Brendan’s Alternate Tagline: Lots of history with a little bit of showmanship and malarkey
Quick synopsis: Host Josh Gates and his team search for various historical items of real or dubious origins.
Fun Fact Non-History People Will Like: During one episode (“Amelia Earhart”), Josh Gates searches under a home for remains. He finds them and then gets questioned by the cops.
Fun Fact for History Nerds: The “Viking Secrets” episode is really well done and is a great mixture of thorough history and a little bit of fun. I’d like to be in a Viking fight, too!
My Take: This show is a hell of a lot of fun for a hell of a lot of reasons.
Josh Gates is the perfect host for a show like this. He can play the various characters needed to keep it interesting as the show’s tone can veer from deadly serious, to pensive, to incredulous, to snarky fun. Gates obviously doesn’t take himself too seriously but is game to do a bunch of things I would never do under any circumstances whatsoever. Two prime examples are climbing into a tunnel under a city which was no more then 5 feet tall by 18 inches wide or sleeping in a cave on top of 3 feet of bat guano.
Overly serious historians (read: fun killers) will complain about a few aspects of the show. Number one, there are various subjects of extremely dubious scholarship (there are literally alien episodes). However, I would counter that Gates never tries to tell the viewer something is real when he can’t prove it but he also doesn’t discount anything for the same reason. It makes for good TV because it never puts Gates in the position of telling a true believer they are crazy. He lets them talk.
Another aspect the fun police would complain about is the lack of huge findings. It is true to an extent but also not the point. The show is fun because of the journey and there have been some finds along the way and areas previously unexplored were mapped.
The final nitpick is that Gates is not an actual archaeologist but only has a degree in archeology. Additionally, he hosted a previous show called Destination Truthwhich was entirely about the paranormal. Who cares? Fun is fun!
Verdict: It’s a fun watch. You may need to turn your nose for hard evidence off for a little while but it’s a good time, nonetheless.
If You Liked This Try:
- Mysteries at the Museum