The New Zoo Re-Review

It was a very slim possibility, but the CBS version of James Patterson’s Zoo has not managed to make a silly premise watchable.

A global, organized animal movement to eradicate the pesky humans who seem bent on destroying the earth is an idea more worthy of a Syfy Channel movie than a CBS series, but I had hoped that a well-crafted presentation would enable me to willingly suspend my disbelief and enjoy the show. That has not happened.

Bats bring down a private jet at high altitude, and a pack of wolves take a prison? Really? Bats repeatedly cover solar panels to cut a research facility’s power? Really? Oh, did I mention that these bats show up in Antarctica? Also, one of the bats manages to ride into the facility on a scientist’s back and short out the backup power supply? Really?

I think CBS owes Syfy royalties. All CBS has done is substitute normal (well, except for that “defiant pupil” inter-animal telepathic communication thing) animals for the standard giant dinocrocodilepythonsharktopusspiranhasaurus featured on Syfy every Saturday. Now, if CBS had thought to have the animals delivered by tornado, the network might have created a smash hit.

I’m out! I think I heard my DVR breathe a sigh of relief and murmur “thank-you.”

I have a suggestion for CBS executive decision-makers. (I’m certain they have been closely monitoring this blog.) Why try something like James Patterson’s Zoo, when you obviously prefer the more economic alternative of reality shows and endlessly recycling participants among them?

The new Zoo I propose, minus the book author’s name, I imagine, would feature 16 of the nastiest, most despicable contestants who ever graced the likes of Big Brother, Survivor and The Amazing Race. It’s a gigantic pool for selection.

The show would be set in (you guessed it) a zoo. Each week, contestants would face some sort of task involving an animal — riding a tiger, dancing with a bear, walking an angry pit bull. The biggest loser would be put in cage with a hungry, extremely pissed off big cat, given a chair and a whip, and challenged to survive for 5 minutes.

Those who did would be given another shot the following week. Those who did not, well, that would just be “good television.”

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