The call of adventure, a love of adorable companion animals, and the quest for the unknown – the new mobile game Pokémon GO shares all of these qualities with PBS programs like Nature, Game/Show, and more. Whether you’ve caught Pokémon fever or are just here for the animals (our friends at KQED can help you catch up with the craze), here are four thought-provoking shows to keep you company while you wait for your PokéStop to refresh. And be sure to stop by the Pokémon gym in our parking lot!


Why are there SO MANY Pokémon??

We may only be able to catch the original 151 Pokémon for now, but over time the Pokémon franchise has built up a total of 722 different Pokémon. While the fictional world clearly has evolution (even if it’s not the kind of thousand-year process we’re familiar with), the world has plenty of animal specialization. Game/Show explores the biological and cultural reasons why there are so many hundreds of Pokémon. Stay tuned to Game/Show on YouTube for more cultural and scientific analysis of video games.


Being with Jane Goodall

A big part of being a trainer is being able to work with your Pokémon as a team. In this short video, Dr. Goodall talks about why she sees animals as beings, with names, emotions, and intellectual lives, and how that world view affects her research. Could our most famous paleontologist and leading animal activist be our universe’s version of Professor Oak? Meet other scientists and engineers with a unique view of the world with The Secret Life of Scientists.


Does Pokémon Start After a Massive War?

Pokémon have invaded our world through our phones and the magic of augmented reality, but after seven game generations, an anime, and several movies, the Pokémon universe is well-developed. PBS Idea Channel digs in to the Kanto War Theory, which claims that questions about the universe’s lack of adults and infrastructure and obsession with combat can be answered with a bit of fanfiction. Dig in to the philosophy behind other pop culture phenomena with PBS Idea Channel on YouTube, like whether or not Twitch Plays Pokémon gives us hope for humanity.


Nature: Why We Love Cats and Dogs

They might not live in a red and white ball, but the bond between humans and our two favorite companion animals is as strong as the bond between a Pokémon and its trainer. Explore why we love cats and dogs so much, from an evolutionary perspective to plain affection. Connect with more animals of our own world and watch Nature online, or most Wednesdays at 8PM on KVIE Channel 6.


Bonus: Hungry after running after an Aerodactyl? Try making Hamachi poke, a Hawaiian dish that combines yellowtail tuna, seaweed, pistachios, and more in one delicious, refreshing bowl in a recipe from PBS Food.


If you’re in search of a Pidgey, Meowth, Pikachu, Ekans, or Venonat, they do seem to lurk around KVIE’s Sacramento office. Stop by and say hi on your next pokéwalk, and try to take the Pokémon gym near our office!

What to Watch When You’re Playing Pokémon GO