Ok, a lot of you know that I watch a ton of random Discovery/Animal Planet production TV shows.
I’ve watched all of the first season of Whale Wars, African Expedition, Extreme & Deadly, Planet Earth, Deadliest Catch, River Monsters, Top 10, and numerous other random shows to count.
So it wasn’t out of the ordinary for me to flip on Animal Planet this morning, and low and behold, a few episodes of Meerkat Manor were playing.
I was fully expecting this show to be some PG version of a Zoo-show or animal family-type show…Especially given that the show is on Animal Planet! I mean seriously, this show is pretty much all geared towards children and young adults.
Very few of my older friends and/or their parents have ever watched or even heard of Meerkat Manor. The only time they ever even watch these type of series is, you guessed it, when they come over to my house to hang-out or visit.
So anyways, this show is basically centered on a couple different rival factions of Meerkats, basically small rodent-like animals that live out in the middle of the African plains. They are kinda cute, striped and they make these weird noises that their pack can understand to mean either danger, food or following orders.
As the show progressed, it increasingly became apparent that this wasn’t going to be your average animal show. There are a bunch of reasons why I don’t think really young children to see this but I’ll just list a couple that really were kind of stunning.
1. Cannibalism: WTF. I think it really just speaks for itself. Basically the gist of it was that the Whiskers family of Meerkats has a dominant female. Another female was trying to become the dominant female and had a litter of babies.While she was out feeding the day after giving birth to her litter, the current dominant female decided to sneak home while everyone was away and eat all the babies.
The only thing left of the litter, which the mother found while crying out for help for hours, was a single long shredded baby Meerkat paw.
2. Rape: Ok, there is a very large amount of rape that occurs in the rest of the animal kingdom. That’s a give-in. However, how many tv shows do you know, especially geared towards children’s curiosity, that show long clips of lone animals trekking the vast plains in order to sneak up and rape female members of another Meerkat family?
I mean really. I could see this on HBO one day.
3. Death in general: Death, Death and more death. Animals being killed, animals being eaten, babies dying, babies being eaten, Infection & disease-related death are just a few of the different things I saw, in HD no less, over the course of just 3 episodes.
I know that death is a natural part of the circle of life, I also know that people in general have been desensitized to death as whole in our society.
Either way, I guarantee that some kid that happens upon this show, complete with a cute theme song and catchy name, will be crying to his parents about why Mozart the female Meerkat just had her babies eaten by a member of her own family.