Life: The stickiest biology lesson you’ll ever get

Just finished watching the first two installments of Life, the Discovery Channel’s unbelievable account bringing life to… life. See a preview here. For nearly two hours, my husband and I sat in awe, muttering, “No way!” “Oh my gosh!” and “Holy cow!” back and forth.

I’m heading ff to Lawrence, KS next week to lead two back-to-back Decker Made to Stick Programs for a new client, so I’m loving the stickiness of these episodes.

Here’s a quick breakdown of why Life is so darn good and sticky – using the Made to Stick SUCCESs template as a test:

Simple:

Each episode has a clear Point Of View that focuses on what’s unique and interesting about the topic (the big idea). For example: “Reptiles make it because of their remarkable adaptations.”

Also, the brilliant use of analogies helps those of us with just Bio 101 under our belt to understand the incredible ways these animals have adapted to their environment.  Case in point: the Namaqua Chameleon has adapted to walking sand dunes by spreading its toes – aka, “Chameleon snowshoes.”

Unexpected:

From defense mechanisms to hunting strategies and mating rituals, your eyebrows will shoot up in surprise. Who knew that a big ol’ daddy bullfrog would dig a channel so that his tadpoles can reach a larger water source? Or that a Basilisk (aka “The Jesus Lizard”) can run on water for 100 feet to avoid its predator? And, did you know that the acceleration of a chameleon’s tongue is five times faster than an F16 fighter jet? Just check out what this frog does for a little dose of unexpectedness.

Concrete:

Amazing, stunning, jaw-dropping visual examples. Never-before-filmed visual examples. And you sit there, watching, thinking, “How the heck did they get that shot?” This is an experience. Totally different to read it in a text book that to see it, hear it, and really feel it. It is stunning, and I can now admit that going HD was worth it.

Credible:

Uh… hello? You can’t script this stuff. We’re talking all-up-in-your-face real animal drama. It took more than four years to produce Life. At the end of each episode there are little vignettes of the journalists who traveled to the most remote places on earth to capture the priceless footage– they’re legit too. Add the authoritative voice of Oprah beautifully narrating, and you’ve nailed credibility.

Emotional:

You actually feel for these animals and the challenges they face. Don’t like snakes? Doesn’t matter. You’ll end up rooting for them as they try to protect their eggs. Grossed out by lizards? Not any more. You’ll get to know and appreciate the stamina and strategy of a Kimodo Dragon hunting its prey.

Story:

Short of giving the animals names, each vignette is a story of survival, protection, ingenuity, and love.

Life is the complete, sticky communications experience.

And all this while the season opener of Dancing with the Stars played on with zero attention from yours truly. Looks like we finally have something worth watching. Catch the many repeats airing all week, and get caught up before next Sunday!

One comment on “Life: The stickiest biology lesson you’ll ever get

  1. Kelly,

    Great post! I haven’t had the chance to watch this program yet and I am now very intrigued. In fact, I just watched the preview you provided and it looks fantastic. Very cool stuff!

    Scott