Bertie Gregory’s humor and unwavering energy, coupled with fantastic cinematography, make Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory an entertaining addition to the National Geographic section of Disney+, even if it doesn’t do much to reinvent the nature documentary.
This review of the Disney+ series Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory season 1 does not contain spoilers.
From Continent 7: Antarctica to America: The Beautiful, the National Geographic section of Disney+ is filled with nature documentaries about various exotic locales and animals, and Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory is the most recent addition to this catalogue. Of course, this poses a question: is the show good enough to stand above the crowded marketplace of nature docs, especially with masterpieces like Planet Earth and The Blue Planet overshadowing all additions to this genre?
The answer is not really. But that’s not to say that Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory isn’t entertaining, because it definitely is. There are 5 episodes in the first season, following both land and ocean animals. Whales, lions, sharks, eagles, and dolphins are all animals featured in the episodes, with plenty of other creatures making guest appearances. The general structure of each episode is pretty standard. An overall goal is established at the beginning of the episode to provide a narrative—Bertie and his team need to find a pack of lions camping around a river before the dry season ends and the rain comes, or Bertie has to travel to Zambia to film eagles hunting fruit bats. As usual for these kind of shows, there are some obstacles along the way to add drama, like flat tires, harsh weather, or it taking longer than expected to find the animals.
This kind of documenting is tried and true, and certainly hasn’t lost its effectiveness, but it also means there isn’t anything particularly exciting or new about Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory. There is some great cinematography on display here, but nothing compared to Planet Earth. What does elevate this show is the host himself—Bertie Gregory. He’s a funny guy, who clearly loves what he’s doing, and that makes us want to take the journey with him. It’s not essential television, but if you love nature documentaries and animals, then give Epic Adventures with Bertie Gregory a try.
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