Wild At Heart Review: The Lion Sleeps Tonight

January 10, 2010 by  
Filed under - Home, Reviews

2WAH300WILD AT HEART: Sunday 10th January, ITV1, 8.30pm ALERT ME

Wild At Heart returns for a fifth series and once again its title is about as accurate as you can get – wild at heart it may be but it’s about as tame a socialite’s labradoodle.

Danny and Alice have just finished rehabilitating some circus elephants. The time has come to move them on the national park but to do so they’d have to cross through a rival park run by Alice’s underhanded brother and they’ll need to get permission first.

Meanwhile, the park has been nominated for a Game Park Award, the timing of which allows their rivals opportunity to get up to some nefarious tactics.

Du Plessis is finally getting married to Caroline, but is struggling with his vows. And this is further disrupted by the arrival of Caroline’s old boyfriend Gene, an old silver fox trying his hardest to win her back.

There’s nothing particularly wrong with Wild At Heart, but it’s so frightfully…ordinary, so bland and insipid – like a cheese toasty without the satisfying chunks of Branston Pickle. The perils that the characters get into are so tediously mundane that it’s really hard to pay any attention to their antics, much less care about them.

Oh look, Du Plessis is up a tree and he’s scared of heights; what peril! ITV better issue some warnings in future or I won’t have any fingernails left.

I suppose it’s unfair to criticise it too harshly for a lack of danger. It’s a family friendly drama about a wildlife park in Africa; somehow I don’t think watching Danny get ripped apart by lions would go down too well with a Sunday evening audience (as entertaining as that would be). And I suppose it’s a bit of a break from the wall-to-wall misery of soaps like EastEnders.

But at the same time, it’s hard to muster anything other than an internal sigh when watching it. I don’t feel like I’ve really been entertained, merely occupied – I’ve just watched an hour of boring people doing boring things in their boring lives, and even the beautiful African scenery is only distracting for a minute or two.

Oh look, an elephant. Back to sleep.