Thank you David Attenborough for giving us something good to cling to in 2016

You make us feel safe. We feel safe with you

Does anyone else feel like they completely missed the entire month of October? And the entire month of September? And the whole summer? Does anyone else feel like an inactive participant in their own life watching bad things happen from a distance but absolutely powerless to stop them? Haha, same.

That’s what 2016 feels like. That’s what losing Alan Rickman, David Bowie, Harper Lee, Peggy Mitchell, Chyna, Prince, Muhammad Ali and Gene Wilder feels like. It’s what watching Britain leave the EU and America teeter on the verge of electing Donald Trump feels like. It’s not a great feeling. But there’s a silver lining in all the horribleness of this year, and that silver lining is a very happy grey-haired man beaming at us all from the top of a mountain saying: “Welcome to Planet Earth”.

Look at this fucking sloth I'm so happy rn

Look at this fucking sloth I’m so happy rn

Planet Earth 2 and David Attenborough came back into our lives last night and suddenly everything was OK again. The last time it was on our screens Kate Moss and Pete Doherty were still going out, Twitter had just been invented and everyone wanted pink Motorola Razrs. It was a simpler time, and somehow having it back last night transported us back to those comforting simple times.

9.2 million people tuned in last night to watch tiny baby iguanas escape gangs of snakes, to watch the most loyal albatross in the world wait weeks to mate with his one true love, to watch a sloth swim across the ocean just to be parred off by someone he wanted to get with, to watch blood-stained penguins fight against the odds to bring back food for their adorable fluffy babies. We watched it and said “same” every time an animal did something amazing and felt comforted.

The world is a scary place but barely any animals died and in an increasingly fraught and divided society Planet Earth 2 is the only thing which we unanimously enjoy. It’s the television equivalent of wearing a fluffy and never scratchy oversized jumper, or having someone bring you a cup of tea without asking, or the way a small dog looks at you with unconditional love. It’s hard to feel angry and divided and sad about the state of the world when there’s a penguin with a harder life than you, living on an active volcano and being continually thrashed against rocky crags on their commute home from work, but still just pretty happy about everything.

Planet Earth 2 isn’t just a show, it’s a great unifier – seriously, if your friends weren’t talking about it you’ve probably just got shit mates. It spares our feelings – they’ve promised not to show penguins dying anymore, because they look like “little people”, which is good because watching crabs be blinded by acidic ants was hard enough to take – and makes us happy. It allows everyone to get excited about the same thing for a short period of time, and it’s exactly what we needed right now, so thank you, David Attenborough.

This komodo dragon will fuck you up

This komodo dragon will fuck you up

Just as a side-note though, I don’t want to bring anyone down from the post-Planet Earth 2 bliss but if we lose David Attenborough (aged 90, travelling over the world’s highest mountains in a hot air balloon) I genuinely don’t know what I will do.

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