Discovery Channel, in partnership with the BBC, is set to release the DVD and Blu-Ray versions of their wildly successful LIFE series on June 1st.
The nature documentary juggernaut brought in 30 million viewers for Discovery during its premiere -- the best such launch for the channel in over a decade. The U.S. version featured Oprah Winfrey in the narration seat, while the U.K. original played it safe with the voice of the legendary Sir David Attenborough.
By all accounts, it's clear that choosing Winfrey for the job was a mistake on the part of Discovery. Many have called out her voice as "condescending", with one reviewer saying that it sounds like she's "reading a bedtime story to little kids". Yet another called out Discovery for assuming that Americans can't handle Attenborough's more intelligent reading of the on-screen action.
"Come on, Discovery, Why must you assume Americans are stupid?", she writes. "We do not need Oprah Winfrey to explain this nature program using commonly used turns of phrase and cliche expressions. Why change the script for an American audience? Are we really so jaded that we need our education to be pre-chewed and spoon-fed to us?"
And that's just a few of the more than 140 angry reviews on Amazon.
Needless to say, it's clear that if you want to experience LIFE in a way that's befitting the on-screen action, going with Attenborough (who is a naturalist to boot) is your best bet.