When I first caught an episode of the History Channel’s newest and biggest series, Chasing Mummies, it was a re-broadcast of the series premiere being played at around two o’clock in the morning. I was very tired and drifting in and out of consciousness, but from what I saw, I enjoyed it.
Then a few days later, when the first episode was being shown again at an earlier time, I sat down to watch it in its entirety. I was stunned at the garbage I was viewing, and even more so when I realized that it was the History Channel, of all outlets, peddling this crap.
Here we have world-famous Egyptian archaeologist and Director of Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, captaining this new show, which takes a camera crew with him and his team as they uncover the latest finds and mummies around Egypt. As part of the crew following him, are interns who know absolutely nothing about archaeology and just get in the way.
The entire show is basically him berating, insulting, and screaming at these interns, as well as Stephen Brophy, the show’s writer, who is in charge of the camera crew.
It became terribly apparent early on that the scenarios are staged with a written script, including the first episode’s event in which one of the young female interns gets trapped inside a pyramid and they only find out hours later. After shattering speed limits to reach the site at around midnight, they find her alive and well.
What could have been an interesting and stressful moment was turned into a laugh-out-loud awful hack-job of film-making which could not have made it any more apparent that it was staged.
Zahi Hawass has every right to criticize those around him, because his knowledge of Egyptology is unmatched, but some of the things that come out of his mouth are things the meanest boss on the planet would not tell his most hated worker. This is proof of just plain bad scripting, because someone with such a prestigious title would not intentionally make himself look like a lunatic, embarrassing himself in front of a (now shrinking) audience of thousands.
Hawass has been on countless specials on both the History and Discovery Channels over the years. I have always enjoyed hearing him speak, and whatever he becomes a part of is usually gold. But I am dumbfounded as to why he would lend his name to such crap, let alone have a starring role in it.
Egyptology is fascinating, as well as archaeology and the excitement of a new find. For more than ten years, these two channels have enthralled us with his discoveries, but why now did they have to go and ruin it and turn a show that could have been educational and intelligent into essentially a reality show?
Is this where television is headed, where even the credible channels have to stoop so low?
I can only hope that the episodes they have left to film they will leave alone and let it be entertaining on its own, and not riddled with senseless dialogue and asinine “dangerous” scenarios.
The topic at hand does not need to be spiced up and tinkered with, and if people out there feel it does, then they should not be watching the History Channel. This is a major blunder on their part, and continues to ruin their already shrinking credibility after their numerous specials on the end of the world, aliens, and Monsterquest, a show where they found absolutely nothing every single episode for more than four years.
It’s time to put an end to the nonsense.