Picks and Pans Review: National Geographic Explorer: Savage Garden
When critics and congressmen deplore TV violence, how come they never mention the National Geographic Explorer series? In Savage Garden, a shrew kills and devours a snake, fire ants mob and dismember a dragonfly and a bat bites off the head of a praying mantis. Host Leslie Nielsen advises viewer discretion, but who on earth takes him seriously?
This hour-long program places the Naked Gun farceur in the role of a gardener who discovers small creatures leading a dog-eat-dog existence amid his backyard plant life. The cinematography enlarges the combatants to screen-filling size, while slowing down their movements so we can keep up with the carnage. Some of the grislier action may turn sensitive stomachs, but Nielsen's narration is disarmingly funny, as clever trick shots make him appear to spy on and interact with the nonhuman cast. Besides, the show's not all violence. We also get to see shrews having sex.
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