Time for a little vacay from the melee, if you catch my drift. I’ve washed my hands, worn my mask, kept six feet away, sanitized everything (twice), reminded my kid to use hand sanitizer after picking his nose, and listened to every news story about contraction rates and races to the vaccine and how in the world kids are going to go back to school safely. After a while, I need to know there’s still good in the world. Somewhere.
Luckily, I don’t have to go much farther than my couch. With my strawberry smoothie in hand and my feet up, I have the clicker at the ready for a night off from the C-word. Care to join me?
Here are my top five Netflix go-to’s for family friendly couch get-aways, Mother Earth style. Each show features stunning, jaw-dropping scenery (I was going to add breathtaking, but that’s too C-word. Geesh! I am seriously over saturated). Even if it is just TV, the incredible views never fail to transport my spirit. That’s the magic of this gorgeous planet we live on. The countdown:
- Down to Earth – Kind-hearted, wise-cracking cornballs Zac and Darin travel the world to see how other countries have solved seemingly insurmountable environmental challenges, like pollution-free electricity and city-wide clean water. I’m continuously shocked at the ingenious and nearly-no-brainer ideas, and after every episode I say, “We should do that in America…” The only thing that bugs me about this show is Zac and Darin can get a bit mono-syllabic in their off-the-cuff comments, but Zac usually redeems himself in an informative voice over later.
- Our Planet – If you’re a Blue Planet fan as I am, you’ll recognize the same brush strokes in Our Planet. Even the same narrator, David Attenborough, interprets the footage in his soothing, ever-so-British Winne-the-Pooh voice. What awes me is the caliber of footage. It’s almost as if the photographers can morph into a bird’s egg in an unsuspecting nest or a papaya in a tree full of monkeys. How do they get those unbelievable shots? You do have to gird yourself for the drama, how the wild animals are struggling against the supposedly harsh elements (I’ll bet they cope just fine) and worse, how humankind is killing everything. So, if you’re on your last nerve and can’t handle even a drop of drama, skip to number 3.
- Growing Up Wild – This show has plenty of cuteness. When my kids watch it with me, it’s a thing to moan, “Awwwwwwwww!” at all the big-eyed, wobbly baby animals as they muddle their way innocently through essential survival skills. Despite the adorability factor, older kids probably won’t appreciate the somewhat syrupy commentary. It is Disney, after all. So, if your babes have graduated to more sophisticated musings, try this next goodie:
- The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes – Piers and Caroline are an unlikely-yet-loveable pair who find unusual homes in crazy beautiful places. Each show opens with mini-docco of the highlights and challenges of living in a particular ecosystem, like the harshly beautiful desert of the middle east, a windswept and charming Norwegian fishing village, or the inhospitable mountain crevices overlooking the impossible blue of the Greecian coastline. Piers and Caroline both have architecture training, so their commentary highlights each home’s ingenuity. My son and I have loads of fun peeking inside the ingeniously designed, beaucoup bucks homes and dreaming about living there ourselves. The drawback? Caroline thinks it’s precious to pull back the covers and jump into people’s beds, and all I can think is, if that were my house, I would hate that. That’s when I have to flip to my number 1 show.
- Moving Art – AH! THIS SHOW. Eating a triple decker chocolate gateau while soaking in a hot spring and sipping French wine? Yeah, like that. With your feet up. It’s a spa treatment for your senses. No words. No people. No drama. Just brilliant time-lapse and drone footage of Mother Earth’s most beautiful places set to soothing music. I pop it on and let it play as if it were an animated Monet on my wall. Each episode features a different theme like a museum tour of spectacular colors, textures, and dynamics. Best of all? No drawbacks. Not a one! I love every single moment of this show.
What are your favorite family couch getaways? Share them with us, here. Don’t forget that staying healthy sometimes means taking a break from all the staying healthy. Know what I’m saying?