Last Night’s TV – Life

by Lynn Connolly


I’m gutted this series is over. It’s been brilliant and it hasn’t dropped the quality ball even once. The photography and camerawork has been jaw-dropping throughout, and last night’s finale was no different.

I sat spellbound as a troupe of Japanese macaques luxuriated in the equivalent of nature’s hot tub. They groomed each other and generally lazed about, clearly loving every second of the hot water.

However, for the lower ranking macaques, I felt desperately sad. They were forced to sit and watch – the longing to be in the hot water clearly written upon their faces – on snow covered rocks, shivering, while the higher ranking monkeys had a spa day.

I’ve always been fascinated by monkeys of any description, but there are certain species who so closely resemble us humans, it’s hard not to attribute human emotion to them. And so I felt that those poor ditheringly cold macaques should’ve induced a sympathetic “come in and join us mate” from those lucky enough to be given a get-in-free card to the hot spring.

But of course, they’re not human – quite yet – and didn’t offer the hand of friendship to those less fortunate. But there, many humans don’t either.

Equally human-like was the massive fight that broke out between baboons in Ethiopia. It could’ve been a scene from the streets of any England-away footie match too. And the daddy gorilla we saw happily watching his kids play then getting annoyed with them farting about when he was trying to have a kip was a scene that again, could’ve been in any Saturday afternoon household.

But of all the primates, chimpanzees fascinate me most, and in last night’s Life, we saw a female chimp in Guinea trying to crack a nut but misplacing her “hammer”. So she went off to find a male chimp who may have one he could lend her, and sure enough, she got her nut open. And the male chimp got to do things with his nuts in return for the favour.

No such thing as a free lunch eh?

I’m so going to miss this show on Monday nights, and as each David Attenborough presented show scales camera heights that seem to be the absolute summit, but then get even better, I can’t wait to see the next series!

Lynn is an editor and writer here at Unreality TV and is trained psychotherapist and the author of two books. She's addicted to soaps, period drama and reality TV shows such as X Factor, I'm A Celeb and Big Brother.