Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Meerkat Manor Season 4|
Genres: Special Interests, Television, Educational
In this season of MEERKAT MANOR, the Whiskers are a house divided. Splintered by the bitter rivalry of a powerful pair of sisters, the new families are locked in a struggle for dominance and survival in the Kalahari. Under... more »
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Strong show, but not as strong as seasons past...
Christina Ovalle | 01/24/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"It's fitting that Season 4 (considering how Season 3 ended) sort of rebrands itself as "The Next Generation," because it is really both metaphorically and literally a new start--so that means if you haven't seen previous seasons, you can still follow the action and start here, though I would highly recommend the other seasons. Meerkat Manor is, was, and continues to be a one-of-a-kind show.
This season, the narrator is Stockard Channing, and while she is adequate, I prefer Sean Astin's narration (Seasons 1-3). This season is not as quite as heightened (or frankly, powerful--as Seasons 3 and 2) but it is a strong addition to the canon. On one hand, viewers who felt a little...turned off...by how depressing and difficult it sometimes was to watch previous seasons, can find that the mood is lighter here overall (though darker moments abound.) On the other hand, I found the various episodes uneven--some strong, some weaker--as a whole though, it adds up to a good season. There are both new and familiar faces that come to the forefront: Sophie, Rocket Dog, Wilson, and Maybeline being the most interesting and endearing IMO.
At its best, it's still one of my favorite shows on TV (I watch a variety of shows; this is the only "nature/animal" show I watch.) But for various reasons, the level of connection and involvement I felt was not as strong with these new "stars" than the meerkats of past seasons. It should be kept in mind that it took three seasons to fully bring out the full power and arc of the series and "characters" (meerkats) of the past. I feel like this is more of a first act, than the more exciting second or third act (so to speak) of the story of these meerkats, but it's a good place to start fresh and remains a singular "animal" documentary that rivals the best fiction narratives in terms of its depth, character, plot--it's really amazing what extraordinary "humans" these "animals" can be.
One final note for parents: this show is very tastefully done and fairly reserved compared to other nature/animal shows, but nature can be cruel, so you may want to decide for yourself if it is appropriate for your whole family. If you're curious about the ratings, since the dvd is listed as unrated, the majority of the season was rated TV-G, but the last four episodes they changed the rating to TV-PG.
The DVD versions of the television show are the same content as they air on Animal Planet and digital downloads and are good image/audio transfers to DVD (if you are concerned about that) but not having the direct early release copy of this dvd I can't say for sure what extras if any may be part of the set. Traditionally, it is pretty much just the episodes. Though, it would not surprise me if the informative and fascinating special, "The Science of Meerkats" was included as a bonus feature."
Much better than the movie
Janice | 02/16/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is well worth the money! They are back to a good narator who's precence does not overwhelm the Meerkats (Whoopie Goldberg in the disappointing movie version) I'm looking forward to the next season!!!! JZ"
Love them meerkats
Christine M. Coffin | Westville, NJ USA | 07/08/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I love every episode of meerkat manor but Stockard Channing stinks. The show themselves featuring the meerkats are informing as to the new groups and family members. If you can get by the dol-drum voice of the narration, I found it informative but not as attention getting as the last three seasons. Let us hope season five will be better."