Life After People – This TV Show Was a Real Dud


Since I mentioned this show, which ran on The History Channel last night, in a couple of posts and comments, I feel obligated to put a review of it up today.

The verdict, (mine at least), is in on the History Channel’s Earth After Humans, or “Life After People”… Two big thumbs down! I must admit I watched only the first hour or so of the two hour show. I did record it, though, and might be able to stomach the rest of it in a week or two. If anyone reading this watched the whole thing and liked it, please post your comments. That might help me find the time to finish watching.

Adjectives like simple, inane, melodramatic, hokey, and dumb, come to mind when describing the show. It really was almost unbearable to watch. The opportunity was there for The History Channel to do something interesting with the topic and they blew it. Their programming has been uneven in it’s quality in recent months, and overall I am still a fan of the channel, but this was really bad!

Even from a technical standpoint, the show was weak. Just as one example…. After the first 30 minutes where they kept showing purported examples of what the earth would be like 1 day, 1 week, 1 month, etc. after humans died off, all I could think of was this: “Where are all the bodies?” Unless it was indeed the rapture and everyone qualified, they should have at least acknowledged that there would be some corpses lying around for all the show’s escaped pets and zoo animals to feed on.

While watching I came to realize that even the main premise of the show was weak. There was no hint at all as to what might have happened to all the humans. Every scene just portrayed a sort of “here today, gone tomorrow” assumption. Again, unless it was an all inclusive rapture, this assumption is lame. There are many potential dangers that may eventually end the reign of humans on earth, but whatever happens, complete extinction will likely take place on a longer timescale than overnight.

The show is being run again on Wednesday night at 8:00, Thursday at 12:00 am, and Saturday February 2nd at 5:00 pm. Talk about beating a dead horse! Oh wait… sorry, in the show the horses survived, and took over Rockefeller Center or some such place.

I should have just spent my night working on my reading list.

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Will Sig
1 Anna

Will thanks for the update, I guess I will not be watching this program if ever comes up at our place. My favorite one are National Geographic and Discovery (or Science) channels. The only problem with Nat Geo is that they have this Dog Whisperer show everytime I flick to the channel. Otherwise, lot of good stuff. Sorry to hear you were dissapointed. Thanks again for our update, Anna 🙂


2 Bob

Hey Will thanks a bunch, for some reason we don’t get it at anytime, I was going to watch it, but thanks to you you saved me some time, what is the clincher for me was the lack of human remains, I don’t think we are all going to be raptured. The history channel is one of my favs, hopefully this isn’t going to carry on, thanks for the heads up on this one.


3 Will

Anna – The Dog Whisperer? My favorite!! (not)

Yes, Bob, I usually would never tell people to not watch something. You know, sort of let everyone make up their own mind. But this show was so hyped and then so bad, I just could not help myself!


4 madison

teah i watched that show last night it really did SUCK i’m not trying to be really mean but it did and my dad is ussally glued to the history channell but he wasnt last night so i think it was the big thumbs down


5 Will

Hi Madison! Sorry you were disappointed also. I have seen other posts about the lack of quality in that show. Hopefully The History Channel gets the message. So much of their programming is great and they had the opportunity to do so much better!



6 Ken

I had just finished reading the popular book “World Without Us” by Weismann, and this show was directly related, so I did sit all the way through it. The book intentionally starts with the impossible premis that we all just disappeared. This focus is essential, or you have a completely different set of issues. The issue in question is what survives us, and the answer, unsurprisingly, is not much that we value.

I was disappointed that they didn’t even mention the author, or his book, that clearly influenced the making of the show. It felt like a dishonest rip-off. That being said, I think it was okay – in the scale of generally pablum TV, with sensationalist repeating graphics and overly dramatic score.


7 Will

Hi Ken – Thanks for that. I did not know about the book. As with many TV spin-offs, it sounds like the book was better than the show. That is also a good point about the impossible premise that we all just disappear, thus creating a unique situation for the book to explore. If it really was that close in theme, the History Channel should have worked with and credited the author of the book.


