I was actually starting to wonder when all of the ‘zippity-do-da’ reviews of Discovery’s Planet Green would include one of scathing disgust. There was no way, I assured myself, that such a 24-hour network of green goodness could bypass some TV critic with an ax to grind over the whole environmental movement. Thankfully, Troy Patterson of Slate did not let me down. Here are some highlights
Troy’s feelings on environmental-stewardship:
“Concern for the environment is, among other things, an upper-middle-class privilege and a status marker.”
On Adrian Grenier’s Alter-Eco:
“It’s impossible to say whether the show’s smug superiority is more grating than its anorexic thinness of content, but seeing them in combination may fill you with a kind of retributive rage. I for one want to go out and kill a dolphin.”
On Ed Begley Jr.’s Living With Ed:
“Living With Ed is clearly the most phony and least enlightening show yet devised about the home lives of celebrities, and I include Keeping Up With the Kardashians in that count.”
On how he starts his last paragraph:
“To be fair, Planet Green isn’t always this stupid. What could be? “
Wow, Troy, you’ve really sold it with the whole ‘fair and balanced’ angle — which is probably what you were thinking when you titled the piece, “The Dreadful Planet Green Network”. Your take on the environmental movement as something only accessible or solely existing as a “status marker” to upper-middle-class citizens further adds ill repute to any objective journalism you might bring to the table. Do you really believe that kids can do better to watch Keeping Up With the Kardashians than Living With Ed? I would really, really love to hear that argument. Have you seen the April episode with the following synopsis?
“After Kim purchases a Bentley, jealousy ensues as the girls fight over petty grievances. Kris gets drunk and gets a tattoo. Bruce begins showing symptoms of a mid-life crisis.”
Get real. Planet Green has some growing to do with its content, but it’s by no means the “unforgivable waste of energy” you insist it is. I’m happy to see programming that inspires people to think about their impact on the world, its resources, and the ways we can all live more sustainably. If you want to cozy up with the Kardashians and curse people driving hybrids and recycling, go ahead. Just don’t bitch and claim you’re going to “kill a dolphin” when the rest of us have moved on and are interested in something else.