Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones by Dan Buettner [8/10]

Ex-adventurer Dan Buettner has been relating his investigations into the startling nature of the world’s Blue Zones (pockets where the number of centenarians reaching age 100 is astronomically high) for years, via National Geographic and books, but also through community-based advocacy. Now he has his four-episode Netflix moment with Live to 100: Secrets of the Blue Zones. There might have been a temptation to grandstand or to over proselytize, and, frankly, I approached the series with a sense of dread. Instead Buettner comes across as humble and earnest, as he once again travels to Japan, Italy, the United States, Greece, Costa Rica, and (at the end, in campaign mode) Singapore. Each of the five Blue Zones is mined for insights gathered through interviewing and following a truly inspirational cast of very old people. The direction of the series by Clay Jeter cannot be faulted; every scene makes sense, every commitment of a viewer’s time is fascinating. The notion of Blue Zones and what it means for a healthy, long-lived life might not be as simple as portrayed on Netflix and I have seen the words “Blue Zone” wielded in favor of very different dietary regimes, but Buettner’s insistence on holistic life choices and ensuring the right enfolding environment rings true. Live to 100 offers no magic bullets for the unhealthy among us, indeed it will daunt many, but the hope is that the abiding eye candy of dozens of beaming, fit, and active wrinklies should open our eyes.

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