I imagine some folks over at Planet Green are seeing red right about now. You would be too if someone suggested your new eco-cable network “embarrasses the Earth.” It’s the first really negative review of Planet Green I’ve seen, and it was penned by Slate television critic Troy Patterson.
The entire review can pretty much be summed up with this: “Planet Green turns the entire Earth into a lifestyle accessory, often to uniquely awful effect.”
Patterson goes on to mention a couple of the shows in more depth, calling Alter Eco with Adrien Grenier the “most inane” and suggesting it “feels designed to provide you with lines to pick up chicks at the farmers market.” He even goes as far as to say that after watching it, he “want[ed] to go out and kill a dolphin.”
Living with Ed, the Ed Begley Jr. show that first aired on HGTV last year, also got some harsh words. But having spoken with Ed myself, I have to disagree with Patterson’s assessment of Begley, and the show, as “phony” — the man is as real as they come.
Patterson ends his review with a concession that some of the home-improvement-type shows are engaging and “Planet Green isn’t always this stupid.” Still, it’s not quite a rousing endorsement when it’s followed by, “until Planet Green quits its annoying mix of condescension and pandering, watching it will be an unforgivable waste of energy.”
I’d love to be able to rebut Patterson’s unfortunate review, but the truth is that I haven’t actually seen any of the shows myself — mostly because I don’t have cable. One staffer who does have basic cable and made plans to watch the premieres found that “available in 50 million homes” means “if you ask your cable provider to get it for you and cough up the extra dough.”
So I guess that means there are probably significantly fewer than 50 million people watching the first-ever 24-hour green network. Which may, according to this review, be a good thing.