TV Review: Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan

bill bodkin gets wild…

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Travelogues, nature specials and adventure documentaries are all tried and true hallmarks of cable television. They’re like the cheeseburgers of television — every network has one, it’s almost required by the laws of television.

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Yet, we all have our favorite cheeseburger, right (vegetarians I apologize)? And why are they our favorite? Because they have a special quality to them — whether it be a certain ingredient, topping or cooking style that makes us love them.

This is exactly what BBC America has done. They’ve take the nature documentary/travelogue format and made it their own by adding a secret ingredient — a charismatic host, actor Dominic Monaghan.

Monaghan, who tickled our funny bones in the Lord of the Rings films and tugged at our heartstrings in LOST, is a firecracker of a guide/narrator/host/adventurer. He has unabashed love for exotic creatures, locales and delicacies. This isn’t some actor being dropped in the middle of Vietnam (the first episode’s location), given a script to memorize and go from there. No, this feels as if one of Dom’s pals is filming him as he galavants around ‘Nam, looking for the deadly Giant Water Bug.

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Let me put this out there, if you are squeamish or freaked out at the sight of bugs or snakes, this show is not for you. There are a lot of them and often times are shown in extreme close-up.

With that being said, Wild Things is extremely enjoyable and engrossing. Monaghan is a very knowledgeable host and delivers a ton of facts on his audience, even when a massive, human destroying python is slithering on his body or when he’s swimming in a lake filled with crocodiles.

Oh, did we mention Dominic Monaghan is out of his mind? Yeah, he’s a bit nuts. He literally swims in a lake filled with crocodiles in order to film a Giant Water Bug in action. He leaps from a river boat in order to drape a python on himself. He grabs the tail of deadly cobra.

His unpredictability combined with his natural wit and charm make him a unique host. You never know what he’s going to do next and it’s this factor that keeps Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan fresh and new and a show that we’ll tune in every week for.

Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan airs tonight at 10:00pm on BBC America.

All photos: © Bugzilla Productions Inc / Brian Bowen Smith

Bill Bodkin is the gray bearded owner, editor-in-chief and co-founder of Pop Break. Most importantly, he is lucky husband, and proud father to a beautiful daughter named Sophie. He can be seen regularly on the site reviewing The Walking Dead, Doctor Who, and is the host of the site's podcast, The BreakCast. He is a graduate of Rutgers University with a degree in Journalism & English. Follow him on Twitter: @BodkinWrites