I’ve seen some unexplainable things, and done some things I can’t quite explain.
For those who don’t know, that is the line uttered by Josh Gates at the beginning of each episode of Destination Truth. Strangely appropriate considering the confessional nature of this LetsBlogOff assignment: Guilty Pleasures: What’s You Favorite Show on Television?
I am used to a certain level of defensiveness regarding my viewing choices, but frankly, I say with false bravado, I am a little annoyed by having to defend my absolute adoration of a show that offers so many unique characteristics. It has everything a girl could want. Humor, a real life explorer with degrees in archaeology and drama (huh’?), adventure, exotic locations, cryptozoology, a guerilla-type shooting style, and some snappy editing. Hello? I lost you at cryptozoology, didn’t I? That’s when you started laughing at me and rolling your eyes.
I can’t help it. I found the show a couple of years ago and sat spellbound one Saturday as a Destination Truth marathon unfolded. I fell “in crush” with Josh, the tall, sarcastic adventurer who leads each expedition. I admired Ryder, the spunky yet clumsy female investigator who banters with Josh in village squares, mountain passes and bat-filled caverns. The rest of the crew is equally friendly, fit and enthusiastic about trekking into snake infested jungles or radioactive buildings in Chernobyl. It’s like watching a gamboling pack of Labradors explore the world in search of one-eyed, horn sprouting, man-eating mutants. Plus, they seem like the kind of people you’d hang out with in a bar all night – not believing a single crazy story they told you.
Each show begins with news stories of some wild animal/mystery creature terrorizing a small village. Think Loch Ness or Chupacabra. The team creates a strangely cute, yet menacing animated version of the monster based on eye-witness sightings, grabs their equipment and boards a plane for Destination “My travel agent is fired.”
It’s not really the thought of some monster or undiscovered mutated creature that captivates me. It’s the fact they are out – for instance – on the Serengeti, in the dark, seemingly without weapons, trying to find something like the Mngwa (“ming-wah”) – a saber-toothed feline reportedly larger than a lion. To me, the danger of them finding an actual lion is pretty realistic and worth watching. The potential for the Mngwa mystery to be resolved as a large lion with dental issues is just an added bonus.
While on these adventures, the crew stumbles across poisonous snakes, spiders, bats, bears, and quite a few rock slides. They scuba, raft, rock climb, rappel, go-cart and climb aboard airplanes that tear open like sardine cans in mid-flight. They visit with locals and sample cuisine consisting of just what you’d expect: Grubs, spiders, and other creepy crawly things. Plus, they do it all with chipper attitudes. I’m snarky and insufferable for days after a 1.5 hour flight with slow drink service.
The new season doesn’t start until early 2012, but according to the Syfy press release Destination Truth will be hunting for vampires in a remote Transylvanian village, exploring the reportedly haunted Mayan ruins of Tikal in Guatemala, and descending into one of the world’s biggest caves in the jungles of Vietnam to search for phantoms. They’ll also journey to Kazakhstan (a Destination Truth first), and return to the haunted forest in Romania.
I confess: I can’t wait.
To see other LetsBlogOff guilty pleasures, click here.