8 Anna

Will, if it was played once a week I can understand, but every day I don’t understand – I think the dog whisperer is too too confident. Thanks, Anna 🙂


9 Will

I know and I wonder how many failures he has to go through before he gets a good one for his show?


10 Anna

Yes, no one ever tell you the whole story, never know may be he does have this magic wand, lol. Anna 🙂


11 In Plain Sight Episodes Online

Yeah the show was a dud, I seen this and it was pretty horrible I couldn’t stand this at all.


12 hqq

i watched it completely to the end. True there are some inconsistencies to the story, the reason might be that many people have different views about them. For example, how people vanish all at once? Some would say a plague, others would call it armageddon. Some would even say alien invasion/abduction and some would believe that humans’ time was up. What ever the cause, the show described the *after effects* of the human absence. The way other creatures deppend on us and to what extend. How we surpressed nature to make our civilizations and, most importantly, what are the factors behind our successful civilizations. But most importantly, how our marks of us ruling the earth arf so vulnerable, that they would not even last a thousand years!


13 hqq

but that would raise other questions. Is it possible that between us and the Egyptions or the Aztec there might be a civilization that would have reached a level of technology that we have or more? And the reason we don’t know about them is because they also used perishable means of records like we have paper and CDs? After all we only know about the past civilizations because they had engravings on rocks and stone!


14 Christine

I watched this movie last night..gets you thinking… It was worth the 2 hours by far.. just think if our power went out for just 1 week… or if someone important at the nuclear plant forgot to do their job,, all of their facts show true if humans were to screw up even… I liked the movie ..very interesting


15 Rini

Will, The show wasn’t about people. It was about “Life AFTER People”. I really enjoyed it and found it very plausible that this is the way it would happen and will watch it again tonight.


16 Will

Hi Rini! Thanks for your comment. This post was actually about the original show that was on months ago. I saw that there is a new series based on the original. I think that is what you watched. I have not seen it. Maybe I will in a month or two when the Stanley Cup is finished. Go Bruins!


17 Diet Blog

Yeah, I watched the first half too last night on my DVR. I really really wanted to like it, but I have to admit it was pretty damn weak. I thought it was going to be a hell of a lot more interesting than it was. Seems like it was more about how concrete breaks down than what life would be like after people. So yeah, I agree it was a dud. The idea had a lot of potential but history channel kinda killed it. 🙁

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18 Will

Yeah “weak” is a real good word for it. I too was hoping for more interesting insight into what might really happen.


19 Bob Henderson

Sure sorry so many people didn’t like it (and in some cases appear to not plan on even trying). We unfortunately live in a world where everyone is cocked and prepared to complain…in many cases, just to hear themselves. I watched the show, and while as you say, it did not qualify just where the humans went – that is not where the story was aimed. It did a very good job of showing how dependent upon humans our infrastructure is – and that was the point. We have changed the world to such a degree that it WAS interesting to realize how quickly it would change if we were not here to maintain the status-quo.

To complain or criticize the show out of hand is unfair.


20 Will

Hey Bob – You make a good point about how fast the evidence of our presence here would disappear. Kind of puts us in our place, I guess. Thanks for taking the time to comment!


21 Bryan

I think people need to pay more attention at the begining of the show. It says that it is the story of what happens after people not what happened to people. I find it really interesting about how quickly everything we know will vanish. Which is exactly what the show is about. Not what happened to everyone.


22 Blutodog

The premise isn’t so far fetched. The black plague almost did just that to most of Eurasia 500 yrs. ago. Imagine a far more lethal plague and you’ll get the picture. Will Smith just starred in such an epic. You don’t even need everyone dead for this to happen. Look at the Maya as an example. Once enough of us are dead the ragged remnants cannot keep the cities and towns and the society going. Then things start to fall apart. If you’ve ever visited Maya land you realize this is indeed a possibility. I’d say the way were going it’s more of a probability actually.


