Saturday, August 26, 2006

Meerkat Manor

In a continuing series to help you watch television, and expose everyone to shows not normally seen, it's Meerkat Manor on Animal Planet. The new episodes air on Friday at 8:00 p.m. but that is irrelevant. Most of the shows are the same.
As part of a university study (who funds these guys and why do they do it?) cameras were set up to do a long term study of meerkats. A meerkat, for those of the more Disneyfied, is the animal in The Lion King known as Timon. If the meerkats in the Manor were as entertaining as Timon, then the show would be infinitely more watchable. They are mostly assigned names of classical composers like Beethoven, but they basically all look and act the same. The show is pitched as a reality show with real meerkats, but it is boring beyond belief.
If you can catch an episode where the meerkats fight another group for dominance, then, my friend, you have seen the best of Meerkat Manor. The late Marlon Perkins would have turned it into one very interesting episode of Wild Kingdom. The less than brilliant programming geniuses at Animal Planet turned it into a series. One that is boring at best.

On my 1-10 scale, I give it a very charitable 3.

Maybe I should explain my rating scale.

10--a prime show. The Sopranos or 24 would rate a 10.
9-- definately worth watching. Think South Park or Seinfeld re-runs. Not as funny as the first time, but still great TV fare.
8-- Pretty darn good stuff. If you can't be home, you'd consider setting up the VCR. Some solid 8's would be Earl, or Everybody Hates Chris.
7-- Not quite good enough to tape. But you can look forward to watching. The Office is the first show that comes to mind as a 7.
6-- Now we get into the shows that are ok, but only a first choice if other shows are re-runs. You won't mind watching a 6 at a different time. Britcoms are 6's.
5-- Think of a movie you liked, but have seen a dozen times or more. You'd choose the movie over the program, then the program is a 5. Mash and almost everything on TVLAND has become a 5.
4-- Crappy show, but with some redeeming quality, like it features hot chicks. Any show with Pam Anderson would be a 4.
3-- Only worth watching if the only alternative is infommercials. Fishing shows are 3.
2-- About the same as a good infommercial. QVC is a 2.
1-- Infommercials, unless they are The Knife Collector Show. They sell swords!