Animal Magnetism

James Parker explains the appeal of shows like It's Me or the Dog and Meerkat Manor.

James Parker explains the appeal of shows like It's Me or the Dog and Meerkat Manor.

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The Beast Within by James Parker

The Atlantic, June 2011

Love the honey-colored Labrador, revile the giant stingray: this is the spectrum of human response to animals, more or less, and wherever along it you care to place your finger, you'll find an Animal Planet show. This network has been thinking about how to televise animals, animal life, the animal kingdom, ever since its launch in 1996. It's a philosophical question, as we shall see.

Jennie Rothenberg Gritz is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where she edits digital features.

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