch named Flower, battle with two neighboring groups in confrontations that, at first, look comical -- those cute little critters bouncing up and down and bobbing their way across the desert en masse -- but often turns deadly. The Whiskers survive one attack on their nest, with the helpless pups the target of several dozen adult invaders, but when this drama has played out and we begin to empathize with the Whiskers troop, they swiftly turn around and try the same thing themselves, attempting to murder the infants of the other tribe in exactly the same way.
Indeed, this shows the problem with this show: although it is compelling viewing (and hard to pry yourself away from) eventually it becomes clear that none of the animals are really all that sympathetic. Meerkats have a complex social order and survive through cooperative behavior, but the veneer of their civilization is quite thin. There is fierce violence not just against other bands of meerkats, but within each family group as well. No pack members are angels, and the drama soon becomes a neverending narrative of aggression, suffering and dominance. Also, their situation never really changes -- meerkats have lived at a subsistence level in the desert for eons, and the struggles of their lives are cyclical and don't essentially change much at all.
This, of course, raises the question of whether, on some level, the same might be said of humans, whether we too make the same kinds of calculations and errors as meerkats or other animals. The highly detailed study of this group's life gives us a better stick to measure ourselves next to... And perhaps the sympathy we feel for these nervous, often ruthless little critters comes from a more accurate reflection of ourselves than we would care to admit. Season Two of the show shows the formula still going strong -- one wonders what surprises Season Three might hold. (Slipcue film reviews)"
Thank goodness for Sean Astin ...
K. Reynolds | Norfolk, VA USA | 06/18/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"THANK GOODNESS we have the wise and compassionate Sean Astin narrating the adventures of the Whiskers tribe. He gets us through the beauty and increasing brutality of Season Two. When the rains fall on the Kalahari Desert ending a long period of drought, viewers are treated to some of the most gorgeous African landscape - and skyscapes - ever filmed. If ever a TV series was made for a hi-def presentation, "Meerkat Manor" is it.
We are also exposed to moments of incredible tragedy, watching vulnerable Mozart, abandoned by her family and sitting outside the Whisker's burrow. Having just given birth to a litter of pups, she is surrounded by fields of bright, yellow blossoms. She waits for the group to return; it's impossible for her and the babies to survive without them. Yet Astin confirms they will not come back for her. Matriarch Flower still makes the hard decisions to keep her family strong, but they aren't easy. It makes for hard watching, too. As Astin reminds us when tragedy strikes Mozart's pups, "This is nature at its most raw."
Season Two begins on a note of controversy. Millions of viewers tuned in to find out what had happened to the Season One Whisker favorite, Shakespeare, who was left defending pups in the finale. We don't really find out, but chances are good that he gave his life for his little siblings.
Before we even have a chance to digest that news, Season Two is off and scrambling with the Whiskers, a tribe of some 40-odd, foot-long furries defending their two-mile stretch of the Kalahari. The battle for territory between Flower's family and their arch-rivals, the Lazuli, takes an uglier turn when both families are confronted by a new group, The Commandoes. Led by the ugliest one-eyed critter this side of the Pecos (or anywhere else), Hannibal and his equally gruesome mate, Nikita, live up to their "Jaws"-like theme music.
Meanwhile, between foraging, grooming, training adorable pups, house cleaning, sunning, and keeping an eye out for predators - cage cobras and golden eagles - viewers follow a fascinating journey of true life and death. Don't deny yourself the Whisker's amazing story.
- Kay Reynolds, The Virginian-Pilot