Absurd Planet

Absurd! Planet. (Screengrab: YouTube)
Absurd! Planet. (Screengrab: YouTube)


A cast of quirky critters and Mother Nature herself narrate this funny science series, which peeks into the lives of Earth's most incredible animals.


Most people love a good nature show - an escape from our manmade world to a simpler one where instinct and survival of the fittest is the name of the game. Usually, these animals are presented in an ethereal manner, narrated by a calming voice of reason and presented with human characteristics to make us feel closer to Mother Nature.

And then you get Absurd! Planet - a nature show that's nothing like that. It harks back to those 90s kids shows where animals throw down cheesy jokes and quirky facts about how weird the world really is. Narrated by Afi Ekulona as a rambunctious Mother Nature, it's a nature show designed for the age of the internet, complete with memes, pop culture references and even a nihilistic mayfly as MC. It utilises the stupid kind of humour that kids would love - poop jokes, bug battles and voices that sound like they escaped from the Animaniacs cartoon show. There's no real rhyme or reason to the short 20-minute format, yet you might find yourself giving out a sudden chuckle with 'camaflooge' and 'bat memes!'.

From the weirdness of sea cucumbers with fish that live in their butts, to the gross mating of slugs, to the absolute savagery of shrikes impaling their food - you can't walk away from the show and not have learned something you might have wished you never knew.

When it comes to the visuals, don't expect BBC or National Geographic-level cinematography though. While there are beautiful scenes of nature's glory here and there, it's a show that was created on a small budget, mashed together by a tired editor with stock footage from all over, including older footage from when we still watched TV in squares. The average person might not notice the mismatch in the footage, but to a person in the know, it will be a jarring process. Especially when you consider this show was originally inspired by a Wired weekly column.

While we all deserve a little escapism into the natural world we haven't seen in a while, it's also pretty obvious what other segments of the audience this show was made for - the ones who enjoy the greener side of life.  One of the recurring animal voices even mirrors this kind of audience perfectly - a slow, soothing lull that takes a long time to say mana...tee. It's become a common past time for stoners to watch nature documentaries while high, and Absurd! Planet is the perfect complement to this kind of activity. You'll even wonder if the writers themselves weren't a bit high creating this show.

We see you, Netflix.

Absurd! Planet is a dumb show - but enjoyable enough for families and when you want to get your kids to watch something more educational yet fun. It's like a YouTube series with a slightly bigger budget, and while these animals are truly strange and wonderful, they will never outdo the true absurdity of humanity.




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