23 Craig K.

You have a simplistic and unrealistic view of the world you live in. The “world” afterwards will not be exciting. Nature will revert back to its original state previous to “people.” There will be no witness’. You also have not evidently watched the series throughout; The dead bodies are addressed. Next time you go to Wal-Mart, BUY some Flintstone vitamins and try harder to watch something before you review it you tree hugger. Humanity is not that as everlasting in your optimistic view of the future. Humanity is guaranteed to die off, perhaps in 10, 100 or a thousand years.


24 Will

Hey Craig – Interesting comment. Please read the post more carefully and you might find the thinking actually does align somewhat with your own. But as far as your critique, this 1-1/2 year old post has nothing to do with the TV series that apparently is now running. I have not seen any of those shows and don’t know if they are even related to the special that was reviewed here. I did eventually watch the second hour and nothing in it changed my view.


25 Will

I have never visited Mayan country, but that is a good comparison, Blutodog. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


26 Kellie

I love the show…I’m even hooked. It doesn’t bother me that they don’t talk about where humans went. I’m curious about what happens to all our “stuff” when we aren’t around to maintain it. There are some interesting comparisons and contrasts between different structures built in different times in different environments. I guess this stuff just isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. That’s understandable.


27 tweak

At no time did the show say humans had “died off”. Instead, it asked what would happen if people suddenly disappeared. Disappeared….hence no bodies. This is a show about what what would happen to man’s world without man. It’s interesting and thought provoking to see what could happen to all the works of man if we were no longer in the picture.


28 brenda

I enjoy watching life after people. The show is not showing you the way we die but what happens to the world when no one takes care of man made things.


29 Will

Hi Brenda – The original post was about the 2 hour special that led to the TV series. I have not watched the series, but comment opinion seems to be that it is better than the original 2 hour show.


30 tanya

this show is AMAZING, no other word can describe it, i cant believe that you didnt like it, i record it EVERY time it is online and will continue to watch all the episodes, i so hope they have a new season soon, i have also bought the episodes on dvd, u need to sit down with an open mind and watch it and perhaps have someone sit down with you to try and explain to you what you are actually watching, i will always watch even reruns, open up your mind, ur really missing out on a great tv show!!!


31 Will

Hi Tanya – Actually this post is about the original 2 hour show from over two years ago. I have never seen the series, but it seems to get great reviews. I guess I will need to find the old shows and watch a few and see what I think.


32 Robin

Hi Will,

The point has already been made here, but bears repeating, that the theme of this show is what the planet would be like without people, if we did indeed all suddenly get “raptured.” Put another way, it’s “how long would it take for all visible traces of us to disappear if none of us were here.” There was no attempt to explain how we disappeared; it’s a thought experiment.

The problem is the title, which was evidently made to sound dramatic and appeal to those worried about global warming on one side and the survivalist fringe on the other. I found both the original documentary and the series fascinating. Of course it’s conjecture; there were a few points I’d contest, based on my own education and experience, and a few things I’d’ve liked to see addressed, such as how long it would take for human-generated climate influence to subside if the industrial load on the entire planet was suddenly zero. But you can’t please everyone.

Bottom line: Watched it, liked it, watched it again.

Thanks for the post!


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33 Makenna

The point of the show is to show what might happen to the world if we were to magically disappear. Not how we died. Not where our bodies went. It’s called “Life after humans” Not “Where our bodies go when we die and aren’t on earth anymore”. It’s a very interesting show… You have to give it a little credit.


34 Okie

I feel that you’re missing the point of the show. It wasn’t about peoples disapearance, it was about the world without our existance. I liked the show. We have a tendancy to think that our technology, our structures are in vulnerable. It is about how fast the world would forget that we ever existed.


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