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- January 23, 2008

Last summer PBS ran a series of four films by Mark Lewis on the theme of “Passion, Ambition and the Pursuit of Excellence in Unique Fields” (click here for an overview). That probably sounds like something that you’d prefer to miss, and that’s exactly what I did until my wife cajoled me into watching one episode in particular. It took more than the usual amount of cajoling, for the show in question was titled, incongruously, “Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence.”

Now, as my ever-popular canine and feline posts have indicated, I am an unabashed lover of furry animals. Not ferrets, though, which I’ve always thought of, on those rare occasions when I’ve thought of them at all, as nasty, dirty little rat-like creatures.

That said, I consider “Ferrets: The Pursuit of Excellence” to be easily the most enjoyable TV offering I’ve seen in years and years. It is to show-ferrets (I know, I know — the whole idea of a “show-ferret” is bizarre) and their people what Christopher Guest’s mockumentary, “Best in Show,” was to show-dogs and their people. Only much better, because these are real people.

A DVD version is available for purchase. As a prudent consumer, you may prefer to try it before you buy it. Here and here and here and here, then, are some snippets for your consideration. Try this movie and you’ll be charmed by the sheer looniness of it all. So will your kids, if you have any, except they may end up whining for a ferret. If they do, bear in mind that acceding to their wishes would put you in the same category as the ferret people in the program.

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