Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nature TV's creature features

In an example of the paranormal slowly inching its way into all areas of pop culture, The New York Times has a nice feature on cable's current obsession with all creatures great, small, cute, deadly and just weird.

The article explores the lesser known species shown on programs like Discovery's Life and Animal Planet's networking block that includes River Monsters, Monsters Inside Me, I Shouldn't Be Alive and especially Weird, True & Freaky - which featured giant versions of squids, pythons and even a lobster (charmingly nicknamed "Lobzilla").

The interesting aspect of this article is perhaps the unstated one - that as viewers' appetites for docu-style reality-TV nature shows grow, the more animals who are mutated, "strange" or borderline cryptozoological animals will get their due on primetime. So maybe the study of actual cryptids won't be too far behind on these channels.

Oh wait, they already do - sort of - on the horror mockumentary series, Lost Tapes.