Frozen Planet: How can I sleep when there are polar bear cubs and penguins on my TV?

Frozen Planet: How can I sleep when there are polar bear cubs and penguins on my TV?

I had planned on going to bed early on Sunday night.

The polar bears, however, had other plans for me.

While flipping through channels one last time before heading to bed – a truly terrible habit – I happened across a program called "Frozen Planet" on Discovery Channel. I'll give it a shot, I thought. You never know.

An hour later, I still was in polar bear-and-penguin heaven. I didn't even know I was catching the first American-aired episodes of a well-reviewed BBC documentary. All I knew was that there were all sorts of arctic animals frolicking (and eating each other, sure) and I was not going to be changing the channel until the program ended.

I mean, could you turn away from this?

No, no you couldn't. And if you say you could, you're either a liar or a polar bear cub hater, neither of which I invite to parties.

And on top of the amazing footage, the documentary episodes were narrated by none other than TV's best boss – and noted polar bear bow hunter – Jack Donaghy. (Alec Baldwin for you non-"30 Rock" fans.) It's not quite Morgan Freeman, but it's not far off, either. Also, the documentary works so much better if you think of it as being narrated by Jack Donaghy, rather than, say, "The Shadow."

I ended up watching just about the entire first two episodes, "The Ends of the Earth" and "Spring." I plan on watching the next episode when it airs next Sunday at 8 p.m. and the ones after that (also, Sundays at 8 p.m.).

Sure, I could have watched zombies do their thing on "The Walking Dead" or watched more NCAA tournament games or even gone to sleep like I had planned, but in the end I heeded the call of the wild. I'm glad I did.

• Joe Grace is a writer who lives in Chicago with his wife. Write to him at

Filed under: Animals, TV

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