Just bought a Black Friday OLED TV? Here’s the one Netflix show you need to watch first

Life on Our Planet
(Image credit: Netflix)

If you love tech half as much as me, you probably splurged waaaay too much on Black Friday. Hey, I’ll never judge. And if you happened to treat yourself to one of the best OLED TVs, may I offer you hearty congratulations. You’re officially the proud owner of a product you’ll never regret buying. 

Now let me recommend the one show you absolutely must watch on said shiny new display first. 

Let me cut to the chase: your eyeballs need to witness Life on Our Planet on Netflix. It’s astonishing viewing, for multiple reasons. For one thing, it gets the old Jurassic Park ILM band back together, who predictably create exactly the sort of electrifying results you’d expect from the pioneers behind circa-1993 CGI. 

Life on Our Planet is an astonishingly good nature documentary"

Life on Our Planet is also just an astonishingly good nature documentary that does something I’ve never witnessed before: It seamlessly blends amazing computer generated effects with real-world animal footage to craft a 4.5-billion-year-spanning tale of the evolution of wildlife on our spinning rock.

The other, poker-winning card this doc has up its sleeve? That would be Morgan Freeman. For my money, only James Earl Jones and Sean Connery’s distinctive vocal cords can match Mr. Shawshank Redemption. His guttural yet calming narration is the tonic my soul needs after buying the amazing LG G3 OLED two months too early. If I’d just waited until Black Friday/Cyber Monday season, I could have saved myself $1,000. But hey-ho. I’ll try to cheer myself up by picturing Shawshank’s incredible beach finale.

Back to Life on our Planet. What. A. Show. It dovetails between iconic eras perfectly. From the first amoebas slithering out of the sea, to modern humans hunting down buffalo with brutal efficiency, it’s the most compelling nature show I’ve ever watched. Well, outside of anything involving a certain Sir David Frederick Attenborough, of course.

The (saber-toothed) cat's pyjamas

Life on Our Planet

(Image credit: Netflix)

As I mentioned previously, the main selling point that comes from watching these eight captivating episodes that sum up the evolution of the only known life in the cosmos — other than having Red in your ear for close to 10 hours of TV — is that marvelous melding of CGI and real animal footage.

The effects on display are so good, sometimes it’s hard to make the distinction between what was created by a computer and what some poor camera person probably had to spend 17 hours straight in a high hide to capture.

The time-hopping chronology is awesome once you get to grips with the show’s cadence. One minute, you’ll watch Smilodon take a chunk out of a Terror Bird’s neck, then it’s on to the habits of modern day frogs, before cutting back to a couple of Tyrant Lizard Kings getting sexy before that asteroid made the Earth go kaboom for a time.

The time-hopping chronology is awesome once you get to grips with the show’s cadence"

Switching back to the OLED-viewing aspect, I can’t think of another streaming show that looks quite this good. Certainly not one that involves so much immaculate CGI imagery.

The transfer on this show is impeccable.

There’s barely a hint of film grain, making this one of the cleanest looking pieces of television I’ve ever watched on any OLED TV. It’s just a remarkably good-looking series that demands to be watched on a high-end television; whether you purchased one on Cyber Monday or pulled the trigger on your AV mega purchase too soon like myself.

On occasion ‘round these parts, we sometimes encourage people to cancel Netflix. That’s absolutely not the case in this instance. If anything, I’d re-subscribe/sign up to the megaton streaming service (even only for a month), to watch this astoundingly made piece of programming.

Turns out, when you throw together the best CGI team in the biz, T-Rex and Morgan Freeman, the results are predictably unmissable. Whether you own a 15-year old CRT or the superb Samsung S95C QD-OLED, I can’t stress enough how much you need Life on Our Planet in… well, your “life.”

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Dave Meikleham
UK Computing Editor

Dave is a computing editor at Tom’s Guide and covers everything from cutting edge laptops to ultrawide monitors. When he’s not worrying about dead pixels, Dave enjoys regularly rebuilding his PC for absolutely no reason at all. In a previous life, he worked as a video game journalist for 15 years, with bylines across GamesRadar+, PC Gamer and TechRadar. Despite owning a graphics card that costs roughly the same as your average used car, he still enjoys gaming on the go and is regularly glued to his Switch. Away from tech, most of Dave’s time is taken up by walking his husky, buying new TVs at an embarrassing rate and obsessing over his beloved Arsenal. 

  • GregK929
    admin said:
    If you’re the proud owner of a new Black Friday/Cyber Monday high-end television, Netflix’s best ever nature documentary is essential viewing.

    Just bought a Black Friday OLED TV? Here’s the one Netflix show you need to watch first : Read more
    Yes the picture is great, but CGI vs real photography is just off-putting. Pick a good HD all photography show instead.