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Night on Earth Review 2020 Tv Show Series Season Cast Crew Online
Stars: Samira Wiley, Beren Saat
The Gist: Wiley speaks in halting fragments over scary footage. “Darkness. Brings danger”: a lioness, glowing in the eye of heat-vision cameras, open-field tackles a wildebeest. “Nocturnal worlds. Full of fear. And wonder”: A glowing scorpion takes a stab at a mouse. “Where life. And death. Is governed by the light. Of the moon”: a lion yawns in profile, a silhouette in the dark.
That’s the introduction to the episode, titled “Moonlit Plains,.” which covers exposed savannas and deserts in the dead of night. First up is the lanky, speedy cheetah, which, Wiley narrates, does one-third of its hunting at night — something researchers only recently learned, thanks to fancy “ultrasensitive cameras” deployed beneath full moonlight. Elsewhere, heat-sensitive cameras capture a pride of lions eyeballing various animals — cubs harass a hippo to no avail, and a mama porcupine jabs a needle in one hungry young lion’s nose. Lesson learned.
In the desert, nature porn: Cactus flowers bloom at night, and bats stick their faces in them, using long tongues to lap the nectar within. Geckos chirp their mating call. Spiders fight over territory. A barn owl swoops down on a desert mole. On the Peruvian coast, fur seal pups endure a rough night, scattering from a hungry, galumphing sea lion, and targeted by vampire bats skittering over the rocks.
The moon waxes. The moon wanes. The moon moons all night, as the moon does. What does it see as it looms over life on Earth? I guess we’ll find out in these six episodes.
Our Take: First of all, I’m looking forward to seeing the most practical application of these revolutionary new nighttime cameras: snuffing out all the Draculas, Babadooks and other sundry shadow-lurking entities reducing our quality of life. You’ll sleep easy knowing the creature drooling beneath your bed is doomed to be exposed as a sad, ugly, nonthreatening fearmonger, just like most Republicans in office rimshot!
As for Scorpion v Mouse: Dawn of Justice — this is easily the most revelatory and gripping sequence in Night on Earth, partly because we learn this particular rodent species is immune to scorpion venom, and not only absorbs sting after sting before making a meal out of the crunchy arachnid, but subsequently rears back its adorable li’l head and howls like a squeaky hinge on an Amityville closet door. DO NOT CROSS THE SCORPION-MURDERING MOUSE, FOR IT WILL UNLEASH HELL.
The disappointing thing is, I had to employ Google to learn that this is the grasshopper mouse native to southwestern America, illustrating how Night on Earth is light on detail and heavy on nifty visuals. The latter things are obviously the emphasis here, although it doesn’t make a lot of sense to trumpet the series’ new scientific discoveries and then not bother to share some basic facts about its subjects. I guess too much brain-thinky stuff might water down all the HYPERBOLIC NARRATION that’s apparently written by people who moonlight as black metal lyricists.
Of course, we’re firing up this stuff to see amazing things far removed from the cute raccoon family I once spotted munching mulberries in the backyard, and it mostly delivers on that expectation. Notably, this debut episode features precisely zero monkeys, but future episodes — which will feature post-dusk excursions into jungles, oceans and frozen climes — promise some footage of frolicking monkeys. For what is a nature doc without frolicking monkeys? Not much!
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