In Case You Noticed a New Alien Show on Destination America…

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I have a love-hate relationship with alien/UFO shows on television. Some are credible and leave you pondering what is actually out there. Others make you want to grab a tin-foil helmet and lock yourself in the closet whilst sucking your thumb in a fetal position. Some of the old History Channel stuff was pretty good, such as UFO Files. Destination America even boasts Unsealed: Alien Files which can be a bit crazy but is actually entertaining. The show is only a half hour, so it’s over before you want to want to board the spaceship to Sinmorfitellia.

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The End of the History Channel as We Know It?

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It has been a few years since the History Channel actually wanted anything to do with history. They swapped out serious programming for Pawn Stars, American Pickers, Swamp People, Ax Men, and the like a long time ago. However, their sister network H2 still remained with a tiny shred of credibility, as most history-oriented shows ended up on there, even the farcical Ancient Aliens—yes, that’s just how bad the History Channel became when that insanity ended up on the better of the two networks. With a line-up of reality garbage and rednecks, and seemingly anything but history, a recent article in TV Guide noted how much the network was struggling with ratings. They also announced that H2, beginning in February, will cease to exist, and be changed to a new network called Viceland. Any history programming that we have come to know will be gone, in favor of shows that better represent the current generation’s interests, which according to Deadline Hollywood, are as follows:

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Al Roker Produced One of the Best Thanksgiving Specials Ever

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It aired in 2001 and maybe only a couple of times immediately after. Its not available on DVD, streaming, or even uploaded to YouTube. It was a simple episode of Al Roker’s old Food Network show Roker on the Road, where he visited historic Sturbridge Village in Massachusetts to give viewers a taste of what an 1830’s Thanksgiving would look like. As a 10 year old who was really into history, it captivated me. I recorded it onto VHS (remember those days?) and proceeded to watch it every year as a sort of tradition. Maybe five or six years ago, I had a friend burn it onto a DVD for me so that I may preserve it forever…and also use as a historical resource for when I teach. For all I know, I could have the only copy on this planet. Just last week, I showed it to the class I am currently interning in, and they enjoyed it. Even now, all these years later, it is not Thanksgiving in this house without a viewing. My love of history and food aside, it simply is just wonderful programming. You will learn plenty in this one hour show, and Roker’s goofy tongue-in-cheek humor will have you giggling from start to finish (with quips such as referring to ladies undergarments of the time as “Queen Victoria’s Secret”).

Read the rest at Greg’s new food blog by clicking here.

“Halloween Twenty-Fifteen”: A Guide for Destination America’s Paranormal Programming

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It appears that Destination America has taken it upon themselves to become television’s Ghost Channel. They already had a plethora of paranormal programming, and they are expanding even more by the week. Some of these are decent, while others are downright awful. This write-up is to give you the information you need to decide which shows you might want to try, and of course, which ones you should run away from screaming. Previous posts and reviews may not exactly be glowing, but not all the network has in store is atrocious. Continue reading below to find out more. All the shows mentioned have either aired in the last week or will air shortly.

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“The Men Who Killed Kennedy” and My Fascination Rekindled

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I watched the Zapruder film 30 times the other day. Not the entire 26-second clip in its entirety, just focusing on the parts where President John F. Kennedy was visibly hit by bullets. I thought maybe after all these years, I would finally see something I never noticed. I took out a notebook and began writing things down. Before long, I had moved on to several lesser-known but equally important home-movies which documented the assassination in Dealey Plaza, the ones filmed by Marie Muchmore and Orville Nix. These films were shot almost opposite of where Abraham Zapruder was standing, so it helps to paint a more complete picture of what went down that fateful November morning. As I started jotting notes, I started to think to myself, “Why? What am I doing?”, and stopped the research. The reason is that there are just too many books, articles, documentaries and other research projects looking into the conspiracy aspects of the JFK assassination. Could a writing project of mine, if completed, actually add something new to the case? The answer is probably not.

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Smithsonian Giving Us what the History Channel Used To

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No aliens, rednecks, rusty cars, Bigfoot, or swamp rats here. The Smithsonian Channel is giving us what the History Channel should be. It was a total joy when I finally started watching their programming last week, after hearing about how good it was for years. As I sat there, I thought to myself, “This is what the History Channel used to be like.” The types of shows ranged from World War II and early American history to more modern or current world historical events and even nature and science. After catching a two-hour special titled Hindenburg: The Untold Story, I was hooked. It was a dramatic recreation, combining newsreel and archive footage with reenactments and historian interviews. It was perfect—factual but entertaining, straightforward yet stylistic. The production values were extremely high and I began to wonder, “How hard can this be? Is it that difficult to churn out credible quality historical programming that people will find interesting?”

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Please Spare us the “Live Exorcism” Coming to Destination America in October

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Thank God for Destination America, who never fails to impress me with the cheesiness surrounding their paranormal-related television shows. Examples being Amish Haunting and now, Ghost Asylum, where a team of red-neck hicks who make Deliverance look like an escape fantasy try to investigate haunted locations and trap the ghosts inside a special box. Well, if you thought that was all too much, just wait until this coming October 30th, when this network plans to air a live exorcism, creatively titled, Exorcism: Live! It will take place at the famous “Exorcist House” in St. Louis, where they will attempt to drive the demons out. We all know the story: in 1949, a young boy (whose name is still anonymous, and is referred to as either Roland Doe or Robbie Mannheim), claimed to be possessed and was exorcised by several Jesuit priests over the course of several weeks. The effort was exhausting and incredibly violent, but in the end, the boy was saved. The ensuing accounts of said exorcism would become legendary, and even provide the basis for William Peter Blatty’s landmark novel, and eventually, the groundbreaking film The Exorcist.

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