Archive for Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Paul Giamatti narrates Nature’s ‘DUCKumentary’

November 14, 2012


Paul Giamatti’s (”John Adams”) voice is popping up all over. I heard it recently in some insurance commercial, and tonight he narrates “An Original DUCKumentary” on “Nature” (7 p.m., PBS).

As the title implies, “DUCKumentary” celebrates the duck, the wild-feathered waterfowl that waddles awkwardly on land and glides with poetic grace in the water. Despite a physique that seems anything but aerodynamic, many ducks fly hundreds of miles every year, migrating like AARP members to warmer climes for the winter.

The film “stars” two wood ducks and follows them from birth to courtship, migration, and a return to breed and have hatchlings of their own. “DUCKumentary” also showcases a wide variety of curious duck species from all over the globe.

As someone lucky enough to live on a pond, I have “owned” or at least fed many Muscovy ducks over the years. Based on that experience, I found “DUCKumentary” informative and beautiful, if a bit sanitized. The life of a duckling can be nasty, brutish and short. One is likely to be enchanted by the sight of 15 little chicks on the pond on Monday, eight or nine by Wednesday and two, one or none at all by Friday.

The male ducks that survive this grisly triage can be majestic, but also violent with each other and gruesome toward the females they almost inevitably outnumber. “DUCKumentary” mentions but does not emphasize these traits, preferring a Disney version of nature. The reality is a tad closer to a Quentin Tarantino movie. Don’t miss it.

Tonight’s other highlights:

• An awkward wedding moment on the second season premiere of “Whitney” (7 p.m., NBC).

• A kidnapping case threatens to unravel on “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” (8 p.m., NBC).

“NOVA” (8 p.m., PBS) documents Curiosity’s mission to Mars.

• A grave injustice on “CSI” (9 p.m., CBS).

• A saved victim returns the favor on “Chicago Fire” (9 p.m., NBC).

• Working the still on “Moonshiners” (9 p.m., Discovery).

• Rayna tries on a new style on “Nashville” (9 p.m., ABC).

• Jude hires an expert to expose Arden on “American Horror Story: Asylum” (9 p.m., FX).


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