Human Discoveries is Facebook’s hidden gem

Courtesy of Facebook Watch Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick contribute to the series’ voice cast and also serve as executive producers.
Courtesy of Facebook Watch
Zac Efron and Anna Kendrick contribute to the series’ voice cast and also serve as executive producers.

Hallie Lauer | Managing Editor

09/26/19

I need everyone to take a deep breath and just bear with me for a couple hundred words. I have recently discovered a show on, drumroll please … Facebook Watch. It is an animated series called Human Discoveries created specifically for this platform.

Human Discoveries is exactly as it sounds – it is prehistoric humans discovering the world. The tagline for the show is “Go back in time with a group of friends who are trying to figure it all out, for the first time.”

It’s basically like The Flintstones got remade for modern viewers; the only difference is this show is much more crass. For instance in episode 2 titled “And then they got drunk,” the group of friends discovers what happens when you drink “rotten grape juice.” They get drunk and as a consequence, they also get to discover the first hangover. Welcome to the party, friends.

The two main characters Gary (Zac Efron) and Jane (Anna Kendrick) are in traditional roles for the time. Gary is a rather unsuccessful hunter and Jane is a gatherer, much displeased with her job.

Efron and Kendrick are also both executive producers for the show.

These two, displeased with their roles in the newly formed society, create the premise for the rest of the series. They desire to do more than “just survive” as Jane puts it (despite the fact that a minor character dies in nearly every episode by things totally avoidable like being eaten by a tiger or drowning in a river).

Jane is the rebel of the group, and Gary…  Gary is like that nerdy dude in an 80’s rom-com that is funny and somehow manages to get the girl even though she’s ten times smarter than him.

Gary and Jane muddle their way through dating, without any of the modern tools of dating. Like knowing what dating is, or what it is to be with someone exclusively. It’s funny in a primitive ironic way.

Though the main plotline revolves around Jane, Gary and their desire for more than survival, the minor characters are not forgotten and often have some of the funniest moments in the show.

My personal favorite character is Jane’s best friend Minerva (Jillian Bell). She’s sarcastic and by her own admission “only does things out of spite.” She steals the show with her one liners.

Another minor character is Ugg — like the shoe. He is the camp’s number one hunter and carries that more brawn than brains character trope. He often needs things explained to him, and it is through his character that the show tackles more modern societal issues like gender roles and norms.

Aside from watching these humans understand the world for the first time, we also get an inside look at the lives of elk. The B-plot to this show follows two elk, Judy (Lisa Kudrow) and William (James Adomian)  in search of a leader and a way to live in harmony with the humans.

The problem the elk have, is every leader they appoint creates an elaborate plan to interact with the humans, which ultimately ends in them being killed for food for the camp. However, Judy and William manage to avoid being hunted somehow.

Human Discoveries is one of those shows that you put on when you need something mindless. So instead of watching The Office for the fifteenth time, try this out. Each episode is only around 25 minutes. The first season has 10 episodes, which could easily all be watched in a day.

The series premiered in July of this year, and there is no word yet on if a second season is in the works.

Listen, I don’t know how we got here. I’m not sure how I discovered a TV show on Facebook. I didn’t even know they did that, but Human Discoveries is worth getting back on Facebook just to watch it.