One of the most entertaining shows on television (in my humble opinion), "The Jeff Corwin Experience" has been one of cable network Animal Planet's great successes. Often compared to "Crocodile Hunter" (and fellow Animal Planet star) Steve Irwin, Corwin's show is similar in the way that he ventures around the world to search for animals and educate the audience while still having fun.
The two hosts though, are often somewhat different. Corwin is less in-your-face, but his subtle humor, ridiculously funny "conversations" with the animals he meets (witness in one of the episodes here an amusingly twisted conversation with a little black cat that's wandered out of a cave) and occasional film references often result in many moments throughout each hour-long (well, about 50 minutes) experience that are laugh-out-loud hilarious. Although the show has gotten better and better as it's gone on, even these non-recent episodes are still highly entertaining. Corwin also often has more interesting facts to communicate with his audience both about the species that he is currently focusing on, as well as their environment. Similar to Irwin, Corwin is unafraid to venture into dangerous areas and pick up equally dangerous animals to show the audience.
Sadly, "Out on a Limb" is another "best of" for the series, when I'd sincerely like to see full season sets released. Still, these three episodes still definitely do offer their share of fun moments. In these three episodes (one from the second season, two from the first), we watch as Corwin heads to Borneo, Zanzibar and Indonesia. Along the way, he runs into a group of wild elephants who don't take terribly well to his standing nearby, nearly charging him and the crew; monkeys that are orphaned when they're saved from being illegal pets, huge coconut crabs that weigh 30 pounds, hippos that play bumper cars with Corwin's boat, bats living in a cave with nearly a foot of their poop on the floor of the space, sea turtles laying eggs, snakes, tree frogs and the previously mentioned cave kitty, among other creatures.
Although not Corwin's best adventures, these episodes are still a great deal of fun, and unlike some other nature shows, Corwin's humor combined with the interesting animal encounters makes for good repeat-viewing value. However, it wuld be awfully nice if full season sets of the show were eventually released.
VIDEO: These three episodes of the JCE are presented in the show's original 1.33:1 full-frame broadcast ratio. The quality here actually seems very slightly better than the image quality of the Animal Planet broadcasts that I've seen on digital cable. Sharpness and detail are first-rate, making for a crisp, clean picture that offers very pleasing fine detail. Edge enhancement and pixelation aren't seen, but a little bit of shimmering is present here and there. Colors are rich, well-saturated and vivid.
SOUND: The stereo soundtrack is quite nice, with good ambience and clear dialogue.
EXTRAS: There are two featurettes included here, "I'm An Educator" (Corwin, his parents and college professor are interviewed, and we learn more about how Corwin makes education entertaining. There's also some incredibly funny bloopers.) and "I'm Brave!" (Corwin's thoughts about dealing with dangerous creatures.) Finally, there's a quiz and a promo for Discovery Channel's "Full Throttle".
Final Thoughts: "Jeff Corwin Experience" is one of the most delightful shows on TV, as not only is it interesting and educational, but Corwin is one of the funniest characters you'll find on television. While it's unfortunate that - I'll say it again - full season sets aren't available yet, this "best of" is still recommended.