‘Life after People’ — TV’s Divisionist History

Life without People
Screen grab from HC’s “Life after People”.

January 22, 2008

LAST NIGHT, the History Channel ventured into the world of the prophetic, an odd destination for a channel dedicated to that which has already happened, but then the HC has taken some distinctly non-historic, off-road trips lately. Shoe-horned into last night’s offerings, we found werewolves, Bigfoot, and UFOs (on the series, Monster Quest).

Following up these curious conundrums, we discovered ourselves immersed in a world without us — without humans anywhere.

“Life After People” explores a planet Earth devoid of pesky Homo Sapiens. The two-hour ‘what if-umentary’ opened with the premise that all humans suddenly disappear. No mention was ever made of HOW we all vanish. We simply no longer exist. (Ted Turner would throw a party at this point, except he’s gone as well — sorry Ted).

Not even once, did we hear either narrator or guest explain this salient point in the plot. War isn’t offered to explain it. Not diseases, not space aliens, nothing. Dogs, we’re told, will have to find a way out of their homes and yards. They’ll feed on rotting veggies and each other. Not one word of human bodies or radiation, or any problem other than pack politics and food sources.

Humans disappearing in a flash, huh? Is this a subtle hint at an all-inclusive rapture theology? The program is produced by “Flight 33 Productions” (an instructive ‘numerical’ title, is it not?) General Electric owns 25% of the History Channel along with Disney and a few others. Is the idyllic world displayed in “Life After Humans” a product of wishful thinking along the lines of the Georgia Guide Stones? Hey, GE, who will buy all your electricity if the humans decamp? Bigfoot?

Sheesh. What a bunch of hooey.