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When was the last time nature made your jaw drop?
That's the effect watching "Planet Earth" has on me. Whether I'm seeing a bird perform a hilarious mating ritual, a massive shark leap above the water or a swarm of cicadas absolutely ravage a forest, I sit there with my jaw hanging open.
In a good way. This BBC series is a salve, a much-needed mental break from the stresses of everyday life and a reminder of the wonders of our little blue marble.
Got a Netflix subscription? You can watch it right now. But if you don't, and/or you'd rather own it, you can get "Planet Earth" Season 1 (HD) for $9.99 from Amazon or iTunes. It normally sells for $31.99.
Also on sale: unofficial sequels "Life" (Amazon|iTunes) and "Frozen Planet" (Amazon|iTunes), again for $9.99 apiece. I haven't seen the latter, but "Life" is just as jaw-dropping as "Planet Earth," if not more so. (By the way, the even-more-dazzling "Planet Earth II" is currently airing on BBC America, so DVR that baby!)
I realize nature documentaries may sound a little boring, but trust me when I say this is some stellar viewing. It's especially great to watch with the family, though there are occasional scenes of animal-on-animal violence that might be upsetting to younger viewers. (The aforementioned shark? His great leap culminates in the demise of a seal.) Circle of life, yo.
And, truly, I think sometimes we need a break from the usual TV diet of people behaving badly. This is a feast for not only the eyes, but also the mind. Highly, highly recommended.
Bonus deal: Speaking of television, do you need a DVR that can record over-the-air broadcasts? One that won't hit you up with monthly fees? For a limited time, Amazon has the Tivo Roamio OTA 1TB DVR with lifetime service for $305.40. Yeah, still pricey, but look at the other options. A Channel Master DVR+, for example, costs $349 and doesn't even come with Wi-Fi (it's $30 extra). The Roamio has a vastly superior interface, records up to four shows at once (versus two on the DVR+) and integrates with a lot more services (Amazon Prime, Netflix, etc.). The only thing you need to provide is an antenna.